Friday, August 31, 2012

Activity 13- Past Continuous Dictation

How about turning a very traditional classroom practice into something more creative and engaging? Students will definitely have fun working on this different "dictation" that is totally created by them!

Level: Beginning/Intermediate
Grammar topic: Past Continuous
Language skill: writing
Device needed:  a digital camera (cellphone, tablet)

Number of devices needed: one per student

The objective of this activity is to have students practice the Past Continuous is a semi-controlled way. First, assign the task to be done at home: they should use a digital camera to record themselves performing any action. The video should last around 10 seconds and they should interrupt what they were doing to answer the telephone. Then, ask them to email their video to you. On the following class, tell them that they are going to watch all the videos and that each video corresponds to one sentence of the dictation. Write a sentence on the board so they have a model to follow (Ex: " John was dancing when the telephone rang" ). Show them the videos and have them write the sentences.
Here are some videos that my own students have produced for this activity:

Tip: turn it into a more challenging task by not establishing that their action should be interrupted by the telephone ringing, let them decide what is going to interrupt it!

Source: Vinicius Lemos


  1. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it! Shelly Terrell must have loved this!

  2. Vini, I can't think of a more meaningful way to teach the past continuous! This is a brilliant idea. I am sure students felt like real movie producers!

  3. Great activity, Vini! Your students must have had a blast and learned the Past continuous. Congrats!!!