Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2014;15(2):167-185.
Published online September 30, 2014.
Liquid Textbooks: Collaborative Course Design, Dogme Instruction, and Localizing Critical Practice
Porter Curtis
This inquiry project explores the use of wikis as platforms for collaborative course design in a tertiary level conversation course for non-English majors. By overlapping Dogme instruction (Meddings & Thornbury, 2009) with critical pedagogy (Freire, 1970; Norton & Toohey, 2004; Shin, 2004; Shin & Crookes, 2005), the author experiments with digital media as a catalyst for meaningful dialog. Participants critiqued and created materials, then presented their respective chapters during one class session. Using field notes, electronic materials, questionnaires, and small group interviews, the author offers reflections based on three guiding questions: 1) What kinds of topics did learners choose to address? 2) What opportunities did the collaborative course design offer for meaningful interaction in the classroom? 3) What constraints to relevant dialog did learners experience? Results suggest that participants introduced numerous topics that could be considered controversial or politically charged. Importantly, barriers to discussion were not necessarily linked to L2 proficiency. As the semester progressed, learners' willingness to engage with relevant topics in less conventional ways corresponded with changing perceptions of course objectives and expectations. The paper concludes by theorizing how research on language and locality informs relevant connections Dogme instruction and critical pedagogy.
Key Words: Dogme language instruction;critical pedagogy;collaborative course design
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