TESOL/Dictation exercises

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A dictation exercise is a type of exercise used in foreign language teaching including TESOL where students receive spoken input and must hold it in short-term memory and then reproduce it in writing.

Purpose[edit | edit source]

Dictation exercises can be used effectively as a consciousness-building activity in the ESL classroom. They help learners focus on certain areas of English and provide feedback on accuracy. For example, students can listen for the words other than nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in the teacher's recitation of a passage to build consciousness of those words.

Example[edit | edit source]

The teacher reads this.

In my house, Christmas is a happy time. Everyone sits around the Christmas tree and we exchange presents. My favorite part of Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree. I love the Christmas lights.

The students are given a worksheet like this beforehand:

__ __ house, Christmas __ _ happy time. Everyone sits ____ __ Christmas tree ___ __ exchange presents. __ favorite part __ Christmas is decorating __ Christmas tree. __ love __ Christmas lights.

Usually the teacher pauses after each phrase and reads each sentence twice, but the teacher may read faster or only read once to challenge stronger students.

As the teacher is reading, the students fill in the blanks.

Exercises[edit | edit source]

Tip: use the tab key to go to the next box quickly.

"House with Nobody in it"[edit | edit source]

This is a reading of "House with Nobody in it" (1914) by Joyce Kilmer.

Play the this and fill in the blanks.

Listen for the verbs or contractions containing verbs. Not every verb is a question.

WHENEVER I walk to Suffern along the Erie track

by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose

passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never

seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house

haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it

be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody

to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines

be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I

a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it

to be

find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot

sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it

never known.

But a house that has

what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life,
That has

its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when

left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I

help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

Joanne Bradshaw[edit | edit source]

A (different) shot putter

This is from an article at Wikipedia.

Joanne Bradshaw, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at simple.wikipedia.org.

Joanne Bradshaw

disabled athlete

Australia. She competes

wheelchair. She won a gold medal

2000 Sydney Games

women's shot put F37

new Paralympic Games record.

This sound file and all the text in the sound file are licensed under the Creative Commons attribution share-alike license 3.0 unported license.