Tomorrow morning (Saturday, May 4), I’m attending a local teachers’ event at the Active Language centre in Cádiz. The event is run by TEFL del Sur. It’s a relatively young association. It was set up in 2011 and is spear-headed by the ever enthusiatic and energetic Teresa Bestwick. It offers professional development and support to teachers in the Cádiz bay area and beyond. It’s fun, it’s vibrant and it’s Saturday morning events are always well-attended with free beers at the end to keep the conversations rolling.
Tomorrow I’m leading a session called Dogme: what’s it all about? I say leading, but I should say facilitating, or opening, or kicking off, I guess. Until it happens I don’t think I’ll know which verb is most appropriate because for this session I’m taking a (the?) vow of chastity. I’m not preparing an outline, there will be no slideshow, and obviously, no handouts! To be purely dogme, of course, there should be no pre-set agenda. The topics of conversation should come from the people in the room, not pre-ordained, so by giving the session a title I’m already straying from the straight and narrow. I guess the fact that the session has a name and poses a question is already straying off the straight and narrow. And I must admit I have chosen a simple task to kick off. As I can’t be sure that everyone in the room will already be familiar with dogme then I can’t start with Scott Thornbury‘s “write a definition” task, so instead I’m going to ask teachers to write a few questions they’d like to ask/air about dogme. And then we’ll take it from there. As Active is a connected school, we’ll have access to a projector and wifi, so, if needs be, our conversations can also develop beyond the four walls.
So, no preparation, well, apart from the silent conversations I’ve been having with myself as I cook dinner or wash the dishes, and the thoughts that are running through my mind as I write this post. But I know that the joint knowledge, experience and curiosity of the people in the room will easily be enough to fill an hour with conversation and comment. Oh, and yes, I must admit I have stolen a page from Luke Meddings and Burcu Akyol‘s book, or more specifically the session they both lead at IATEFL in Liverpool this year, and I’ve prepared a scoop.it page with links to videos and articles about the origins and birth of the dogme approach/movement which might be useful as a starting point for those people who want to know more.
We’ll be taking notes during the session and I’ll be back to describe what questions were asked and what answers were offered. In the meantime, if you’re reading this before Saturday morning (or after in fact!), and you’ve got a moment, could you let me know what questions you’d ask? Thanks
To close, here’s a clip from an early TEFL del Sur event, just to give you a taste of the great atmosphere. Thanks go to Steve O for the video