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Faire Une Dictée (Doing a Dictation)

January 20, 2015
Today's dictée...

Today’s dictée…

Roughly each week, in class, we do a dictation (dictée).  Don’t tell my classmates, in case they find it odd, or my husband, but I looooooove dictées.  I find them challenging and an excellent test of what I know…and what I don’t. The teacher will read a short paragraph out loud, once through, then go through it again, line by line, as we write exactly what is said.  Exactly.  Not “close enough” or what we understood, but everything correctly: conjugation, spelling, vocabulary.  After the reading is done, you have several minutes to look over everything and fix it.  Make sure it makes sense and that you remembered all of your accents, gender-related spelling, and little silent word endings.  It is a lovely challenge.  I have not mastered it them, as you can see by my photo above of today’s work, but I still love them.

They are graded on a 0 – 10 scale.  For every mistake you make, you get a point, or part of a point, marked down.  Grammar is a whole point, spelling is a half point (unless it is grammar related), and punctuation (notably, accent marks) are a quarter point.  As you can imagine, most often, zeros are awarded.  While this can seem discouraging, it does make getting ANY points suddenly quite exciting.

I enjoy dictées because I find that I learn to pay attention to all of those little, connecting words that I might otherwise skip over if I’m trying to listen for understanding.  The little words can, indeed, make all of the difference between past tense and present tense, or whether someone had something or went somewhere.  But, it helps me to understand what I’m listening to.  And prove to myself that I did, indeed, understand.

Today I got 1.75…under zero.  Oh well.  I once got a 9.  I’m still standing by that 9.  And, I learned from my [many] mistakes today and [probably] won’t make them again.

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