Walking Dictation

Purpose:  A variation on a traditional teaching method that gets learners up and moving around and gives them a larger role in the learning process

Prep time: 20-30 minutes, if creating original material; much less if using material from a text or from a previous activity

Materials:  Sets of questions and answers to be posted, handouts with questions only for students; paper and pencils

Prep: Prepare sets of questions and answers that cover material familiar to your learners. Make sure the answers aren’t too long or the students won’t be able to remember them.

If you have a multi-level class, you can provide two different sets and print each on a different color of paper


  1. Post the lists of questions and answers in the hall or in various parts of the room (if multi-level).
  2. Explain the activity to your students.  For lower level learners, plan to model the activity. 
  3. Students work in pairs.  Student A stays at the table or desk and has the list of questions.  Student A reads the question to Student B.  Student B goes to the posted list and reads the answer, then returns and dictates it to Student A.  Students can return to look at the paper as many times as they need to if they forget some of the answer.
  4. Students complete half of the questions and then switch places.


  • For a low level class, place sets of coins around the room.  Student A goes to the first set, counts the money, then goes back and tells Student B the total.  Student B writes the amount.
  • Another variation is to just write phrases/sentences and have the students dictate them to each other (rather than answers to questions).
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