Saturday, November 10, 2012


    In my ongoing pursuit of using motivating and  stimulating activities ,       I came across this interesting activity: Dictogloss
I mainly implemented it with beginners; ie, twelve-year-aged learners. The activity is mainly a classroom dictation. The learners listen to the text, take notes and then work in groups of four to reconstruct the text. 
       What is amazing about this activity is that, no matter how easy or difficult  the text is , the pupils learn how to take notes and start thinking creatively of ways how to write in an abbreviating way; which is not so uncommon to our learners' style of writing messages to each other. 
In the beginning, they were so embarrassed they could not note down all the details, then, they were bit by bit at comfort with themselves and the activity as a whole. Most importantly, they were very very engaged to the extent that they yelled out of excitement, claiming politely that I reread some sentences.
 This activity not only integrated all skills but also made them aware of the techniques to take notes. They also felt familiar with the structure of  sentences. They tried to reconstruct the text working collaboratively on the notes they have.        
     Every group of members tried to reconstruct the text, it's true that the text were different from one group to the other. Two groups had all details, but with some grammatical errors. Other groups had fewer details , more mistakes, spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc... What we liked about the many paragraphs reconstructed,every group came up with a new version! 
      This activity is very important  to engage learners cognitively, emotionally, socially,..As for the follow up, we started with the series of errors and the faulty sentences to correct. Learners were ready to learn, to suggest corrections to the sentences written on the board. 
Dictogloss is a multi-skill activity that engages all learners. I found it particularly very useful with young learners.