Monday, September 12, 2011


Dictation may seem a bit old-fashioned, but it can be a valuable tool in the teacher's arsenal,. and a great integrated skills activity (listen and write, then read and speak.)

Here are some tools you can suggest to students to practice outside of class:

  1. - a 'storyboard' type of activity.  The user sees a text where all the letters have been replaced with an 'asterisk', and have to listen to a dictation and build up the text by typing in the words that occur.  Nice automatic checking of spelling.
  2. - this is the 'old fashioned' web page.  There is an MP3 that you can listen to, and then attempt to write on paper what you hear.  To check, there is a link to see the tapescript.
  3. - similar to the site above, but the encourage a process of listening at regular pace, then a slow pace, before attempting to write what was heard.  Checking is visual, by HIDE/SHOW of the transcript.
  4. - this site also guides students through a process and multiple listenings before checking the final dictation.  Again, checking is visual on screen not done by the computer.
  5. - this last site uses real news videos as the input.  Requires a login to use, but the account is free.  Has several modes of dictation to allow for accuracy and fluency.  Suited for more advanced levels.

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