Read out some text in the target language and have the students write it down accurately. Could be a list of words, a sentence, a paragraph, a poem…just be careful to read slowly and repeat a lot. About 5 minutes’ worth of text (including repetitions) is usually the limit. Bonus: Show students the punctuation marks and their names too.

You could have students work individually or in pairs/teams.

At the end the text can be shown and students can mark each other’s or their own.

My top and middle sets really enjoy this (despite it being “really hard!”), and it has led to a lot of high-quality discussion.

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About Eleanor Gordon

Jobseeker with an interest in the arts, trained in languages and education.

One response »

  1. I like dictations. Have you ever heard of the Rassius Method? Essentially, teachers give a dictation using a picture story. I have found that the pictures really aid understanding. It also provides a good context for speaking practice.

    Dictations recorded by native speakers outside of my classroom was a thought in the MP3 recorder I put on my site (not sure on link policy, so will not publish it). I’d like to be able to send text that is recorded by a native speaker. After it is returned, the students could do the dictations on their own from the MP3, repeating it as many times as necessary. They could even do this in pairs. As an extension, they could possibly write questions based on the content (they know the answer to this). The students could ask and answer questions among themselves.

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