March 4

Picture Dictations

I had a great time the other day with my 11-year-olds as we were practising the present simple through picture dictations.  One thing I particularly enjoy about running picture dictations with Spanish speakers is that it removes their desire to dictate “phonetically” – in a normal running dictation, learners are obviously keen to get the spelling correct and so end up dictating things like, “The to-ast is very de-li-ci-ous” or “I li-ke waa-ching TV”.

IMG_2650A quick stage guide:

  1. Introduce and model the activity with a learner.
  2. Pair learners up and give instructions.
  3. Learners work on running dictation in pairs.
  4. When they have all the pictures, instruct them to work together to write a sentence (remind them to use the present continuous).
  5. Swap papers with another pair to correct. Elicit sentences from learners, write correct sentences on the board.

I told the groups there were a maximum of five points per sentence and that they should take off a mark for each mistake (hence the numbers on some of the pictures).


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Posted March 4, 2016 by Teresa Bestwick in category Grammar Activities

2 thoughts on “Picture Dictations

  1. Nuria

    This is a very fun activity, I love doing it in the place where I work, especially when we teach very little children who an only understand but not write. I love your Blog, I took note of a couple of ideas for my classes! I’m also trying to get more ideas for mine, so feel free to check it out and leave any feedback you’d like.


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