Posted on Leave a comment

Multi-Tasking lessons #1 – Dictogloss

I’ve touched upon the (wonderful) dictogloss before in my post about lesson structures for teachers here http://simonrichardsonenglish.com/2015/06/08/lesson-structures-for-teachers/ , but how is this a multi-skilled lesson, and how does it help prepare students for “real life English”?

  1. Lesson Procedure

The class starts, as most do, with a discussion that introduces the topic (“Activate schemata” or “Engage”). The teacher then explains that they are going to read a text, while the students just listen. On the second reading, they can make notes and then try to reconstruct the text using their notes and existing knowledge of grammar, collocation and discourse. They can do this in groups or alone. Once the text has been reconstructed to the limit of the students’ abilities, the teacher can provide a model.

It’s a very simple lesson structure!

2. Variations / Tweaks

Here are a few variations that I’ve used / seen used in classes.

  • Listening for types – students are only allowed to note down specific types of word. These could be nouns, verbs, adjectives, or “grammar words” – this means that they are reconstructing specific areas of language
  • Robot Teacher – the teacher can repeat the text multiple times, but the students dictate speed and repetition by using the instructions “Stop”, “Repeat from X”, “Spell X” and “Repeat Slowly from X” – this weights the exercise more in favour of listening and less in favour of grammar / vocabulary knowledge
  • Lecture – students record the teacher reading the first dictogloss, and then put headphones in and assume control of the recording in order to reconstruct. They can do this alone or in groups. Again, this is more focussed on listening, but is also incorporating skills required to attend and digest lectures – very useful for students intending to study at British universities.

3. Integrated skills / multi-tasking

  • Listening and writing – mainly through note-taking, but if students are reconstructing in groups, they may dictate their own work verbatim to other students. Note-taking as a skill is useful for meetings and lectures, but also directly helps preparation for exam listening (IELTS and FCE, for example).
  • Listening and speaking – if you use the robot teacher variation, students have to be able to give instructions while listening, at the correct point in order to successfully facilitate task completion.
  • Learner Training – if using the “lecture” method

Is this the finest example of a multi-tasking lesson? It’s certainly one of the favourites. I’d like to hear from people who use further variations.

 

Simon

 

Posted on Leave a comment

English Lessons / Proofreading Service

Would you like a little bit extra?

Sometimes students find that they don’t get the benefit of one-to-one help in the classroom, if they are in large groups.  With a one-to-one class, you have the chance to choose exactly what you want and how you want it. You also have a teacher who is only focussing on you and what you need.

If you would like to receive some one-to-one lessons from me, then there are two options:

  • Skype lessons

Materials can be Emailed and the lesson works like a regular English lesson. See the price list: Skype Price List 2013

  • Face to Face

At the moment, I am based in Oxford and can visit you at your home to give one to one / small group lessons. Prices: Face to Face Lessons

Are you at university? I also offer a proofreading service – checking grammar, vocabulary and layout. Prices: Proofreading Price List 2013

Interested? Contact me at simonrichardsonenglish@gmail.com

Simon