Technology is probably top ofmind [in driving the shifts inmethodology], although the useof technology in itself doesn’tnecessarily drive shifts inmethodology - it can be used todeliver the same course contentin a different way. I think there isa renewed interest in morebottom-up, experiential Luke Meddingslearning after the very top- 2011down, grammar-drivenapproaches that dominated inthe 1990s.
following a set of rules prescribed by a book? giving your students lots of extra handouts with exercises? making sure your lesson plans are followed from beginning to end without a change? keeping abreast with the latest technology available to teach the so-called “digital natives”?
“A good teacher cannot be fixed ina routine… During teaching, eachmoment requires a sensitive mindthat is constantly changing andconstantly adapting.” Bruce Lee
Languagelearning, whetherclassroom-based ornaturalistic, whether inan EFL or an ESLcontext, iscapricious, opportunistic, idiosyncratic and seldomamenable to external Scott Thornburymanipulation. P is for Postmodern Method http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2012/ 05/13/p-is-for-postmodern-method/
“learning linguistic items is not a linearprocess – learners do not master one itemand then move on to another. In fact, thelearning curve for a single item is not lineareither. The curve is filled with peaks andvalleys, progress and backslidings” Larsen-Freeman (1997)
“Success depends less onmaterials, techniques and linguisticanalyses, and more on what goes oninside and between the people in theclassroom” Earl Stevick Humanist English language teacher and thinker
A pedagogy of bare essentials ‘Unplug’ your teaching The people in the room matter more than the resources
1. Conversation-driven2. Materials-light3. Focuses on emergent language
Conversation is language at work Conversation is interactive, dialogic and communicative Conversation scaffolds learning
Course books or curse book? Photocopies Videos and others
Emergence or acquisition? Language is more than the sum of its parts. Responsive teaching, not pre-emptive teaching
“Education is aself-organisingsystem wherelearning is anemergentphenomenon.”Sugata Mitra
Establish a classroom dynamic that is conducive to interactive talk Set up conversations between and about ‘the people in the room’ Take advantage of conversation as it occurs incidentally Provide the necessary scaffolding to support talk in a second language Be a participant in the classroom talk
Foreground the learners’ topics and texts Orient lesson to the learners’ needs and interests Make the most of minimal means Set up activities that are language productive Use learner language to inform lesson and course planning View learners’ errors as learning opportunities Record, review and recycle instances of learner language
WHO instead of WHAT Listen actively to your learners Less is more Make it personal and meaningful
Is Dogme ELT just a fad? Can technology and Dogme co-exist? What are the so-called Dogme moments?
Education iscommunicationand dialogue. Itis not thetransference ofknowledge.Paulo Freire
We can’t control learning, but we are ultimatelyresponsible for our teaching. It is only when weunderstand that teachers make the difference inlearning that we will be able to promote meaningfulchange. We should be teaching for learning, and notseeing teaching and learning as twocompeting, independent forces.