#120 Crossfire Dictation

Published on August 22, 2007

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=> In the Next Issue

Crossfire Dictation

I tried this activity in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. It’s a listening/writing
task that is, well, pandemonium. Chaos. But the teachers in Dushanbe
seemed to like it.

Here’s what I did: I gave each teacher a picture of a US State. The name of the capital city was written on the state too. Then I assigned each person a partner. That partner was on the other side of the room–or at least not sitting nearby.

Each person had to communicate to his partner (1) the name of the State and (2) its capital. I counted to three and told the class to begin. Everyone talked at the same time. Chaos, lovely chaos.

Some people had to raise their voices, or question their partner, cock
their head to hear at a different angle, ask for spelling, make sure that
what they were hearing was correct.

In short, people had to do what they do in real life: filter the language
they wanted to hear from unwanted noise and verify that what they were hearing was correct.

No, it’s not an activity to do every day, but adding it to your repertoire
of listening activities is worthwhile. It’s so important to practice a

Naturally, you don’t need to use a picture of a US State. Any short text
will work, but it should be very short. Perhaps 1 or 2 of the current
vocabulary words for each partner. Perhaps an exchange of phone numbers or email addresses. Or you might first ask each person to write a question that they would like their partner to answer: What did you do last Saturday? What’s your favorite type of juice? etc.

Any kind of short information exchange will work.

New at English Teachers Everywhere (www.etseverywhere.com)

More Sounds activities. Including the “Thermos Joke…”

In the Next Issue

Birthday Cards – a writing activity
Around September 2nd.

© 2007 Kevin McCaughey & I.M. Poosheesty

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