Running dictation

This is a lively activity that practises speaking, listening, writing, walking and remembering!


Choose a short passage or dialogue and make several copies. Put the copies up around the walls of the classroom (or even the school building).

Put the students in pairs or small groups. The aim is for one of the students in each pair to walk (or run!) to read the passage on the wall. They remember some of the passage and walk (or run!) back to their partner. They quietly dictate what they remembered to their partner, who writes it down. They then swap roles. Over several turns they will build the whole passage. This means they really do have to run back and forth because students will only remember three or four words at a time.

The winning pair is the team that finishes first – although you need to check for mistakes. If there are mistakes, they must keep walking to check!

A good idea is to teach them punctuation vocabulary beforehand if you want them to use the correct punctuation in English. It's a good way to check spelling and fabulous for pronunciation – and great memory training!

Language Level


Submitted by centoira on Sun, 01/18/2009 - 16:39


thanks! it seems like a really motivating activity.

I'll do ti as soon as classes begin

Submitted by Emodi on Sun, 03/06/2011 - 15:37


I so this activity as often as I can(you need a lot of space for it, so we go out in the schoolyard in summer or spring). My students enjoy it a lot.

Submitted by Can Karaca on Sun, 04/24/2011 - 20:28


I will use this activity in my class tomorrow everything is good about activity. I will hand poems to my students. after they finish activity I will ask them What is the best title of your poems for you? but how can I conclude this activity in anorher way??

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