Dictation is a routine activity of all language classrooms. But did you ever try to make it interesting so learning and practicing spellings becomes fun rather than a monotonous, boring activity. Here are some strategies to help learners develop strategies of learning spellings and then practicing them.
In the elementary classes where students are learning to read with the help of phonics, learning spellings by saying the letters might confuse them. Moreover from the learning point of view things that are connected are learnt better and the memory of pictures is the best kind of learning. Therefore a good way of teaching spellings to these learners will be to take them through the following steps as a whole class first and then they can apply the steps themselves.
Look Say Cover Write Check
A very helpful way of applying this strategy is to write 5 to 10 words on the writing board and let the students look at them for some time and then rub them off and tell the students to write them from memory. Teacher may then write the words again and the students check their spellings and copy the words that they could not remember.
One of my favourite activity is ‘Dictogloss’. For this activity the first step is to choose a suitable text. The text should be selected according to the level of the students. The reading length of the text should be between 3 to 10 minutes depending on the level of the students. The steps to be followed in the classroom would be:
1. Teacher reads the text at normal speed and students take notes.
2. After the first reading teacher tells the students to complete what they missed from memory.
3. Steps one and two are repeated twice.
4. Then the students are divided into groups of four or five and are told to work together and try to rewrite the text trying to be as close to the original as possible.
5. Groups read their completed texts aloud and others comment on the differences.
Dictogloss integrates the skills of listening, writing and reading aloud with dictation. Thus dictation becomes a fun activity.
My previous article was 'The Carousal Story Writing Activity'.
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