These notes on dictation come from a talk presented by Edna Equihua, 22 August, 2003.

Author:
Liliana Borbolla

Telephone tree (sentence dictation)

• The teacher makes a telephone tree in class. After school, he/she calls the two first students in the tree and dictates one sentence. Then these 2 students have to call their assigned classmates in the tree and ask them to add one or two words to the sentence which they dictate. The last student gets the complete sentence and brings it to class, or e-mails it to the teacher, or both.

For example:

1. Original sentence: Property is theft
2. Property is really theft (added word: really)
3. I think property is really theft (added words: I think)
4. I don't think property is really theft (added word: don't)

As an alternative this same technique can be used for writing, using the e-mail instead of the telephone.
• Text reconstruction (dictogloss)
These can be done in a variety of ways. The important thing is that the dictation is given at a normal speed with appropriate intonation and stress patterns. Essentially, students write notes rather than every word. They then have time to turn those notes into the original paragraph. Students may hear the paragraph several times, as they fine tune their notes and writing.

For example:

Dictation paragraph:-
We will no longer accept your doctor's statement as proof of unfitness, as we consider that if you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
• The teacher reads the short paragraph
• Student A just listens
• Student B writes what she/he can
• Then in pairs they reconstruct the paragraph
• The teacher reads the paragraph again
• In fours they compare their writing
• Students write the paragraph on the blackboard to check their work, or the teacher shows a wall chart with the paragraph previously written.
• Mutual dictation (information gap)
• Student A has one part of the dictation
• Student B has the other
• A has to make questions to find out the missing words in his/her paper.
• B tells A the words and then they switch.
• Using the students
• Teacher elicits adjectives from student and writes them on the blackboard.
• Students choose 4 adjectives which they like and write them under 2 columns: DIFFICULT or USEFUL.
• Then they go to someone in the class and tell that person their adjectives and the other writes these adjectives down in the columns.
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