The Dictogloss writing activity is an excellent collaborative English lesson that incorporates all core language skills. Students work in groups to reconstruct a text after listening to the teacher’s reading of the text.
Dictogloss ESL Activity Preparation:
Before the lesson, you should prepare a short text to read to the class. Choose either a short news article, brief story paragraph, or synopsis of a movie. Above all, make sure to select a topic that matches the students’ abilities and interests.
The text length can vary depending on how much time you have for the lesson.
If the students’ skill level is less advanced, select a shorter text with simple vocabulary.
Plus, prepare some writing paper to hand out to the students.
Dictogloss ESL Activity Guidelines:
At the beginning of class, have a brief discussion about the text topic to activate schemata. You should also pre-teach any difficult vocabulary.
Divide the class into small groups and hand out the writing paper.
Next, explain to the class that they are to listen and take notes while you read the text. Their goal is to reconstruct the text as accurately as they can with the assistance of their group members.
Read the text aloud from start to finish. Vary your reading speed to match the students’ ability. Also, you could do multiple readings of the text if they are struggling with comprehension.
After reading, the students use their notes, discuss, and collaborate with their group to reconstruct the text. They should assign one writer for each group. Then, after a set time period they could produce a written summary that includes most of the key details.
Finally, a student from each group can read their group’s reconstructed text aloud for the class to hear.
Lead feedback, correct any repetitive errors in grammar, fluency, and pronunciation.
Follow-Up ESL Activities:
If you have time left in class, select some keywords from the text and conclude with a vocabulary activity. Most adults enjoy playing the Have You Ever ESL Game, while younger learners always enjoy a quick game of 20 Questions.
More ESL Writing Activities for Kids and Adults:
- The 5 Whys
- Running Dictation
- Family Tree
- Christmas Story
- The Cube Test
- Daily Diary
- Movie Subtitles
- Five Senses
- News Report
- Comic Strips