Bonk and Dogme

teaching-unpluggedI have used Teaching Unplugged as a template for class activities since publication in 2009. Based on the ideas of dogme school of language teaching (if you can call it a school), Unplugged stresses emergent language built into conversation driven classes that are materials light. Teachers develop skills to measure needs and develop materials from those student needs using a set of templates of activities, adapting those to the language at hand. The set of activities in Teaching Unplugged works anywhere, with any group. They are easily grasped and motivate students much more than a textbook. The materials light part is the one I still cannot reconcile with my teaching style. Most dogme teachers eschew technology as well as textbooks, but I think it can augment the emergent language.

Bonk_TECVARIETYCurtis Bonk is well known as an evangelist and influential mover in Instructional Design. He has written a new book with Elaine Khoo, available free online, of 100 activities to increase motivation in online classes. TEC-Variety is a list of ten principles for online learning and instructional design. The 100 activities serve as templates to customize for your online classes, all intended to increase motivation.

There are a number of remarkable similarities between these books, even though they are for very different audiences. Both back up theory with practical suggestions, and make it easy to implement them with quality suggestions. Curiously, Dogme language learning also has ten principles, but they are very different from those of Bonk and TEC-Variety. I see many parallels in these two books, and would recommend both. I am going to use both this upcoming semester.

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