What are the tips and advantages of learning dictation?


When a text is dictated, the student begins by carrying out a process of comprehension and retention of semantic structures, that is, sentences. Therefore, dictations for children are considered an effective tool for developing comprehension, writing and spelling.

Dictations are generally an effective and efficient task that can be carried out by the whole group at the same time and is, in turn, a tool that can be modified depending on the objective pursued. Next, they will discuss the resources, importance and examples of dictations for children to know its relevance in education and an effective tool.

What is and what is the purpose of dictation?

The dictation words constitute a complete, useful and practical exercise; their purpose is to work on spelling. However, it has communicative elements such as reading aloud and reading comprehension; when short dictations are done for children, there must first be a process of understanding and retaining the semantic structure to identify the words later to be written. This is the reason why it is essential to understand the text to write it.

Advantages of dictations for children

Because dictations are considered a useful tool as an activity for controlling learning and teaching, they will comment, below, which are its most significant advantages for both the teacher and the students :

For the student

  • Contribute to the establishment of a new spelling code.
  • Its realization leaves material that can be preserved and later reviewed.
  • For the student, it is a fun activity.
  • It gives them access to really interesting materials.
  • The student will practice new techniques for taking notes.
  • Improves their listening, reading and vocabulary acquisition, as well as the acquisition of cultural knowledge.
  • You can better understand your limits and insecurities in different aspects of the language studied.
  • It is a good introductory technique for practising creative activities and meaningful learning.
  • Increase your fully active work time.

Although it offers many advantages, dictation has some disadvantages because the student can see it as a punishment that increases stress in children, especially if other activities have been carried out in the classroom before. Or students can also learn some hard spelling words by doing regular practise.

For the teacher

  • You will ensure that all students are actively working during practice.
  • Its ease of evaluation favours the active incorporation of the class.
  • Preparation does not take too long.
  • The teacher can identify and correct a significant number of different problems in a limited time.
  • It can be used both in small groups and in large classes as long as it meets the necessary conditions for its realization.
  • You can review the contents of a topic, and you can deal with spelling difficulties, among other aspects.
  • It is useful as both an opening and a closing activity, but its introduction into teaching units or tasks is not difficult.
  • It can be easily inserted into the daily classroom schedule.
  • The student continues to be the protagonist in the activity.

Tips of learning dictation

  • As a model of instruction, you usually say the sentence twice. But if you need to say it over and over before repeating it with confidence, do it.
  • The goal is that you don’t have to give him word by word. The goal of the exercise is to keep the phrase in his head and, at the same time, be good at spelling it. That’s what you have to do. Do it to write freely, but if he needs small chunks first, give him them!
  • You don’t want him to preview the text. Here you will practice your ability to think, pronounce and write down sentences in your head.  The Spell Quiz is the online platform for learning dictation.
  • Dictation is to practice this skill, and not all words need to be spelt correctly every time. All of them are words that you can understand the spelling of, but that doesn’t mean that you always remember which spelling of a particular sound is used in a particular word. This takes time and I am still learning. This is not a problem. The part where you write it, and she corrects it is part of the exercise.
  • If you ask for an explanation for a particular word, use verbal cues (“use/ks/”) or finger letters, like spell checking, to notify the word to remind you of the correct spelling. There is no problem. But it’s probably more important to tell her that she’s just practising and she doesn’t have to understand every word fully. 

Conclusion: Dictation can be defined as the reading of a certain text aloud and at a moderate speed to be understood and copied. That is, it can be defined as a psycholinguistic transformation from oral language to written language.