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Running Dictation

Running Dictation

Students work in pairs. One student reads sentences around the room and dictates them to the other student to write. 

Level:  Elementary

Topic:  Warmer

Grammar:  Present continuous

Time:  20 minutes


  • Make one copy of the Key. Stick the papers up around the room.
  • Make one copy of the Handout for each pair of students.



Ask the students to get into pairs, take out a piece of paper, and have them write numbers 1 – 6 on the paper.


In pairs, assign one person as the Reader and one person as the Writer.


Readers stand up, go read one of the sentences around the room, and return to repeat the sentence to the Writer. The Writer listens and writes the sentence. Readers can go back as many times as necessary.


Half-way through the activity, the students can change roles.


The first pair of students to finish gets three points. The second pair to finish gets two points. The third pair to finish gets one point.


Ask students to exchange papers with another pair of students. Pass out the Handout with all six sentences. Students check the sentences and mark the mistakes. Then, give points according to the number of mistakes per sentence.  

0 mistakes = 3 points

1 mistake = 2 points

2 mistakes = 1 point


Return the papers back to the original pair of students. Count all points (including points for finishing first, second, and third). The pair of students with the most points is the winner.


Remind students at the beginning that Readers should quietly dictate the sentences to the Writer, so the other students don’t hear them. 

Printable Worksheets


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