Dictation: Make it an interesting activity

(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Davis and Rinvolucri (1988: 4-8) also list 10 reasons for using dictation in the foreign language classroom:

1. The students are active during the exercise. 
2. The students are active after the exercise.
3. Dictation can lead to oral communication activities.
4. Dictation fosters unconscious thinking.
5. Dictation copes with mixed-ability groups.
6. Dictation deals with large groups.
7. Dictation will often calm groups.
8. Dictation is safe for the non-native speaker.
9. For English, it is a technically useful exercise.
10. Dictation gives access to interesting text.

Davis and Rinvolucri say dictation has the capacity to activate the entire class. Student activity after the dictation can be extended into the correction phase.

By having students do their own corrections, the teacher can provide them with opportunities to ‘over-learn’ the language as well as collaborate with one another. 

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