Dogme 2.0 Vows

In progress!


Dogme ELT Vows & Credentials

Principally, Dogme ELT is:-
a) conversation driven
b) materials light
c) focuses on emergent language.

Expanded, this can mean:-

a) Classroom conversations should develop naturally based on learner interests and needs and the teacher should scaffold the learning of their new language by focussing on what they want and need to say - this is the means of their language acquisition.
b) Materials used in class should be a direct result of the need and desires of the students. Students should be encouraged to bring materials that interest them to class. The teacher can also respond to this and bring in material that was prompted by a conversation in class. There is no compulsion to use any materials.

c) Rather than 'covering' grammar, Dogme ELT is concerned with the 'uncovering of grammar' concentrating on the language produced by 'the people in the room'

Like the Dogme95 filmmaking movement, Dogme ELT has vows of chastity.

A Dogma for ELT referred to them as commandments and they were:-
  • Teaching should be done using only the resources that teachers and students bring to the classroom
  • No recorded listening material should be introduced into the classroom: the source of all "listening" activities should be the students and teacher themselves.
  • Learning takes place in the here-and-now. What is learned is what matters.
  • Teaching - like talk - should centre on the local and relevant concerns of the people in the room
  • No methodological structures should interfere with, nor inhibit, the free flow of participant-driven input, output and feedback

Earlier this year, Scott wrote a blog on the British Council's Teaching English website to coincide with the publishing of Teaching Unplugged. One of the posts listed criteria from literature on critical pedagogy (Pennycook, 1999; 2001; Norton and Toohey, 2004), and which defended Dogme ELT's credentials. According to this post, a critical pedagogy:-

1. is transformative, and seeks social change
2. foregrounds social inquiry and critique
3. challenges the status quo and problematizes `givens'
4. devolves agency to the learner
5. is participatory and collaborative
6. is dialogic
7. is locally-situated, and socially-mediated
8. is non-essentialist, i.e. it doesn't reduce learners to stereotypes, but rather legitimizes individual identities
9. is self-reflexive

Scott believed that Dogme ELT scores highly when compared to this list

Dogme 2.0's Vows

What we need to do now is to establish a similar set of vows or maybe guidelines for Dogme 2.0 based on what is written above, and which also scores well when referring to the critical pedagogy list.

Update (October 1st 2009)
from Tom:

" I very much like the idea that "what we need to do now is to establish a
similar set of vows or maybe guidelines for Dogme 2.0 based on what is written
above, and which also scores well when referring to the critical pedagogy list":

Apart from anything else I think it would take our discussions forward, rather
than going round and round in circles talking about washing machines and
interactive whiteboards and other technology as technology -- rather than as
technology in Dogme ELT, which is surely what is more relevant to this group.

My first suggestion would be that Graham should include the conversation-driven,
materials-light, emergent-language thing, on the page, as I think it's neater,
clearer and less off-putting in its terms, especially to anyone new to the

As for vows, one should IMHO be something along the lines of "Learners should
use technology to create and communicate, not merely to consume...". Having them
use a video camera or mobile phone to film seems OK to me, for example,
especially if the most is made of discussing what and how they are going to
film, as the "conversation".

Merely watching a DVD or YT video or a PowerPoint on the IWB downloaded from the
usual places seems "wrong" to me. The former could be materials-light (a blank
memory card in the camera); the latter are much more materials-centred, it seems
to me."

Also, look here: 2009/09/any-given-dogma.html

and Howard...

* Content Co-creation: technology should be capable of enabling content creation in ways that are more collaborative, more communicative and more connectivist than many traditional means such as print materials, physically based conversation and physical actions (such as gestures);

and George Siemens :

to be continued...