Run and Write• A dictation activity that uses all four skills in English:• Reading• Speaking• Listening• Writing
• Several copies of the dictation text will be posted at the front of the classroom.• You will be able to look at the original text after the activity is finished.• Here are the instructions:
1. Each group chooses one student to be the “Reader.”
2. The Reader goes up and reads some of the written text…. “It was a dark and stormy night….”
3. … then comes back and tells it to the other group members.“I’m coming!”
4. The others listen, ask forclarification, and write it down.
5. Repeat until it is all done.
6. The goal is make an exact copyof the text (including punctuation). “It was a dark “It was a dark and stormy and stormy night….” night….”
Check your results:• Each student will receive a copy of the text.• Check your results – how close did you get to the original?• Which words were most difficult to understand?• How many words did you ask the Reader to spell?
Sample text to use:The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) by Carson McCullers.
Reading / fluency practice: This is the openingparagraph from The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951)by Carson McCullers. Practice reading it until itfeels comfortable for you. Concentrate on yourfluency or smooth speaking, and on pronunciation.Then, look at a phrase or part of a sentence, andbefore speaking it, look up. Note the places whereyour voice rises or falls (intonation).
The town itself is dreary; not much is there except thecotton mill, the two-room houses where the workerslive, a few peach trees, a church with two coloredwindows, and a miserable main street only a hundredyards long. On Saturdays the tenants from the near-byfarms come in for a day of talk and trade. Otherwisethe town is lonesome, sad, and like a place that is faroff and estranged from all other places in the world.The nearest train stop is Society City, and theGreyhound and White Bus Lines use the Forks FallsRoad which is three miles away. The winters here areshort and raw, the summers white with glare and fieryhot.
Vocabulary:• dreary dull, boring• cotton mill a factory for making cotton fabric• miserable depressing or ugly• tenants someone who rents farmland• estranged separated• raw unbearably cold• glare very bright light
Discussion / comprehension:What kind of tone (emotion oratmosphere) does this writinghave?Have you known a place like this?
Roger JonesILTS, Sichuan UniversityChengdu, Sichuan, China 2011