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


How to use dictogloss

Choose a text that suits the level of the learners. (For example, beginners – three to four sentences, intermediate – six to eight sentences, advanced – eight to 12 sentences). Within one class, different language levels can be catered for by using texts on the same topic at different levels. For example, one group could work with a recorded text.

Dictogloss has four stages:

  1. Preparation – introduce the topic, the language focus, and the key vocabulary.
  2. Dictation – read the text at a speed a little bit slower than native speaker speed. Read the text again at native speaker speed and on the second reading students individually make very brief notes (sentence fragments) on main ideas. Remember that the purpose is to get the main ideas, not every word exactly as it appears in the text, so do not read too slowly.
  3. Reconstruction – the students work in pairs and then fours to compare notes and write a shared version of the text, editing for accurate punctuation, spelling, and inclusion of the main ideas.
  4. Analysis and correction – the students compare reconstructions with other groups and with the original. Discuss the differences. Dictogloss takes about one hour if done carefully.

Watch these short videos to see dictogloss being used in a primary classroom and in a secondary classroom




Teaching and learning sequence planning examples:

Primary level:

Secondary level:

Published on: 18 Dec 2017