Jump off that bed!
Put away your cozy socks and dump out that warm tea!
Relaxing can be wonderful, but now’s not the time.
We’re here to give our English skills a serious workout.
Dictation in English exercises aren’t for leisure.
They’ll get you thinking hard and wrestling with the language.
And you won’t want to stop!
Even though they’re hard work, English dictations are enjoyable and totally rewarding.
And with our 14 online resources below, they’ll never get boring. These online dictation exercises cover all kinds of English communication, learning levels and practice styles.
Let’s take a listen!
Why Use Dictation to Practice English?
Dictation is a simple English practice method. You’ll listen to an English audio clip and your goal is to write down exactly what’s being said. It’s a highly effective way to improve English listening comprehension.
Dictations force you to think about every word and sound that you’re hearing. You’ll write down what you heard and then check your answers to conveniently see what you misunderstood.
You’ll also learn new grammar constructions, words and expressions, while reinforcing the ones you already know. This will help you to integrate them into your own speech or writing.
Finally, online English dictation is a great way to work on your written English and spelling.
One Dictation a Week and Your English Is on Fleek!
Try at least once a week to set aside some time for English dictation practice. On most of the resources below, you’ll find short texts to work with, so it won’t be difficult to find time.
Weekly dictations can help you develop an English-practice routine, which will lead to fluency faster.
When you start your weekly dictations, try writing an outline of the text after listening to the audio. This will get you familiar with the process and make the full dictation easier.
As you advance you can skip to writing down exactly what you hear.
Dictation in English Online: 14 Unique Resources You Won’t Get Tired Of
ToLearnEnglish: A Great Starting Point for English Dictation Online
This is a good online dictation resource for beginners. You’ll listen to an audio clip or watch a short video, then complete dictation tasks below.
Sometimes you’ll have part of the text and will need to fill in the gaps with correct words. Other times you’ll need to type out everything you hear.
Listen and Write: Many Dictation Exercises in One Resource
On this website, you’ll find a huge variety of texts for training with the difficulty levels marked, so you can easily choose ones that are suited for you. You can check your level in the section Level Test (on the top panel).
One more unique feature is that there are several modes of dictation:
- Correction mode: Here you write a full dictation, then check for mistakes.
- Full mode: In this mode, you complete a dictation, but your work is checked immediately during the writing. So, if you enter a wrong letter, you can’t continue writing until you enter the correct one.
If a word isn’t pronounced clearly enough, you can use the “hint” button and see the last letters of the difficult word.
- Quick mode: This mode is more suitable for listening rather than spelling. Here you need to write only the first letter of the word you hear. It’s also great for beginners who are just getting started with English dictation.
- Blank mode: In this task, you need to type in only the missing words. It’s also good for those who’ve just started to practice, or who don’t have enough time to do a complete dictation exercise.
Another advantage of the resource is the ability to track your progress, which will encourage you to continue working. So, you get a certain number of points for each dictation, where your writing speed and the number of hints and errors are taken into account.
Agenda Web: Four Levels to Master Dictation
On this site, there are four levels with different English dictation exercises.
On the first level, you’ll either dictate single sentences or fill in the blanks of a text after listening to the audio.
On the second level you have the same type of dictation exercises, but they’re a little longer. You’ll also get the option to slow down the audio on some of them, to help you really hear what’s being said.
The third level has the same tasks as the previous level, except for the fact that the sentences might be longer and there’s no slow audio option. The fourth level offers medium and long dictations.
All these activities train listening comprehension of English and help you pay more attention to spelling and punctuation.
FluentU: Fun Dictations with Real English Videos
Want to practice English dictation with superhero movies, hilarious YouTube clips or inspiring English speeches?
You can get it all with FluentU, an innovative English learning tool that transforms real videos into personalized language lessons.
The videos include English movie trailers, commercials, news clips and way more—the type of thing native speakers actually watch! Each video comes with tons of learning tools, but first let’s explore how to use them for dictation.
The videos are organized by genre and learning level, so it’s easy to pick one that interests you. Once you start a video, you can turn the English captions off and write down what you hear while you watch. Pause at any point by simply moving the mouse over the video screen.
Once you’ve written some words or sentences, check your work by turning the English captions back on. Are there any words you don’t recognize? Click the word and FluentU will instantly give you a definition, picture and pronunciation!
Each video also comes with a full transcript and vocabulary list, as well as flashcards and exercises to make sure you remember new words when you’re done watching.
Speechling: A Quick and Convenient Dictation Resource
This resource offers a wide range of short sentences for dictation. There’s a window for text typing and it’s also possible to choose the speed of the audio playback. So, for example, you can listen to the text at a normal tempo and then choose the slow reading mode when you start writing.
To test yourself, you’ll need to click the “Check Answer” button.
If you don’t get the sentence, you can click the “Give up” button to see the written sentence and even mark it for review to try again later.
One more bonus of this resource is that you can record yourself saying anything and then get pronunciation feedback from a native speaker within 24 hours for free. Isn’t that cool? Totally worth trying!
dictationsonline: An Intuitive Resource for Everyone
This is a website where you can get short texts on various topics, divided by level of difficulty, from elementary to advanced. This collection of short dictations includes both simple excerpts and chapters from fiction.
To start writing, choose the desired excerpt and a new window will open. Before turning on the audio recording, you can look through some key words that’ll appear in the text. Then you’ll need to listen and write.
The excerpts are read twice to emphasize the punctuation.
Each sentence is read slowly the first time so that you can write everything down, with punctuation included. The second time, it’s read at a normal pace so that you can check what you’ve written, but punctuation marks are no longer indicated. Then you can open the text and check your writing for errors.
The audio recordings are short—the maximum duration is about 35 seconds. You can do it every day, giving at least five minutes, so that your English lessons get results.
ESL Fast: English Practice for the Whole Family
Here you can take dictation in English online and practice not only your listening but also your reading skills. There are two levels: elementary and intermediate. There’s no window for text typing, so you’ll need to write down what you hear somewhere in a document on your computer or by hand in a notebook.
Then you can compare your notes with the text below and check if you wrote everything correctly.
Beginners and kids can also practice their language skills with the help of the sections “Speaking is Easy,” “Easy Conversations” and “Start Reading for Children.”
You’ll find audio recordings and simple texts with short sentences or dialogs. You’ll be able to listen, follow the text and then repeat the phrases you hear with the right pronunciation.
Ez-Dictation: Dictations on Topics You Care About
Here you can choose a dictation by category so that you can listen to a topic you’re really interested in. Topics include music, technology, sports and more.
When searching for the necessary text, you’ll also see other useful information such as the length and number of words. This is really convenient when you have limited time for studying.
You’ll get an audio recording and a written text, with the option to fill in missing words from a text or complete the full dictation. If you choose fill-in-the-gap, you can choose how many words you want to be missing from the text (10% missing for easy practice, 30% missing for hard practice).
You can listen to the audio again and correct all the possible mistakes, which are marked in red. After that, you can check your score and move on to the next task.
Breaking News English: English Practice Plus Current Events
On this unique site, you can practice English while keeping up with the news. And this means that you’ll not only improve your English but also expand your horizons.
At the same time, the texts don’t consist of dry phrases, but of vivid sentences that’ll help you develop your own speech and make your vocabulary richer and brighter.
You’ll also get little stars that serve as clues, showing you how many letters are in each word and how many words are in each sentence.
Learn American English Online: Dozens of Dictations
There are six levels of dictation exercises on this site. Each level has several different audio recordings, and there are 10 dictation sentences within each recording.
So if you’re looking for a huge supply of dictation audio, you’ve found it!
You’ll need to type or write what you hear on a separate page, and they’ve provided the full answers so you can check all your work.
Teacher Joe: Five to 15 Words Per Dictation
This resource is created for students with different levels of training and knowledge. There are three stages:
- The first stage includes short dictations for beginners, each containing five to seven words.
- The second stage offers medium-length dictations with more challenging sentences from eight to 10 words.
- The third stage is for more experienced students and advanced speakers. The dictations in this category are the longest. They consist of 11 to 15 words and are the most challenging for comprehension by ear.
It’s important to be as precise as possible, but you don’t have to be upset if you can’t guess all the words. You can just type an X instead of the word you don’t get.
Teacher Joe assures that it’s enough to listen to these dictations several times, and the words won’t seem difficult for comprehension and learning anymore.
English Expressions: Dictation Plus Comprehension Questions
Want to make sure you’re really understanding what you hear? This site includes a mixture of dictation exercises and comprehension questions. This will help you understand not only the words that were used, but also the meanings of the words.
The exercises are divided into four levels, from very easy to difficult.
A useful bonus is the availability of the word lists for each dictation so that you don’t need to waste time looking up the words you don’t know.
MyProfe: A Motivating Dictation Resource
It’s all about self-control on this resource.
You must listen to the whole dictation and try not to pause during playback. After listening, write down what you heard. After that, you can move on and start answering the comprehension questions and doing the gap-fill exercises to practice other language skills, as well as learning some new structures and words.
Then check your answers with the help of the transcript.
The website encourages you to strive for growth and self-development and choose more complex dictations each time to get the best result.
This is the perfect resource for those who need some extra motivation for learning English alone.
Listen A Minute: A Precious Minute of English Practice
This dictation resource (from the same team behind Breaking News English) is excellent for learning English both alone or with a teacher. What’s special about it is that the duration of each audio file is only one minute.
All dictations are sorted alphabetically and each of them has practical activities. So, after listening to the dictation you’ll have to fill the gaps in sentences, correct the spelling and unjumble the words.
If you’re taking lessons with a teacher, the “Homework” part will also come in handy. You can find it on the very bottom of the page of each dictation, along with other exercise tasks. This will help you to solidify the results and knowledge you gained.
I hope you’ll find your favorite resources for online English dictations here. And I hope that your learning process becomes even more interesting and diverse!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.