Comment on ‘There’s no such things as a dragon’ by @alastairjgrant

15 01 2012

Al, you cite me as arguing there’s no such thing as Dogme – I never said any such thing. In my post ‘Who Needs Dogme?’ I was simply asking myself whether Dogme did anything for me and if it didn’t, who was it for? Difficult to do if you think it doesn’t exist.

Then you say:
Well, CELTA, Trinity and whatever other teacher training course we embark upon, teaches us to use a coursebook from the outset. Now that’s what I call dogmatic.

My reply to this is a blogpost of my own called ‘Turning CELTA candidates into Dogme-gicians’ where I remind you CELTA teaches us HOW to use a course book and much much more besides.

You then quote Luke Meddings metaphor:
Despite the name, there’s no dogma to Dogme. Luke’s recent metaphor about the “three tent poles of Dogme” (IH DoS 2012) is a perfect description of why Dogme is so versatile: you can use it anywhere, it adapts to fit the terrain and works in all climates.

As a very amateur camper, I’m not convinced you can use a three-pole tent anywhere. There are different tents that work better in different contexts, just like approaches to English teaching and stories about dragons (Puff the Magic being my fave…).

Never making it clear to your readers which ‘key objection’ I was making in my post, you therefore link my name throughout your posts to doubts about the effectiveness of these three tent poles of Dogme. I don’t doubt any of them , I just doubt Dogme’s need to claim exclusivity on them and I don’t doubt that all three of these fundamentals of good teaching were around long before Scott came down from the mountain.

Whether Dogme needs to exist or not was the question I was asking myself and I’m coming around to the idea that it might, but the manner in which a lot of Dogme-gicians such as yourself here today resort to exaggeration, hyperbole and inaccuracy in order to promote the cause detracts from any fondness I might otherwise have felt for it. But that’s just me.

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