Dictogloss is one of those ideas I've been aware of for a number of years but never tried. However, reading about other people's experiences recently inspired me to have a go. After reading the English Raven's blog on the subject, I found David Dodgson's excellent post here, where he provided a very interesting, detailed and helpful description, especially the way he scaffolded the task to make it accessible to his lower level learners. (Do go and read it if you haven't already but in brief it was wordle of text -discussion, look at pictures, listen to text, fill in table, listen again, fill in second part of table, listen again, anything else? Recreate!)
My first attempt was not hugely successful. I tried it with my Early Entry Twos ... (very pre-entry, illiterate in their own language, refugees) They enjoyed the wordle and talking about my family and to be fair the task was quite challenging and helpful for them in terms of filling in the table. But it took too much time and they just didn't have the language to do the next stage. I think my text was too long... although I did think it would work with E1s!
Here's my materials if you want to have a look :-)
I passed the idea on to another teacher and she took it a step further by creating a text based around her house and 'there is/are' that her E1 learners had been working on. She didn't get to the actual text recreation either but she really enjoyed the lesson. This was mainly because her learners loved the task so much especially the personal nature of the text.
Her version is here:
Then inspired by this I wrote a text about my neighbourhood to do with my E1s and wahoo it worked! They enjoyed the discussion, they enjoyed working together, they found it challenging and didn't think they could do it but... every single group recreated a great approximation of the text. Even better it led straight into some fun speaking and then personal writing on their neighbourhoods which I can use to try out the next WriteWays Unit found here next week!
I love this idea. It's infinitely adaptable and personal... especially if you write the text about yourself or something meaningful to the learners. Certainly with lower levels you could pretty much write the text on the spot if need be.
So thanks to everyone in the blogging world who wrote about their experiences of Dictogloss ... and in particular David Dodgson! :-)