In the newsgroup fr.lettres.langue.anglaise I expressed the opinion that the "dict=E9e" is unknown in the US, and that it was probably unknown in Great Britain as well. Someone replied that when he was young, he had taken dictation in class. This surprised me.

So, my question for everyone, Americans, British, and others, is if you had something like the French dict=E9e when you were young. Basically, the dict=E9e is having a class of students take down dictation in longhand in order to check students' spelling. (In French, this amounts to a sort of grammar check as well, since so many words can be pronounced the same but are spelled differently to show different tenses or to show gender.)
I'm not interested in examples of dictation when studying shorthand.

Nothing like the dict=E9e occurred in my schools when I was young. The spelling bee served the same function, although we did them only rarely.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA=20
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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Nothing like the dictée occurred in my schools when I was young. The spelling bee served the same function, although we did them only rarely.[/nq]This form of examination was unknown in Houston public schools in the 50s and 60s. Spelling was tested by the instructor pronouncing single words, usually followed by a sentence with the word in context, but the examinees were only supposed to write the single words. Spelling bees were rare, and usually were only exercises for the written examinations. It would have been difficult to grade spelling bees, as I suppose anyone who missed his first word would get a zero even if he knew all the rest of the words.

Of course spelling was a factor in the grading of compositions. Some instructors had a hard and fast rule that a misspelling was two points off (of one hundred), with the result that a negative score was possible in an essay of any size. I am afraid the lesson was not to attempt difficult words and not to write very much.

Lars Eighner (Email Removed) http://www.larseighner.com / There is not enough magic in a bloodline to forge an instant, irrevocable bond. James Earl Jones
Raymond Wise:
So, my question for everyone, Americans, British, and others, is if you had something like the French dictée when you were young. Basically, the dictée is having a class of students take down dictation in longhand in order to check students' spelling...

Well, we had that in French class. But not in any sort of English class I was in, if that's what you're asking about. Not in Latin class either.
Mark Brader, Toronto > "Domine, defende nos
(Email Removed) > Contra hos motores bos!" A. D. Godley
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In the newsgroup fr.lettres.langue.anglaise I expressed the opinion that the "dictée" is unknown in the US, and that it was ... in my schools when I was young. The spelling bee served the same function, although we did them only rarely.

We certainly had this when studying French because that is how I know the word. I have a vague memory of a similar process in primary school English but it was known as "comprehension" and, after writing down the dictated passage, we were asked questions about the content.

Reflecting on this process, I am now struggling to remember text books. We didn't have any at primary school - we copied down material from the blackboard. At secondary school we certainly had them for Maths and Latin but I can't remember any others. I wonder when textbooks became standard in all subjects?

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
In the newsgroup fr.lettres.langue.anglaise I expressed the opinion that the "dict=E9e" is unknown in the US, and that it was ... in my schools when I was young. The spelling bee served the same function, although we did them only rarely.

We had that we just called her "teacher". The word really is "dictator", though(may as well reconnote it).
~Iain
In the newsgroup fr.lettres.langue.anglaise I expressed the opinion that the "dictée" is unknown in the US, and that it was probably unknown in Great Britain as well. Someone replied that when he was young, he had taken dictation in class. This surprised me.

So, my question for everyone, Americans, British, and others, is if you had something like the French dictée when you were young. Basically, the dictée is having a class of students take down dictation in longhand in order to check students' spelling. (In French, this amounts to a sort of grammar check as well, since so many words can be pronounced the same but are spelled differently to show different tenses or to show gender.)
Here (Beds, UK) we certainly had these exercises in French and, less frequently, in German at school in the late-1960s. They actually formed part of the GCE O-Level examinations in those subjects. But not in English.
About ten or twelve years ago the BBC Radio 4 programme "Word of Mouth" sang the praises of the "dictée" and offered its listeners an English-language version. Tens of thousands took part. I probably have my entry lying around somewhere (as I faxed it rather than snail-mailed it) and I remember being inordinately pleased that I was able to spell "broccoli". It did, however, make me realise that my English was not quite as good as I thought it was.
Philip Eden
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Reflecting on this process, I am now struggling to remember text books. We didn't have any at primary school - ... them for Maths and Latin but I can't remember any others. I wonder when textbooks became standard in all subjects?

We certainly did. Some were handed out and signed for at the beginning of term, but others, in short supply, were handed out during each lesson, sometimes shared between two. For English we used a series of books by Ronald Ridout who had taught at our school in an earlier decade. Books were usually referred to by the author's name: we'd be instructed, for instance, to "Turn to Ridout page 37."
Philip Eden
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So, my question for everyone, Americans, British, and others, is if you had something like the French dictée when you were young. Basically, the dictée is having a class of students take down dictation in longhand in order to check students' spelling.

I certainly had 'dictation' twice a bloody week! But I was educated in cash-strapped, post-war England and therefore I had a poor education. We couldn't afford teachers who included punctuation. We had to rely on pauses etc. Luckily this barbaric, medieval practice is frowned on now that England is a rich country.
I know a girl who has just secured three English A levels. Three! English lit, English crit, and English comp. I got only one A level half a century ago because all three subjects were rolled into one. Paper for pass certificates was rationed.

James Follett
Raymond Wise:

So, my question for everyone, Americans, British, and others, is ... down dictation in longhand in order to check students' spelling...

Well, we had that in French class. But not in any sort of English class I was in, if that's what you're asking about. Not in Latin class either.

Same here. We had it in French lessons at high school. I don't remember having it in English lessons.

David

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