|Incorporating Dogme ELT, Martin Sketchley © 2012|
What is the ‘balanced approach‘ I hear you ask. Well the ‘balanced approach‘ was a philosophy of teaching that I proposed after research and writing up my dissertation on Dogme ELT for my MA at the University of Sussex. This approach to teaching suggested that the best method of incorporating Dogme ELT was including an eclectic range of modern teaching methods combined with more traditional structured forms teaching method. However, I haven’t fully explored or really considered what a ‘balanced approach‘ is.
Within my dissertation I considered a “Balanced Approach to teaching would offer EFL teachers the best of both worlds: the prospect of structured lessons or the opportunity to incorporate more exploratory or experimental teaching techniques, dependent upon classroom expectations” (page 55-56). Essentially, this form of teaching would incorporate a range of methods or techniques which is dependent upon classroom dynamics, as well as learner expectation and previous experience of language learning. Nevertheless, I am starting to question whether the above statement is really what I expect from a ‘balanced approach’. Since the previous ELTChat discussion on more experimental forms of teaching methods such as the Silent Way, TPR or Suggestopedia, I was chatting to other teachers about ‘striking a balance‘ between structured and experimental forms of teaching through personal choice and adapting them towards your teaching. Here are some quotes from the discussion:
As Jenny Ankenbauer suggests, a ‘balanced approach‘ might be considered vague with teachers being given the opportunity to claim their progress within teaching via this approach. Furthermore, due to the ambiguity of a ‘balanced approach‘, teachers may hide behind their claim. Granted, the approach to balance in the classroom is vague and is not without contention with other teachers. However, the suggestion to incorporate a method that is both immediate and personal to all parties in the classroom (both teacher and students in this case) is something that should be developed by all teachers. Rachael Roberts looks at personalising the ‘balanced approach‘ below.