Split Dictation

Split Dictation

Split dictation is a barrier activity in which sentences, or a paragraph is split.  Students work in pairs dictating parts of a sentence / paragraph to each other for the partner to copy down in writing what their partner has said.  It is also a great way to get students to speak clearly and practice the target language orally. 

The dictated text could focus on: 

  • Subject specific vocabulary. 
  • Sentence structure 
  • The language features of a particular genre that you are expecting students to write in. 

As an extension activity, once pairs have finished, you could get them to think of questions that they ask another pair in the class that are related to the split dictation they have just completed. To ensure that everyone is listening pick pairs to ask another pair at random. In this way, you can check that learners have understood the text.

An example of split dictation for the science topic of cells is available to download here.

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