Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Shared dictation

Speaking, Listening and Writing Strategies: Shared dictation

ESOL Principles:

Most strategies can be used to support all seven of the ESOL principles dependent upon how the teacher decides to use the strategy within their teaching and learning planning cycle. This strategy is usually used to support:

Principle 4: Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

Principle 5: Provide multiple opportunities for authentic language use with a focus on students using academic language. Is the language focus on key language? Do I make sure the students have many opportunities to notice and use new language?

Principle 6: Ensure a balance between receptive and productive language. Are the students using both productive (speaking, writing) and receptive (listening, reading) language in this lesson?


Shared dictation or Split dictation

Shared dictation is both a split information activity and a barrier exercise which helps students to practise speaking clearly. Teachers can use this strategy to revise recently learned vocabulary, structures and genre, or to focus student attention on something important such as an overview of the lesson.

The students work in pairs and take turns dictating sections of a text to one another.

  • The dictated text is short and simple. Two forms — A and B — are made from this text. On each form, approximately half the words have been omitted and replaced with blanks.
  • One partner has Form A and one has Form B. The partners take turns dictating and filling it the blank spaces.

video icon Primary level: Making Language and Learning Work DVD 3Technology, Year 7-8.

video icon

Secondary level: Making Language and Learning Work DVD 1Chemistry, year 12.

Teaching and learning sequence planning example:

Primary level:

Secondary level:

Some possible Teacher Inquiry questions:

  • What difficulties did your ELLs experience during this task? How can you incorporate a focus on these in your future planning?
  • What else could you do to familiarise the students with the language needed to complete the task?
  • How can you provide further support for your students to develop oral language fluency?


Useful websites:

Published on: 13 Jul 2012