I discovered a whole range of new activities that were enjoyable for students and really beneficial to the development of their speaking and listening skills. Yes, I did say speaking. The spoken element of the dictation doesn’t have to be done by the teacher, we can get the students to dictate the texts to each other. This simple change opens up a much wider range of possibilities.
One thing that we could do to help change the mindset of students without trying to influence their beliefs and to defuse tensions that may materialize within our classrooms is to stop having classroom debates and start helping students understand how to engage in dialogue.