Dictations are an excellent practice for our students. Dictations require a lot of skills: You need to hear, recognize, write — look how many skills are worked on simultaneously!
I usually carry out dictations at the end of the class, before the final game. By this time my students have already reviewed the words necessary for the dictation.
There are different types of dictations. There are simple dictations. A teacher dictates and a student writes. You can dictate words and sentences. When you start the Soroka Course, you dictate words only.
You can use audio files for a dictation, especially in cases when it recites the name of objects from the pictures and when it does not include sentences. Stop or pause the audio file after each word.
There is a Dictation of “Surikov” in the Teacher’s Book. A teacher dictates and a student draws a picture of what he hears.
There is a type of dictation named “Text with Gaps.” You can find it in Lesson 3 of Unit 4 in the Teacher’s Book for Soroka Course 1. A teacher writes a sentence with a missing word, either on the whiteboard or a piece of paper. For example, “___ are you?” Your students should write in the word “How” to complete the sentence “How are you?” And so on.
The Most Important Part in Dictation is the Preparation
We should remember that there is a certain sequence of actions in our course: listening – speaking – reading – writing. Writing is our last phase.
We write words after we have already listened to them and then read them. Initially we just copied words. There are special exercises for copying in the Student’s Book — for example, crosswords. My students are reluctant to copy words in their Activity Book, therefore I started to give them crosswords. It turned out that other teachers do exactly the same, so I did not invent the method. The more often the student writes a word, the more likely they will remember how to write it.
Note. When I was a child and was learning English, I mindlessly copied a word several times. And I always got a 5 (excellent) grade for my dictations. I wonder why nobody does the same nowadays?
Games such as “Hangman” help with orthography. (This game is called “Crocodile” in the Soroka Course, in order to avoid unnecessary negative connotations.)
But the most important thing is the fact that way before the writing (in any language), your student should understand that all these hooks and squiggles used in writing a word are invented for people to recognize the words. Students should write a word correctly so that they can read what they had written previously. Sometimes students write a word in such a way that they cannot read it themselves. The purpose of orthography is to make words recognizable for those who know the language — in our case, Russian.
You can begin an orthography practice when we have understood why we learn to write words correctly (no matter which language).
And here’s the last advice I have for today: Students make mistakes, and it is absolutely normal. Those who write correctly do not need a teacher. Therefore, remember that mistakes are points of your students’ growth.
Have a good dictation!
Turn on English subtitles.