We do not believe it is inconsistent with Dogme principles for beginning teachers to plan a lesson around a live listening with traditional questions to check understanding, leading on to a structured conversation of some kind between the students, followed by language feedback. Lessons like this may have many similarities with listening lessons extracted from coursebooks and therefore may appear “dead on the page”, but we see essential differences.
Firstly, teachers who share personally relevant stories, opinions, news, or other narratives are sharing language with their learners in living contexts. The talk may be planned and in that sense contrived, but the content is real and humanly vital. In our experience, learners listening to such talk from their teacher are alert, engaged, stimulated and enjoy the moment. We see evidence for this in the spontaneous questions which are asked during and after the talk, and in the discussions between the learners as they try to recall what they have heard and understood.
Secondly, these talks by their teachers provide powerful stimulus for the learners to talk themselves.
What we have said for listening texts also holds true for reading texts. We believe in home-baked texts!
In our next post we will outline our position on language focus.
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