How to improve your English skills with dictation

by | Jun 6, 2018 | English Learning Tips | 6 comments

 Are you struggling to improve your English skills, and you are thinking about using dictation to improve?  Today I will teach you how to improve your English skills with dictation.  Together we will look at what dictation is, how dictation will improve your English skills, how to start with daily dictation practice and finally tips to improve your English skills with dictation.

 Look guys, I know that dictation may sound like an old and boring learning method, but it doesn’t need to be like this! If you do this consistently for a short amount of period, with audio materials you love listening to, you will see drastic improvements in all areas you need to be able to improve your confidence speaking in English.

Watch the video lesson to learn how to improve your English skills with dictation

Make sure to turn on subtitles by clicking the CC button if you are struggling to follow the lesson 🙂

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What is dictation?

Dictation is when you write down exactly what you hear.  So you listen to someone talking or you listen to something and you dictate.  You basically write down everything that speaker is saying on a piece of paper.

 I get it, it doesn’t sound too interesting, but this powerful technique has a LOT of benefits.

How will dictation improve your English skills?

Improve your listening skills:  by consistently listening to audio materials in English and trying to process the information in your head and writing down the sentences on a piece of paper, your brain will begin to process what English speakers are saying a lot faster, and your listening skills will improve over time

Improve your ability to think faster in English: not only are you listening to materials in English, but your brain will have to work hard and fast to process new information in order for you to write it down.  This will develop your ability to think faster in English when you have to speak or write in English.

Improve your ability to understand different accents: by listening to various audios in English, you will be exposing yourself more to different accents and to different people speaking in English, which, in the long term, will improve your ability to understand different English accents.

Improve your listening comprehension levels:  as you are doing a lot of thinking, that being actively listening to materials in English and writing down exactly what you hear, you will be pushing your brain to better understand new audio materials, and in time your listening comprehension skills will improve.

Improve your writing skills:  you will be training your brain to write in English, as you are writing texts.

Improve your spelling skills: by consistently writing down words you here in English, you will be consistently working and developing your spelling skills


Help you to better understand grammar:  you will be exposing yourself to various complex grammatical structures which you will question at times, though better understand in time

Improve your vocabulary: as through dictation you will be learning, probably, new words, phrases, expressions and possibly even slang, that are not familiar to you, you will be improving your vocabulary and learning words in context!

OK so you now understand that there are many benefits to using dictation to improve your English skills, but how can you start?

How to start with daily dictation practice

> Find an audio you will listen to

> Get a pen and paper to write down what you hear.  I don’t recommend using a computer or tablet for this exercise because of spell check.  Do it the old fashioned way for long-term results.

> Hit play on the audio and listen

> Stop the audio at every 5-10 seconds

> Write down what you hear

> Repeat these steps for a maximum of 8 minutes at a time

> Compare what you wrote down to the transcript

Tips to improve your English skills with dictation


> only choose audio materials that you genuinely like listening to!  Look, dictation can get a little dull and boring, so why make it that much harder by listening to something you don’t like!  Chose an audio you like listening to so that you will be more motivated to do the dictation task!

> Choose an audio with a transcript!  How will you know if you wrote down the right sentence or if you misspelled a word?  Find an audio with a transcript so that you can compare what you wrote down to the correct transcript

> Consistently is key!  I personally recommend to all my students to do about 2-4 minutes of dictation every day for the best results in the short term.  If you are not consistent with this dictation practice, you will never see any results

> Spend a maximum of 8 minutes on dictation:  Honestly even that is too long.  As consistently is key, and you want to be doing this every day for optimal results, I suggest that you spend a MAXIMUM of 8 minutes a day doing this.  Aim for a minimum of 4 minutes, and anything over is a bonus 🙂

> Be positive!  You will make mistakes and you may not understand everything.  The more consistent you are doing this, the easier it will get in time

There you have it, friends!  I hope that you will consider using dictation to improve your English skills, but most importantly, ONLY choose fun materials you love listening to!

What techniques do you regularly use to improve your English skills?

👇 Leave your answer in the comments below👇

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