A variety of dictations

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A variety of dictations.

1. Take any Easier English article (look at Main Page or Categories, left, or Search, top right) and divide it into paragraphs.

2. Dictate the first paragraph - pure, simple, traditional dictation. Learners check with each other in small groups, and predict how the article will continue.

3. Do the second paragraph as a "Running Dictation": stick the same paragraph to the wall in 3 or 4 places around the classroom. Each group of learners elect a "runner", who runs to the paragraph, remembers a chunk of text, runs back to them and dictates it to the group. The group can ask questions (eg. about spelling) and they can change runners if they want to. When they finish, they check the text for accuracy (and can also predict the continuation).

4. Do the third paragraph as a "Loop Dictation". Tell learners that, in pairs, they have to write the whole paragraph that you will be reading out, on a loop, outside the classroom. Learners come out, listen and remember a chunk, then dictate that to their partner, and they piece the text together.

5. Do the fourth paragraph as a "Shouting Dictation". Divide the class into two straight lines, each facing a partner across loud music playing in the centre of the room. One learner dictates to the other, who has to read lips, ask for repetitions and shout to be heard over all the other dictations happening simultaneously.

6. The final paragraphs can be divided up among the learners to do a Learner Dictation. If there are 3 paragraphs left, divide the class into groups of 3, and give each learner one paragraph. They cannot show their paragraph to the others, but have to dictate.

7. Finally, after all the dictations (or some of them - no need to do all in the same lesson!), hand out the complete article, or give learners the link to access on-line, and they check for accuracy.

8. Their follow-up is to read the original article, and note down all the new vocabulary and phrases.

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