If you read my blog, you probably know that I’m a huge advocate of dictogloss. I’ve already written a post about what it is and why you should try it, which you can read  here. You can also read and download a dictogloss lesson here.

I’ve decided to write a second dictogloss post because..

  1. I’d like to share an idea for using dictogloss to teach grammatical collocations (in a business English context)
  2. I’ve read an article with some dictogloss variations you might find useful.
  3. I’ve been asked about the suitability of dictogloss for a class of dyslexic students.

Dictogloss for teaching grammatical collocations

Last month I wrote an article for ELTABB journal. I gave an example of how I use dictogloss to teach language for describing trends, a common business English lesson focus. Perhaps it’s not a purely dictoglossic procedure; as always, I make some tweaks and design the lesson based on my students’ needs. In this example, the stages are:

  1. preparation
  2. dictation
  3. text reconstruction
  4. analysis and correction
  5. discovery stage
  6. focus on form, meaning and pronunciation of the target language
  7. students create a similar text using the target language

If you read it/use it, do let me know what you think!

Variations that may be useful for students with dyslexia(?)

On LanguagEd day, one of the participants asked whether we can use dictogloss with students who have dyslexia. I must say that I’ve never taught a full class of dyslexic students,  (to the best of my knowledge at least) and I believe I only know the basics about dyslexia. Based on my limited knowledge and experience, I would say that dictogloss in not a dyslexia-friendly activity. However, some variations could work. Please read the three suggestions below and let me know your thoughts.

1)BYOD + type

Perhaps it would be useful for students to bring their own device, to be able to listen (with a set of earphones) and pause whenever they need to. Instead of writing they could take notes on a tablet, assuming these would be available. I have read typing might be easier than handwriting for dyslexic students. This study showed that especially touch-typing may benefit students with learning difficulties studying in higher education.

2) Dictogloss negotiation (Jacobs, 2003)

If BYOD is not an option, here’s what the teacher can do to accommodate students with dyslexia.

  • The teacher reads the passage and stops after two sentences or a paragraph. Smaller chunks might be easier for dyslexic students to process.
  • During the pause, students work with a partner and discuss what they heard instead of writing it.
  • Optional: one of the two students types their version of the text on their mobile phone.
  • Another thing they can do is use otter.ai or any other speech-to-text software. They can also dictate their texts in Microsoft word.
  • Repeat the stages. Teacher reads, pauses, ss discuss (and type) what they heard.

3) Dictogloss Summaries (Jacobs, 2003)

Students listen to the text and work with a partner to summarize the key points of the text, to demonstrate their understanding. No writing, no typing.


You can read more about dictogloss and its variations here.

And if you know more about how we can make dictogloss more inclusive, do let me know in the comments!


Jacobs, G. (2003) Combining Dictogloss and cooperative learning to promote language learning, REsearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291298694_Combining_dictogloss_and_cooperative_learning_to_promote_language_learning (Accessed: December 30, 2022).