Memory Dictation

(Filler Or Warm-Up Activity For ESL Teachers)


Dictation - theTEFLblog

Greetings Fellow Teachers!

| GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!his activity is very effective for helping to improve the students’:  Spelling, Range Of Vocabulary, Listening Skills, and Writing Skills.  Not to mention — it will probably also be useful for memory retention…  (which certainly can’t hurt for learning, improving, & refining, one’s English skills.)  😉

| GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!have found this activity to be very effective as warm-up activity to start the class — as a filler-activity (to fill some un-expected gap of time in the lesson) — or as a focus activity to specifically work on the skills that this activity helps to improve.  Furthermore — it can be a good way to review Lexis & Vocabulary that was previously covered.


The teacher explains to the students that he/she will be saying aloud, 10-12 words (the actual amount is up to you) and that they must first just listen carefully.  After all of the words have been spoken, the students must write down all of the words that they can remember.


These words can be taken from:  Previously Learned Material — Upcoming Material (as an introduction) — or Commonly mis-spelled or confused words (as entertainment).


As with any activity — the “rules” and the scope of the exercise should be made to be appropriate for the teacher, students, and the situation.  But here is a rough guideline that can be adhered to, in order to ensure that the activity runs smoothly.

  1. Students Should Listen First, Without Writing Anything — (you may wish to say the words more than once)
  2. Students Remain Quiet While Listening & Writing (no talking with each other, or asking questions of the teacher, or of each other)
  3. The Students Should Only Need — or be given — A Minute Or Two To Write The Words (otherwise they may be prone to second-guessing themselves)
  4. The Teacher Then Asks Students To Say The Words That They Remember, And To Spell Them — (or write them on the white-board

This Step Can Be Done In A Number Of Ways:


      1. They Can Shout-Out What They Remember
      2. They Can Be Called-On, Individually
      3. They Can Be Asked To Come-Up To The Board To Write Them (if facilities make this possible)

Finally — Some Sort Of Reward System Could Be Given

| GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!emember that you don’t need to follow the list.  Use follow-up questions.  If something the student says is interesting to you — ask about it.  And if you see that there is something that the student is very interested in, ask about that!  The best way to get a student to communicate is to talk about things that he or she is interested in.

| GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!hope this list is helpful to you.  If you would like to use it in your teaching practice — by all means, do-so.  (There’s really no way I can stop you anyway.)  😀  So…  Feel free to copy these questions and use them for your own conversational class.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns — you are invited to respectfully do so.  I look forward to hearing what you have to share.

Other Ways This Activity Can Be Altered…

| GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!ny class-room activity like this can be altered in numerous different ways.  It is really up to what you, the teacher, think is appropriate.  For example:

      • The Activity Can Be Done In Teams
      • The Activity Can Act As The Pre-quel Or Sequel To A “Scrambled-Word” Exercise
      • These Words Can, Afterwards, Be Used To Create Sentences, Stories, etc.

| GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!The possibilities are only as limited as the teacher and/or students make them.  If you have any suggestions that you would like to share — please do.  Any constructive comments are certainly appreciated.  🙂

Have An Excellent Day!


If This Article Was Helpful, Please Consider Making A Donation

If This Article Was Helpful, Please Consider Making A Donation

This website uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!