What is Dictation?

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What is Dictation?
Dictation involves a process of learning wherein one person reads aloud a particular text while other people listen and write down what is being said. It is commonly used in schools as part of the students’ learning process. But it may also be applied in corporate offices, especially during business meetings.

In classroom setups, dictation is done for students to take notes as discussed by a particular teacher. The most common method is that students are expected to write down every single word “dictated” by the teacher. The students will then submit their written report for grading purposes. In this way, teachers will know that their students were fully attentive at the time when lessons were dictated. It will also help teachers know which students are capable of multi-tasking or combining skills in listening and writing.

But in other setups, teachers may make adjustments to the common practice of dictation by allowing students to jot down only the key words instead of word-for-word documentation. In this method, students will then be asked to reconstruct the dictated lessons using the key words and using their own sentences. The only goal is that the students should come up with basically the same idea of the actual lesson even if his/her own words were used in reconstructing the sentences. This method is a great way to teach students not only proper listening and basic writing, but it also hones their skills in constructing sentences and formulating ideas to make their reports understandable. This method will also help the teacher teach grammar and word usage along with sentence structure, which are very important skills to acquire.

Although dictation may be a favorite method for some teachers, it should not be overused. Many students do not like the idea of having to write everything that is said by the teacher. For some, it is a waste of time and would rather have readily-printed material for learning activities. Some may also have difficulty learning through this process and may even prove to be counter-productive.

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