5 Benefits Ikoma English Students Get By Doing Dictation
The students at Smith’s School of English Ikoma get lots of listening practice; it is core to my curriculum. I also give advice and direction for how to do listening practice. I usually begin with shadowing and follow with listen and repeat. However, dictation is one technique my students taught me. I have since found other ways to use dictation in class. Many of them like it and there are several benefits to practicing listening with dictation.
General Listening Ability Goes Up
Just by doing dictation students are listening. As they listen more, they become better. It’s that simple. If the dictation is difficult or if it is easy, either way, students become better listeners. Some of my students prefer this way to practice listening. That increases their motivation. Doing dictation is simple and straightforward. It also provides the comfort of studying in a way similar to Junior and Senior high school. This makes it easy to start and to continue for many students. The more they do this dictation practice, the better they get.
Dictations Help Students Learn their Weak Points
When students practice listening with dictation, they get a clear picture of the place they cannot hear. This place is the blank in the sentence that they cannot fill in. Of course, they can check the answer they need to. Then they become aware of the weak point. Many students discover their weak point is prepositions. Other students discover their weak point is verb tense. Yet other students realize they do now know enough vocabulary. Whatever their weak point is, they can see it easily.
Their ‘I can ~ ‘ Point Changes
The students who like practicing dictation often have confidence in their reading ability. They feel “I can read”, but not “I can listen”. After practicing dictations, this feeling gradually changes. For some students, they actually start to feel “I can listen” more than “I can read”.
Guess the word
In many cases, my students can hear most of the sentence they are listening to. Only one or two words are problems. Through practicing dictations, students become much stronger at guessing the word. As their skill increases, they become more confident, and take bigger risks. This means they can learn faster. Guessing the word is a great outcome of dictation practice.
Analysis of English
This is related to guessing the word. In this case, students think about what the difficult word is using grammar. For instance, if their problem point is: “They ___ eating dinner everyday.”, the missing word is quite limited by grammar. There are only a few possible words. By practicing dictation, students can practice their grammar skills to find the words they cannot hear easily. This in turn helps their speaking skills later.