In classroom observations, the biggest single problem I see, time and again, with novice and experienced alike, is too much TTT. It’s a big topic, not least because prescriptions on teacher talk tend to get overlooked and are sometimes dismissed.
There’s a basic undeniable truth about teaching which is inherently unscientific and that is the fact that we learn best from the people we like. Therefore it seems to me that the most important thing a teacher can do is be liked. At least for the most part.
Dogme, or [dogmə] as it is pronounced, has become a well-worn term in certain circles of the ELT industry. It is the practice of conducting a class through what is supposed to be free-flowing conversation without the use of books or materials. The idea has gained a bit of momentum but in this post I’m going to pop the balloon of Dogme because underneath the hype, I see it as a vacuous, anti-educational, and bourgeois approach to language teaching.
If you have read some of my tweets and ideas on language teaching you may have noticed that I am very dismissive of learning styles and multiple intelligences theory. I see them as fabricated, overly-simplistic, non-falsifiable folly, not to mention being unfair on learners who really need to apply themselves to facets of their ability in which they are weakest, rather than be limited to playing within their strengths.