Dictation: Make it an interesting activity

(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Three Dictation Lesson Plans1

I. Dialogue Dictation Race

The teacher must first organize the classroom so there is a lot of space in the middle. For example desks and chairs can be arranged in a U-shape.

This exercise calls for a review of three dialogues. Each group has two reporters and four writers. The teacher gives the signal to start. The reporters go to their textbooks.

Reporter A memorizes the first line (or sentence) of the first dialogue, races back to his/her group, and dictates the line to the writers. While reporter A is dictating, reporter B memorizes the next line (or sentence) and races back to his/her group to dictate when reporter A is finished.

The two reporters continue to rotate until the entire dialogue is completed. It is a good idea for the reporters to mark in pencil how much of each line has been memorized so the other reporter knows where to start his/her next line.

Also, the reporters should report to the writers each time the speaker in the dialogue changes (as well as the speaker’s name as many dialogues have three or more speakers). 

When the dialogue is completed, two more reporters are chosen and the first two reporters become writers for the second dialogue. The same is done for the third dialogue. The first team to complete all three dialogues is declared the winner.

The teacher next plays the dialogues. The students check their writing while listening. Finally, the teacher has the students open their texts and make any final corrections in spelling or words they didn’t catch.

This exercise provides a way of reviewing material contained in dialogue-based textbooks. It combines controlled practice of the four skills (speaking, listening, writing, reading), and focuses students’ attention on both speed and accuracy. 

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