Daniel Cassany
Universitat Pompeu Fabra


The article explores the methodological uses of the dictation(the communicative practice ofreading a written text aloud) for the functional learning of a mother or foreign language, inthe diverse levels of education. After criticizing the traditional use of this linguistic exercise,we present eleven techniques for developing a dictation in the classroom, with its particularcontents, objectives and methodology. We also analyze in detail the most used and traditionaltechnique of dictation, in which the teacher dictates word by word the text to the pupils,focusing on spelling; we propose some ways to improve this activity in order to make itmore communicative. The final conclusions propose understanding dictation as a varied,rich and suggestive methodological resource, always adapted to the language context —butnot as an obligatory and fossilized practice.

Keywords: Dictation, written communication, language teaching methodology.