The goal of this activity is to liven up traditional dictations. Dictations have a lot of language learning value for grammar acquisition including syntax (i.e. word order) and morphology (i.e. word endings) as well as for listening comprehension and written production. However, when dictations are teacher lead, they can be a little static as the students must wait for the teacher to determine the activity’s pace.
The Read and Run is a dynamic dictation where pairs of students work to complete a dictation at their own pace. At the start of the activity, the teacher places pieces of paper at the front of the room with the same dictation text on each piece of paper. The class is broken into teams of two students. In each team, one student will play the “walker” and the other will play the role of the “secretary”. The secretary is seated at the opposite end of the room from the dictation text. The walker must walk between the dictation text and the secretary to complete the dictation. In this way, the walker walks to the front of the room, reads and memorizes as much as possible from the dictation text and then walks back to the secretary. When the two teammates are together, the walker dictates the few words that he / she has memorized to the secretary who writes everything down. After every sentence, students should switch roles so to give students the chance to walk and write.
After the team has finished their dictation, they immediately self correct their text using the dictation text on the piece of paper at the front of the room that the teacher placed there at the start of the activity.
The instructor can use this activity as a springboard for having students complete a reflective writing assignment about the theme/topic in the text (using the new vocabulary or grammar they saw) or as a way of introducing grammar topics etc…
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