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LANGUAGE LEARNING

Text for dictation:

Recent psycholinguistic studies on how people learn languages have been accompanied by emphasis among English language teachers on the learner as an individual. Preferred learning styles are increasingly respected and learner independence is encouraged. For some teachers, non-interference is the key to giving a successful lesson. For others, this is an abdication of the teacher's role and shows ignorance of what can be done to make learning more efficient. If there has been a revolution in language teaching methodology, surely there are some things teachers can do to help learners.

In the past, many of Britain's top schools modelled the teaching of modern languages on the teaching of Latin. Oral fluency was therefore undervalued and accuracy in the written language became the main goal. Your French might be excellent on your school report, but you could still arrive in France and fail to understand a word.

A separate method known as audio-lingualism made its appearance in private language schools. This emphasized the primacy of the spoken word, yet lesson content was mainly structural and contained few of the features of spoken English used as a vehicle for communication. Surely teachers can at least provide learners with good models of target behaviour.



  1. Get a good English speaker to dictate the text giving you a second reading with pauses so that you can write it down.
  2. Afterwards you can look at the above text to check your spelling.
  3. Next, using a red pen, put a small vertical mark high up before each stressed syllable in the text.
  4. Now click here to check that you have marked the correct syllables as the stressed ones.
  5. Finally, read the text aloud, taking care to stress the "stressed syllables" and not to stress the "weak" syllables.