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

Learning task 4

Multiple opportunities for authentic language use

Provide multiple opportunities for authentic language use such as dictogloss.

Tasks where scientific talk is integral to the completion of the task, and precedes scientific reading and writing, assist students build language and understanding of concepts.

Students need many opportunities to notice and use new language. At the word level, highlight words that the students will meet frequently in the unit of work. It is easy, however, to confine the language focus to the word level, when it is sentence and text level that need classroom attention.

Focus on oral language before reading and writing.

In group work, providing multiple opportunities for authentic language use means ensuring each student has a meaningful role in pair or group work.

What to consider:

  • Did I notice that all the ESOL students were actively involved in language output?
Teaching and learning activities Principles



Dictogloss is a useful tool for providing multiple opportunities for authentic language use.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Analysis and correction - the students compare reconstructions with other groups and with the original. Discuss the differences. Dictogloss takes about 1 hour if done carefully.

For further information on dictogloss, see Wajnryb, R. (1990). Resource Books for Teachers: Grammar Dictation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

An acid is a chemical that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution. Conversely, we can define a base as a chemical that reduces the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution.

Acid-based chemistry is an important part of everyday life. Acids can react with metals and other materials. The strong acid produced in your stomach helps digest food. In dilute concentrations, acids are responsible for the sour taste of lemons, limes, vinegar and other substances. Bases are also very reactive. They are used in many household cleaning agents such as oven cleaners and in chemicals that unblock drains.

The acidity of a solution is measured using the pH scale. The pH scale corresponds to the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution.

Note: The language focus is on the use of the present tense verb, simple and passive, because it is a timeless description of acids and bases.

Principle 5

Published on: 19 Feb 2018