Running Dictation

I’m sure you all have at least some kind of experience with dictations in the classroom. Most of the time, dictations are considered boring and can get really frustrating for students, especially if they are still learning how to write in their L1. Here is an idea for practicing dictations and making them less painful.

Running dictation is a type of dictation in which your students are responsible for it from the start.  They should work in pairs and it goes like this: You should come up with a story that you will write on a piece of paper and hang it onto the wall in your classroom. You can use multiple sheets of paper so that your students don’t collide during the activity. One person from the pair has to "run" to the paper and read and remember as much as possible and come back to their partner as fast as possible and dictate what they have read, while that person writes down the story. In the middle of the “game” you should tell them to swap the roles, so that it gets more interesting and that they both try out both roles. 

It’s best to give them a story in form of a riddle or something similar because then if someone is done before the others, you can tell them to try and solve it (matter of discipline in the classroom). Those who finish first get some kind of a prize of course (not having to do homework will work just fine).

Here are some links with stories that can be used for a running dictation. 

1, 2, 3
How do you get along with dictations? And your students? Do you think you could use this idea?


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