Anthony Gaughan: Dogme vs Principled Eclecticism, Round One!

We all know that teachers have many hats they’d need to wear to be able to survive this gruelling profession, but if you’ve been following these interviews, and more so if you’ve been reading the recent contributions to Dave Dogson’s Truth or Lie Blog Challenge, you’d have found other interesting “hats”, perhaps less conventional, that are being donned on, from time to time, by our very versatile group of educators. We’ve seen the scuba diver hat, the martial arts master, the marathon runner, the actress, the musician, etc.

Today, to add to that impressive list, I’d like to present to you… drum roll… in the blue corner… the swashbuckling “Errol” Anthony Gaughan!

I know it’s a bit long, but just as in Mike Harrison’s interview, I’ve split the videos into three parts. Do make a special effort in watching all three, even if not in one go, and I’m sure you’ll learn something.

If you’re interested in Principled Eclecticism, you may be like to read this page. Anthony also mentioned a few dogmetists, who’s written rather interesting articles on their dogme classes:

Adam Beale
Chia Suan Chong
Dale Coulter
Jemma Gardner
Oli Beddall

And to this list, may I be so bold as to add mine, though not as good as the others: The Dogme Diaries.

There are also many others who, from time to time, talk about not only dogme, but other ELT-related stuff. I’d suggest you checked out the blogs I read…sometimes.

    Theme song “Excuse Me, Mister” performed by John Martyn on The Church With One Bell


Anthony Gaughan decided at the tender age of 12 that he could do a better job than his current English teacher and he therefore committed himself to a career in pedagogy. To this end, he studied English Language and Literature at Royal Holloway & Bedford New College, University of London, where he dropped out of the linguistics module after two classes as he “didn’t understand a bloody word of it”. Two and a half years later, he took an initial teacher training course in ELT to see if teaching was actually suited to him, and went to cut his teeth for a couple of years in central London. He left ELT to complete a PGCE in secondary education, but was deemed “too arrogant” and therefore he returned to adult ELT, where he has remained ever since.
After some time as a freelance teacher in Germany, Anthony begged, borrowed or stole sufficient money to fund a DELTA at IH London and is still trying to write his long-delayed MA dissertation. Anthony is a strong believer in collective development and so is a member of IATEFL, TDSIG, ELTABB and HELTA. He is enthused by teaching unplugged and working with new teachers, and he is annoyed by the fact that, as time goes by, he comes to respect his English teacher from when he was twelve more and more.


Twitter: @AnthonyGaughan

For the geeks:

Anthony’s end:

Macbook 4.1
iSight inbuilt camera
Logitech USB Microphone

Chiew’s end:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS62
Goldwave v5.56
Quicktime Pro 7.7 (1680.34)
MPEG Streamclip 1.2
Audacity 1.3 Beta

Appended: 5 Oct 2011

I’d forgotten to include the link to Anthony’s interview with Andi White, so here it is:

About Chiew

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Posted on 4 October 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Very interesting – thank you both for taking the time to do it. I was especially interested in how you reconcile CELTA and Dogme – I’ll need to give it some more thought myself, but I am determined to incorporate more of an emphasis on ‘Dogme thinking’ into the next course I tutor on.

    • Anthony Gaughan

      Thanks Ben. Wanted to mention your blog too but I was talking on the fly and didn’t want to risk getting Chris’ surname wrong after fluffing Chia’s 😦 – live and unrehearsed!

      Do try it when you can. There are obviously limits to what is possible but quite a lot can be done in that direction! And blog about it!

  2. Great. Fantastic. Hypnotic. Try it, try it. When we met at IATEFL, Anthony, you struck me as having very sophisticated views, and this interview has only enhanced my opinion. I’d recommend this interview to anyone and everyone. Very interesting to hear Anthony’s comments about how he discovered dogme – the fact that he was already converted, so it fitted in with his mental model of how to teach. There wasn’t really a change in his views, dogme merely declared more loudly what many believe. Great point about the politics of dogme too. Chiew, I loved your responses to Anthony, how the readers will judge for themselves. Thanks guys.

    • Anthony Gaughan

      Thanks, David – I think I was starting to get a mental model of Dogme when I watched Scott’s talk but only just: I had come to Germany off the back of years of coursebook driven, 6-9 contact hours per day teaching exam prep in a less than reputable school, then highly regimented work under the National Curriculum in the UK while gaining QTS, so it may have worked more like an uppercut 😉

    • Thanks for the comment, Dave, and I’m pleased you liked the interview! 🙂

  3. Anthony Gaughan

    Thank you for making me look so much better than I am, Chiew!

  4. Brilliant. The one danger I’ve found with Dogme is as soon as you start focussing on the students the more they expect it. Doing a first unplugged class can really set the ball rolling and make a clear indication to students that you are interested in their learning.

    “Try it”.


  5. Another great interview, well done Chiew.

    Anthony you speak with such passion about teaching and Dogme. It was very inspiring to listen to you and I wish that I had spent time at the TDSIG conference getting to know you better. Thanks for the mention, I’m very humbled.


  6. Chiew, Anthony – that was a great interview: brilliantly structured questioning, leading to complex yet digestible answers that I am sure will continue to be unpacked in the viewers’ minds for some time to come. Thank you.

    However, Anthony, I am in shock! As your colleague who sees your avid following of all things “techie”, I was dumbfounded to hear that you weren’t always this way! ; )

    Also, thanks for the mention of my blog, Anthony. Your support is valuable to all of us.


  7. Thank you both for this interview. It really makes up a bit for missing Anthony’s talk last iatefl and the upcoming one (am now a proud member but can’t make this one). Anthony’s passion is infectious but is also very down to earth. You don’t have to sound like a super teacher to succeed!
    Chiew – Please don’t worry about interviews being long, at least as far as I’m concerned. This way the interviews are fascinating and meaningful and I get a lot of laundry / dishes done…

    • Naomi, thanks for the thumbs-up 🙂
      I know some people don’t go past part one… but by splitting it up, I’m hoping they’ll come back in the not-too-distant future if they don’t manage to see it all in the first sitting! 😉
      I like the idea that viewers are multi-tasking…as long as they don’t miss the important bits! And that could easily refer to the interview as much as pushing the wrong knob! 😉

    • Anthony Gaughan

      Thanks Naomi – glad you found it interesting – anything that makes the dishes get done faster has to be good 😉
      Hopefully see you somewhere, sometime!

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