ESL Classroom Activities: Dictogloss

Published on December 5, 2020 | Updated on March 25, 2024

Dictogloss is a language teaching technique that is used to teach grammatical structures, in which students form small groups and summarize a target-language text.

Dictogloss is often regarded as a multiple skills and systems activity since learners practice listening, writing and speaking and use vocabulary and grammar in order to complete the task.

Video about a Dictogloss Activity

Watch this video to learn more what a Dictogloss activity is

How to Apply Dictogloss in the Classroom

First, the teacher prepares a text that contains examples of the grammatical form to be studied.

The teacher reads the text to the students at normal speed while they take notes.

Students then work in small groups group to prepare a summary of their work using the correct grammatical structures, and finally each group presents their work to the rest of the class.

Benefits of Using Dictogloss

Dictogloss activities encourage learners to focus on the form of their language while also being based in communication, and are used in task-based language teaching.

These are some of the advantages of using Dictogloss Activities

  1. They integrate the four language skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
  2. They also give students opportunities to talk both about content and about the language itself.
  3. This activity is a useful way of presenting new factual information to students, and encourage them to listen for key points.
  4. They give support to less confident students, as they are encouraged to participate in their groups as part of the structure of the activity.

Examples of a Dictogloss Activity

These are some examples about a DictoGloss Activity

  1. Learners discuss about the city where they live.
  2. The teacher then explains the task, and reads a short text to the class, who just listen.
  3. The teacher reads the text again, and the learners take notes.
  4. In groups, the learners then reconstruct the text.

Dictogloss Task: Healthy Lifestyle Habits

This is a more detailed example of a Dictogloss activity about “Healthy Lifestyle Habits”

  1. Introduction:
    • Begin by having a class discussion about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and how it can positively impact overall well-being.
  2. Task Explanation:
    • Explain the Dictogloss task to the students. Let them know that you will read a passage related to healthy lifestyle habits, and their goal is to listen, take notes, and then work collaboratively to reconstruct the text.
  3. Reading the Passage:
    • Read a short paragraph or passage aloud to the class. The passage could include information about balanced diets, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.
  4. Note-Taking:
    • Read the passage a second time, allowing students to take notes individually. Encourage them to focus on key points and essential details.
  5. Group Reconstruction:
    • Divide the class into small groups and instruct them to work together to reconstruct the original passage using their combined notes. Emphasize the importance of collaboration and accuracy.
  6. Presentation:
    • Each group presents their reconstructed version to the class. This can lead to further discussion and comparison of the different reconstructions.
  7. Class Discussion:
    • Engage the class in a discussion about the key elements of a healthy lifestyle mentioned in the passage. Encourage students to share their thoughts and opinions on adopting healthier habits.

Manuel Campos

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English