Running Dictation

A noisy but fun activity that involves all four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Running dictation is a good classroom strategy that can be used to model the language that you want your EAL learners to produce or it can be used to build background in a piece of content.

Here is how it works:

  1. Put the learners in groups.  I usually have pairs or threes.
  2. Place a text (in sentences) around the classroom, usually on the walls of the classroom.
  3. Learners choose 1 person to write and the other / others to run.  The learners that are the runners have to run and read the sentences (one at a time) and then dictate to the learner that is writing.
  4. Complete until all the sentences have been written.
  5. As a group they then have to organise the paragraph so that it is in order, coherent and cohesive.
  6. You could then get them to list the key language features of the text which is particularly good if you are looking at a particular genre or type of writing.
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