Tried and tested (and approved!) games and activities to help English learning.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Running Dictation

Level: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced.

Skills: speaking and writing.

Topic: vocabulary and grammar.

Materials: paper (lively music - kept in low volume -  is welcome).

Time: 5 to 25 minutes.

It's an oldie, but it still promises (and delivers!) lots of fun. Divide the class into groups of 3 to 4 students, or pairs for small classes. Write a sentence on a piece of paper for each team and stick this piece of paper somewhere out of the classroom (but not so far from it). Take care on placing the different pieces of paper away from each other, so as not to cause unnecessary clashes between the teams. One member from each team goes out and tries to remember their sentence. This student returns to their group and dictates the sentence while team members write it down. First team to finish correctly gets a point. Change words/sentences and switch the students who go out to read the sentences.

Make each team's paper different so students don't simply listen to other teams. The students who dictate are not allowed to take their paper, write down anything, or yell across the room. They are allowed to return to where the piece of paper is to look at it as many times as they like. It's very effective when you use words from class to reinforce learned vocabulary and grammar structures.

Use pictures for children who can't spell and have them draw the picture instead of writing the words. Use multiple sentences for more advanced students, place sentences in the vicinity of room and have each group member do one each. Groups then have to put the sentences into the right order before turning in the paper.

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