Dogme Blog Challenge #5 Speak, Voice

Providing space for the learners' voice means 

accepting that the learners'

& desires

are valid content in the language learning classroom.

Luke Meddings & Scott Thornbury, Teaching Unplugged, Delta Teacher Development Series, 2009.

Sink plug

Although this essential theme has come up and written about already in the 40 + blog posts written so far in this dogme blog challenge, it is so incredibly important - it is, in my humble opinion, it is the very core of dogme... so we're going to hone in

on this


incredible word:


Whenever we refer to someone as having a voice what do we actually mean?  

  • David R Hall says that students know what their own needs and interests are.  Do they?  How do we or they provide/ utilize materials to encourage their voices to come out, to tell us this?  How do we build meaning together, while we're supporting the sound of it... how do we listen to the stories of 'the people in the room?'  
  • In your opinion, how can we create an environment where a degree of equality between participants blurs questions of status and social distance?  How can we ensure that all of our students are actually heard? By whom?  Do you think this is, actually, really possible?  Have you been in situations where this would prove impossible?  In your opinion, are people in general really interested in hearing about each other or only themselves?  
  • Do you think emotional intelligence plays any kind of role in cultivating voice in our classrooms?
  • Are their English voices ever different from their L1 voices?  If you yourself speak an L2, are you the same person when you're communicating in this other language - in what way do you think you change? 


-p.s  If you're a blogger reading my page... how did you discover your writing voice?  Was it a conscious development or did it simply emerge?

-p.p.s a special huge thank you to the global bloggers who have already taken part in this incredible challenge: I am learning so much from all of you and at our halfway point I just really wanted to let you  know that it has been just incredible how you have opened up your classroom doors and let us all in, to see, to learn:  you've not only shared time and energy with us, your random readers, but you have given us the gift of your experience and you have imparted on us your invaluable knowledge.

I know that I personally have been challenged by this amazing community of teaching practioners: I have been tickled, provoked, delighted, interested, absorbed, excited to try out the new things I've read on your pages - in short, entranced by your voices.

And we've still got five more to go!!!  Coming up: NNEST and dogme; the so-called-difficult classes; dogme&technology; critical pedagogy/critical thinking...

The Blog Posts Challenge #5

      Read previous Challenge blog posts:
      Read next in the challenge
        What is all this about? 
        The Dogme Blog Challenge + links to the blogs discussing Dogme
        The dogma of Dogme - background info & links
        Dogme ELT - other stuff I've written on Dogme

        How to share on Twitter:  use the #dogmeme hashtag

        How to share your fellow teachers' blog posts with each other?  Please don't forget to add/link to the other blog(s) written on the subject on your own post so that they can form a ring and your readers can travel on from your post to the next one!

        How to respond?

        Comment below with short thoughts
        Go to your nearest yahoo!group and share your opinions
        with like-minded teaching colleagues

        Blog it:
        Write a list or tell a story, 
        compare lessons: dogme and non-dogme, 
        relate an experience, a contrary opinion,
        quote research, your own theory,
        submit mere musings, rant...
        share an idea, a paragraph, a dictionary's definition
        come up with a clever sentence,
        a beautiful photograph,

        a video-log
        an article or draft the bones of an essay, 
        share examples from your own classroom experience...

        In short, be dogmeic: personalize  your response!)

        Important URLs to quote/link to in your post (if necessary):
        • Teaching Unplugged:
        • Scott Thornbury's website + articles:
        • Scott Thornbury's blog:
        • Luke Meddings' blog:
        • Luke Meddings' on the Delta blog:
        • Luke Meddings' on Dogme and Identity:
        • Dogme ELT in Wikipedia:

        4 Responses to “Dogme Blog Challenge #5 Speak, Voice”

        • This comment has been removed by the author.
          Moomin says:
          November 07, 2010

          This comment has been removed by the author.

        • Emma Herrod says:
          November 08, 2010

          Hey Karenne,

          You're doing great things with the blog challenge. It gives a real focus and we're left with a valuable source of opinions, musings as resources. So thank you for all you’re doing.

          To answer your question towards the end of your post about how people come to find their writing voice, I can only speak for myself, but believe I can pin-point it to Twitter. I think I can safely say that most people have experienced that frustrating moment when something is said or discussed within one's Twitter network and you feel you have something to contribute. But how to get the point over in 140 characters?

          Twitter is a wonderful medium in many ways, but it doesn't (nor has it ever pretended to) facilitate debate in great depth. The opportunity for misunderstanding is too great. Blogging therefore seemed, for me anyway, to be the natural way forward if I wanted to get involved with the greater good so to speak.

          So I suppose you could say it was both emergent and born from a need to express and share thoughts with fellow teachers.

          Hope that answers the question :)

          Emma x

        • Anne says:
          November 09, 2010

          These challenges are absolutely the way to go, Karenne. I think the blogosphere is going through yet another wonderful revolution, with this team coaching approach. Thank you, once again!!!

        • Anonymous says:
          November 11, 2010

          Hi Karenne! I don't know if this is the right place to write this (if it is not feel free to remove this comment). I have been thinking a lot about dogme recently, and it comes natural to me when I have to "teach" writing or speaking, but what about when it comes to reading and listening. I don't have any clue as how to go about these skills doegmecly. Could you write some tips about this? or maybe make this question part of one of the next challenges? I would really appreciate this.


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