IATEFL 2010 – Presentation

Watch us holding our workshop on how we applied Dogme ELT principles to our CELTA teacher training courses at IATEFL 2010 in Harrogate, UK.


  • WOW! Thank you very much for making this presentation available.

    During the presentation one of the ladies talked about on how Teachers should deal with this approach when they have a system and some rules to follow. I’d like to comment on it as I had the same question by the time I was watching your talk, Anthony. Teaching a coursebook during the term, for instance, is something that Teachers (especially in Brazil) can’t think of getting rid of. Besides, Brazilian Students of English are too much attached to coursebooks, most of them mistrust when Teachers change the flow of the lessons. However, the decisions on how to teach the coursebook, on how to approach Ss and the way this is put into practice are important points Ts must take into consideration before getting into the classroom. Therefore, I believe they ought to try to improve and probably insert some new ideas (such as Dogme’s or any other approach’s) into their lessons. I believe that teaching is taking risks. Playing too safe sometimes may be dangerous for the Ss’ learning.

    Congratulations Anthony and Izyy,

    Iury Paz – @iury_ELT

    • Thanks for the positive feedback, Iury – but real thanks are due to IATEFL (especially the Teacher Training & Education Special Interest Group) for inviting us, and the excellent British Council broadcast unit for capturing the event so well!

      I recall that question well. It was really related to unplugging teacher education programmes that are heavily regulated by local ministries of education. Local circumstances certainly constrain what is possible in terms of innovation; however, I think we’ve shown that often these constraints are more felt than real. For example, Cambridge ESOL is perceived as a very constraining organization; in reality, these constraints are more constructs established tacitly by participants in local contexts (“folk” constraints, if you will).

      Coincidentally, there is a related discussion going on over on the Dogme discussion list about materials use – ultimately it’s we who decide how we work within our contexts and with the materials at hand.

      As I keep on saying: it really is in our hands!

  • […] Anthony Gaughan began teaching in 1995 and now spends most of his time training teachers in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany, where he was worked for the best part of the last 12 years.  He is especially interested in ultralight approaches to teaching, especially Dogme ELT (Teaching Unplugged).  In 2010, he shared his vision and work on unplugging initial teacher training courses like the Cambridge ESOL CELTA at … […]

  • Very interesting. Should have watched this earlier. I ran a CERT level course in Berlin in the early noughties? naughties? Wish we’d coincided and had a chance to bang out ideas. Terrific first week you’ve got there. Very persuasive. I’d love to have tried it and discovered if I felt we on our course had had enough time to query stuff like Trainees’ over-simplified belief in Correctness or Rules etc.
    Regards to Izzy.

    • Dear Nick, thank you for taking the time to watch our presentation and for commenting. Apologies also for not responding for so long – post IATEFL backlog can only account for so much of this!

      I would also have loved the chance to hammer out ideas with you on this. After our presentation in Harrogate, we had the good fortune to meet Jim Scrivener, who said he had attempted a similar but even more radical experiment in the 80s or early 90s (I can’t recall the precise date now). Even that information and short exchange gave us food for thought (which was why we went to present in the first place!)

      We’ve got a long way to go and I really ought to blog more about our work these days to get more of that conversation going with people like you again. When you were over here, who was it with, if you don’t mind my asking?

      All the best,


  • What shocked me in your lecture was how few people in that room had read read Teaching Unplugged!Did it suprize you?
    All i remember of my TESOL was the stress and endless pieces of paper. CELTA’s or whatever have a simple message to teach English. I never recall spending anytime getting to know students and asking them what they like. That requires a few lessons of teaching. I think a course should start like this on the job in the first week…do you do this?

    • Thanks for taking the the to watch this, and to comment, Philip. I wasn’t surprised, actually, but I was a bit disappointed (esp. As two of the hands you saw raised belonged to the authors!)

      In general, dogme has largely escaped inclusion in initial teacher training for reasons that I want to go I to in a later post so more on that later.

      I think that needs to change and, in small but important ways, is easy to change. One such way, as you suggest, is getting trainees initially to focus on talking to their students and working out from there what interested them and what they need, and then trying to build lessons around this.

      That’s what we do on my courses, and I wish more courses started that way, but I am<\b> biased!

    • I’m working out how to get permission to re upload and will let you know. In the meantime, use the video link in the Wayback Machine and you might get lucky!

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