Tuesday Tips: Fun with Dictation

Dictation can be a fun way to practice English at many different levels. Here are three ways to incorporate dictation into your classes.

1) Phone Number Dictation
Dictate your phone number very quickly. Then have students actually call you to see if they got it. This activity can also help students learn the rhythm we use to say phone numbers, which may be different than in their countries. If you are teaching a group, have students practice dictating and calling each other.
2) Running Dictation
This activity works for pairs or groups. In each pair or group designate a messenger and scribe(s). Post a series of sentences or a paragraph on the wall. The messenger reads it, then goes back to his partner(s) to report it. The scribes write it.
3) Dictogloss. Read a paragraph to students two or three times at normal speed. Have students write what they hear, adding new words with each reading. At the end, have them rewrite their notes into complete sentences. The goal is not for them to reproduce exactly what you’ve said, but rather to write complete sentences that communicate the same idea.