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Paired jumbled word dictation

I have a small number of pair work tasks on which involve students reading a set of words to their partner who has to re-order them to form a correct sentence. As each word is read aloud, the other student transcribes it and attempts to reorder the words appropriately. Alternatively, the exercise could be led by the teacher which would have the advantage of providing a better model of pronunciation. In this instance the class could write their answers on mini-whiteboards to allow you to see how successful they have been.

Although I have the reservation that the task is not a particularly communicative one and provides limited comprehensible input, it does get students to listen carefully, transcribe words and apply their knowledge of syntax and morphology to produce the right answers. There is, therefore, a focus both on form and meaning.

In the example below the grammatical focus is on the present tense. The activity would suit near-beginners (Y8) and could be placed within a sequence on work focusing on using the present. You could design similar tasks to focus more tightly on specific vocabulary, tricky phonemes or spellings, or other areas of grammar. The task could also be made more complex for higher levels.

This type of activity resembles tasks suggested by Gianfranco here, where the emphasis is on teaching grammar through listening.


Read the sequence of words to your partner. They have to write down a correct sentence from your words. You can read the words more than once. The correct sentence is given in brackets.

1.            football – joue – amis – je – au – avec – mes
(Je joue au football avec mes amis)

2.            petit-déjeuner – la – je – cuisine – prends – le – dans
(Je prends le petit-déjeuner dans la cuisine)  

3.            habitons – une – dans – nous – maison – petite – campagne – la – à
(Nous habitons dans une petite maison à la campagne)

4.            toujours – devoirs – finis – mes – six – avant – heures – je
(Je finis toujours mes devoirs avant six heures)

5.            professeur – est- mon – français – de – super
(Mon professeur de français est super)



Read the sequence of words to your partner. They have to write down a correct sentence from your words. You can read the words more than once. The correct sentence is given in brackets.

1.            mon – cantine – déjeuner – prends – à – je – la
(Je prends mon déjeuner à la cantine)

2.            adore – français – le - que – parce – facile – c’est – je
(J’adore le français parce que c’est facile)

3.            couche – à – heures – je – dix – me – demie – et
(Je me couche à dix heures et demie)

4.            tennis – nous – le – dans – parc – jouons – au
(Nous jouons au tennis dans le parc)

5.            là – là – oh – bus – retard – en – suis – je – pour – le
(Oh là là! Je suis en retard pour le bus)



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Listening (Foundation/Higher) (Foundation/Higher) (Foundation/Higher)