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The illiterate in a multiliterate world (Episode 3)

January 19, 2010

Being one of those “illiterate in a multiliterate world” who are hopefully on their way to recovery, I’m keeping up a healthy habit of skimming through various blogs and microblogs (tweets) in this online community. This is my way to avoid being overwhelmed by information overload in an attempt to catch up with the essentials.

I came across an interesting post by Vance that read “[s]hould be helping kick off Week 2 at #evomlit but churning out #dogme instead“. I knew the meaning of “kick off” but had no idea what “churn out” means, so I got curious.

I clicked a link that took me to his latest post on AdVancEducation — It is about Dogme language teaching approach. He elaborates on his experience learning Arabic in Cairo from one of the very few teachers who adopt this approach in teaching Arabic.

I came across this approach before and always assumed that, as much as it claims to be communicative, it’s rather anti-technology use. I even read a very interesting article titled Myths about the “Anti-tech” Crowd, referring to believers in Dogme, in a SEETA Moodle course on teaching without technology. The author listed all arguments made against Dogme people and discredited them in a very provocative way. I re-posted the article in a blog entry to initiate discussion among my friends and colleagues but haven’t received any response yet. It would be nice to know what other people think (click to view).

Now, I’m rather surprised to know that Dogme practitioners are active in Second Life. As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen a Dogme class in action. It would be really nice if there were some videos illustrating it.

P.S. I still am not sure what ‘churn out’ means — hope to find out soon!


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  1. Hanaa Khamis permalink

    Yeeey! Thanks Vanessa… I love to know the etymology of words, especially the figures of speech behind them. Isn’t language just great?<br><br>Cheers,<br><br>Hanaa

  2. Vanessa Vaile permalink

    churn out – think about making butter, churning or agitating whole milk until the butterfat separates from the cream. The English verb "churn", meaning to agitate or produce violent motion.

  3. Michael Shade permalink

    I’m no etymologist, but ‘churn’ sounds to me like a typical Anglo-Saxon word – single syllable, the typical English ‘ur’ sound, and no parallel in the Romance languages.<br><br>I’ve just looked in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:<br>Etymology: Middle English chyrne, from Old English cyrin; akin to Old Norse kjarni churn<br>Date: before 12th century

  4. Nina Liakos permalink

    In Vance’s tweet, I think ‘churn out’ means create or produce (maybe steadily?).<br>I’d also like to see a dogme class in action. Sometimes I feel that books waste time in class. When we have a book, students want to use it (understandably; books are expensive), but then there is little or no time left over for exploring other ways to learn.

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