ESL / EAL Lesson: Running Dictation



The aim of the lesson is to teach EAL students how to listen accurately through a running dictation. Learners need to write down and read short sentences to relay to their partners under a time limit.

Australian Curriculum Links:



  1. Ask students what makes a good listener? What strategies can they use to help them understand spoken English?
  2. Write down responses  to the aforementioned questions on the Interactive Whiteboard.
  3. Break students up into partners (preferably not speakers of the same first language).
  4. Inform the students that one of them needs to be the writer and the other a reader then they will swap over roles.
  5. Show students the sentences  that you have cut out and blue-tacked around the room. The sentences can be from their own work or a text at their reading level.
  6. Instruct the students to record the sentences with one student being the reader and one student being the writer. They cannot cheat and lift the sentence off the wall and the writers can only use the information that they gamer from the reader.
  7. After they have recorded all the sentences they need to put them in the correct order in their groups.
  8. The team that records the sentences correctly with the fastest time wins.
  1. Students roam around the classroom to accurately record the sentence.
  2. Remind students of the rules if necessary.


  1.  Ask a few partnerships to read their recorded sentences out to the class and get them to explain why they chose that specific order.


  • Recorded sentences




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