Dogme Blog Challenge No. 4–Not to be taken lightly

I’ve been following Karenne Sylvester's dogme blog challenge from afar over the last few weeks but haven’t found the time to contribute my own thoughts yet. I couldn’t find time to write today either so I decided to answer some of the questions in the latest challenge, Being Light, by video!

By pure coincidence, Turkey’s two and a half year ban on YouTube was finally lifted yesterday so the video is also a celebration of the fact that I can now directly access one of the world’s most popular sites again.
Hot smile

My thoughts on ‘being light’

You’ll need to turn the sound up and I do kind of waffle on a bit but I hope you enjoy watching it all the same.

Other posts in reply to Dogme Blog Challenge No. 4

Please take a look at these other responses to ‘being light’

James Taylor, How I accidentally started my teaching unplugged

Emma Herrod, All aboard, the board-work train (as part of Jason's whiteboard challenge)

Candy Von Ost, What's in the bottle?  Think of a scotch

Mike Harrison, Materials Light

Diarmuid Fogarty, Accidental Death of a dogmeist

Willy C. Cardoso, Materials Light (A boring pub conversation)

Nick Jarowski, The Heart of Dogme

Tara Benwell, Hocus Pocus, Materials Light Focus

David Warr, Sense and memorability 

Sabrina De Vita, Everybody can paint!


  1. I really enjoyed that you decided to answer to this week's challenge in video Dave. You were able to express your ideas very clearly... And I quite agree with them! It seems we also teach at similar settings, where we don't have much of an option when it comes to use of coursebooks... Even if using or not using them is not (and I still see eye-to-eye with you on this)the core of dogme. Great work Dave!

  2. Thanks Cecilia. One great thing about this whole debate has been an ever-so-slight change in my approach - I think I've been more flexible & responsive to what my students want to say in the last few weeks than I was before.

    Looking forward to your response to this challenge!

  3. Interesting to hear thoughts on dogme from someone working with very young learners. Looking forward to more vids now you're back on You Tube. What on earth did people in Turkey do for two years?

  4. Hi Patrick!

    People here found workarounds - even the Prime Minister once commented when pressed on the issue 'I use a proxy server - you can too!' But it's nice to be able to watch 'legally' again.

    Glad you liked the vid. It's something I may return to for future blog posts.

  5. Excellent video, David. I find myself pretty much in agreement here. I don't teach very young learners, but I do teach in a context where we're supposed to follow certain government produced skills for life materials and fullfill criteria in a core curriculum, and some people do do just that. But they always (in my experience) make the materials or the topics, grammar, whatever in them very much their own. So yes - I agree with you! It's more about the teacher than the materials.

    Looking forward to more videos =)

  6. Hi David
    As Mike says, I'm in agreement with you. Materials-light is not necessarily Dogme. And you're making your coursebook more Dogme (and the writers say "hey, that's how we intended you to use the book all along!"). Great video post, great analysis.

  7. Thanks for the positive feedback guys. :)

    Mike - just 'covering the ground' is an issue with some teachers. It's always important to look at the materials provided critically & think 'how can I get the most out of this?'. listening to the students' inout is important too - sometimes they have the best ideas!

    David - one thing that has always stuck in my mind is a comment from a an OUP representative who came to our school many years ago to give a seminar on a new book we were starting to use. He held up the teachers' book and dramatically said: "This is not a book of law, nor is it one of doctrine, nor wisdom. It's just advice - I'm sure your own ideas are better!" A good comment, lost on most in attendance it seemed!

  8. Hey, sorry for taking so long to come back to this innovative approach to the challenge! I enjoyed it very much and you hit on the core points. You should do more of these v-logs in general they're good fun and most importantly very informative!


  9. Hi Karenne,

    Thanks for the comment. I think I will try a v-log again sometime to mix things up a bit, perhaps a special thing for the dogme blog challenges!

    How many are there going to be by the way?


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