Writing dictation exercises is one of the best tools for teaching English spelling. Being a multisensory activity, students can develop their listening, writing, and reading skills all the same time.
However, vocabulary dictation or spelling dictation might be a daunting challenge for younger kids and ESL learners.
Because the students have to multitask and perform the following micro-activities
As you can see, writing dictation takes a lot of effort. Also, the time limit pressurizes the learners heavily because they need to write the sentences quickly before the instructor moves on to the next sentence.
This brings us to the topic of the day how do you write dictation in English, fluently?
To improve the quality of learning, the learner and the instructor must be on the same page. If a learner struggles badly, its better to practice dictation in a personalized session.
So, this guide will talk about a step-by-step process of how a parent (instructor) can improve the performance of her childs (learner) writing dictation exercises.
One of the major mistakes that parents make is that they throw their child at practicing dictation without preparing them. A better preparation stage can make all the differences here.
So, how do you prepare your child?
First, start with oral dictations.
The idea behind oral dictations is simple youll slowly speak a sentence and ask your child to repeat it orally.
Initially, you should start with shorter sentences that are three to four words long. For example, these sentences are ideal for beginners lessons
He went home.
I love mango.
She is sad.
As you can see, the dictation examples in the above sentences are not longer than three words. Plus, the words are mostly monosyllabic or sometimes bisyllabic.
The oral dictation lessons help the children to grasp the overall idea behind the exercise and build a solid foundation for listening skills.
After they have mastered this stage, you can increase the number of words in the sentences. It will improve their short-term memory retention ability. Also, their working vocabulary will expand drastically.
Now, you can increase the difficulty level by using the following dictation examples
He went home after the party.
I love eating ripe mangoes.
She is sad as she lost the game.
Once your child feels comfortable with the oral dictation, you should move on to writing dictation exercises. However, you should again start small and slowly build up.
So, rather than moving on to complete sentence dictations, you should begin with spelling dictations. Simply, ask her to write words as you speak them up loudly.
For example, ask her to be ready with the pencil and paper and speak
Once she has mastered this level, you can move on to the main dictation English practice.
Many think that vocabulary dictation is nothing but multitasking. This is a misleading idea as you can easily break the whole process into a few microtasks. Then, help your child have a complete grasp over the algorithm!
Pretty soon, it will become a habit and work similarly to muscle memory.
So, what are the steps of vocabulary dictation?
Follow this simple sequence
Of course, the process of dictation starts with the speaking out of the sentence. Formally, this step is called dictating the sentence.
However, as your kid is only getting familiar with the process, you should dictate the sentence very slowly. Your pronunciation should be clean. Also, give a slight pause after speaking every word.
Avoid using a rhythmic or a flowing tone.
For example, dont say I went to the market. in one breath. Say it like this I (pause) WENT (pause) TO (pause) THE (pause) MARKET.
Be loud and clear!
And, most importantly, pause after speaking out every word.
Youve already spoken the dictating sentence. Shouldnt your child rush and start writing the sentence as soon as possible?
Rather, she should speak out sentence herself.
By repeating the sentence orally, she is essentially storing the sentence in her short-term memory for a longer period. It is one of the effective memorizing technique.
Plus, she has already practiced oral dictation before. So, this step will be quite easy and familiar to her.
Finally, she has reached the main step! This step is pretty self-explanatory she will write the dictating sentence.
Dont rush her.
Shell likely face some of these common hurdles
As you can see, this step quite challenging. Give her enough time!
This step is crucial yet people often skip it out! You should urge her to proofread the written sentence.
Ask her to look for
This proofreading step also improves her reading skills and helps her omit to make obvious mistakes.
Dictation sessions will bring in the highest result, you continue the sessions for a longer period. But dont make it too long as it would burn her out and she would less likely participate in the dictation practices.
Start with 5 sentences in the initial phase, then gradually increase the sentence number. Once she feels comfortable, you can move on to the time-based sessions.
Dictation practices will only bear fruits if you evaluate the process. You should track the progress and emphasize these parameters
These parameters will help you re-evaluate the teaching process. At the same time, you can understand whether its time to introduce them to new words and broaden up their vocabulary.
A great way to broaden up their vocabulary would be by offering them a child-friendly English vocabulary app.
Parents dont always have the time to participate the dictation practices this is the harsh truth. It doesnt mean that the parents dont want to spend time, the fact says that they cant.
So, the question is how can parents with a busy life help their children with dictation practices?
There are a number of great dictation apps online that can simulate the same dictation practicing guideline that weve discussed earlier.
For example, lets talk about SpellQuizs spelling tests. This online platform has grade-wise spelling lessons catered towards the needs of a first grader to a twelfth grader. Spellquiz is by far one of the best places for ESL activities online.
Once a participant enters the UI, they can see a play button and a textbox just below it. After pressing the play button, he/she can hear a voice slowly and clearly speaking out the sentence.
Unlike most other English dictation apps, SpellQuiz uses audio created by real native English speaking voice artists. This far superior to the computer-generated audio that fails to teach the proper pronunciation.
After hearing the sentence, the participant should type in the sentence in the textbox below. To help with the process, the audio is repeated a second time at a slower tempo.
As soon as the participant has finished typing the sentence, he/she should press the Enter button. The tool will automatically display whether he/she has successfully written the sentence or not.
Plus, it will also mark the mistakes if there is any.
As for progress tracking, SpellQuiz keeps track of
Also, all of these pieces of information are stored in the results section.
By this time, you should have a clear idea about how to write a dictation. As dictation is quite a hard challenge for children, you should have patience and always be supportive.
Its also a great idea to motivate them with a positive attitude. You could even create a reward system so that your child feels encouraged to participate in the dictation practice session.
Spelling Tests per Grade