Number one for English language teachers

Mixed-ability teens: Graded dictation

Type: Reference material

Techniques for dealing with mixed ability students: graded dictation.

Here’s an example of a graded dictation at three different levels:

The text is three jokes – that the teacher can read out. It’s nice for students to be encouraged to listen to something that can engage them on different levels like something funny. But be careful - jokes are often hard to understand in a foreign language.

What do you call a spaceship with a faulty air-conditioning unit?
A frying saucer!
If a jumper and a vest had a fight, which one would win?
The jumper, of course - vests are completely 'armless!

Have you heard about the new footballing exam designed to test players' teamwork?
If they don't pass, they fail!

Students who are stronger get a blank sheet of paper to write the dictation on, students who need some help get sheet A and students who you feel need a lot of support get sheet B.

Sheet A – fill in the gaps

What do you ____ a spaceship with a faulty ___________ unit?
A _______ saucer

___ a jumper and a vest ___ a ______, which one would ____?
The jumper, _______ - vests are _________ 'armless

Have you _________ about the new footballing ________ designed to _______ players' teamwork?

If they don't _______, they fail.

Sheet B – circle the word you hear

What do you name / call / say a spaceship with a broken / faulty / falling air-conditioning unit?

A flying / frying / fried saucer

If a jumper and a vest / west / nest had a fight, which one would win / lose / draw?
The jumper, of course - vests are completely 'armless

Have you heard about the new footballing quiz / exam / test designed to test players' / payers’ / prayers’ teamwork?
If they don't pass, they fail.

The advantage of graded activities like these is that everyone is working on the same text at a level they find comfortable. The main disadvantage is that teachers need to prepare more material for a lesson.

Other methodology tips for teaching mixed-ability teens

Mixed-ability teens: Addressing all of the students

Mixed-ability teens: Managing mixed-level classes

Mixed-ability teens: Managing different speeds and energy levels

Mixed-ability teens: Managing different learning styles

Mixed-ability teens: Outside knowledge

Mixed-ability teens: Problem-solving

Mixed-ability teens: Allowing students to work at their own level

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