Short Dictations for Course 2 Units

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted something on this blog. Too much time going into U.S.A Learns Facebook page.  If you haven’t seen the USAL facebook page yet, check it out, ( “Like” the page, and send your students there too. Everyone can benefit from a daily reminder from Facebook about topics of the day or special links to U.S.A. Learns.

I checked in here today and realized that I had found this great resource some months ago, but forgot to do the post. So, here’s a new “Partner in Practice” link for you. Thank you Fremont Adult School for these short dictations that correspond with the English for All video series, the basis of Course 2 in U.S.A. Learns.  I didn’t listen to them all, but it seems there may be 5 sentences per unit.

This is great reinforcement of vocabulary from the units, and of course good listening and writing practice for your students.  The dictations are meant to be sent to the teacher for correction.  If you have students working independently you may want to type up an answer sheet for them and let them correct their own sentences.

Short Dictations for Course 2  



2nd Course – Education and Information – Grammar

As much as I love the video series in this course, I must admit to one issue that another teacher brought to my attention some years ago. The grammar is at a lower level than one would expect. This is especially true in this story about Tony Park and his struggles to keep his sandwich shop. The story was placed as the last story, but considering the grammar, I sometimes think it should have been the first story. WH-Questions and prepositions are fairly low-level grammar points. So I am motivated to provide some links that will provide more practice for your students in the grammar points of the stories.

I thought it would be easier if I put my grammar suggestions for all 4 units of a video story in a single post. It makes the post long, but let’s see if this works for you.  At least you’ll have all the grammar in one place so you can always go back and have students review anything they may have missed in previous episodes of the story.

17: Accessing Learning Opportunities – WH-Questions

The first activity is based on the 3 Bears story, so you may want to be sure your students are familiar with the story before sending them to this link. Make sure they understand that the sentence is the answer to the question and they must chose the WH-Question word  that would lead to that answer.  The second activity is a straight-forward MC activity and the third asks students to type the question.

Three Bears WH-Questions


Type the Question

For more practice on a variety of question forms go to the Road to Grammar site and scroll down the Quiz list to find:  #261 Question Forms 2  and  #262 Question Forms 3

 Road to Grammar


18: Involvement in Children’s Education – Prepositions

Here’s a quick little “type-in-the-answer” activity with 22 questions:

Type the Preposition

For a thorough review of prepositions and lots of exercises, send your students to the English Grammar online website.  There’s a very extensive table of prepositions and many MC exercises that get progressively more difficult at the bottom of the page.

Prepositions on ego4u

 Another good site from Germany offers type in the answer activities:

Prepositions in sentences

If you have students who really need a challenge beyond prepositions of time and place, move them into Phrasal Verb exercises.  They’ll have to type in the correct verb and preposition in the next link.

Phrasal Verbs


19: Transferring Professional Degrees – Past Tense Questions

Find a very easy 10-question MC activity: #214 Past Tense Question Form on the Road to Grammar site.

Road to Grammar

English Grammar Online has a detailed explanation of the past tense and there are lots of excellent exercises to choose from.  For past tense question formation, send students to these exercises: Questions in Simple Past or Questions with Interrogatives  in Simple Past or Pool of Exercises where they will choose Simple Past questions.

English Grammar Online

And again, has good activities where students will have to type in the answer.

Questions in  Simple Past 1

Questions in Simple Past 2


20: Learning to Learn – Past Tense Verbs

The English Grammar Online link above is a great site for past tense practice. You can also click on the “Tests” tab on the left side of the page and the site offers 3 levels of tests on the Simple Past tense.

But for listening and speaking practice of the Past Tense, my favorite site is Real-English. Students see and hear real people speaking as they answer the question of what they did yesterday. The verbs are all pretty basic, but there are 19 pages of activities!

What did you do yesterday?


2nd Course – How to be a Pharmacist

Tony was a pharmacist in Korea, but he needs to take classes in order to practice in the U.S.  In this video with transcript from a pharmacist talks about the educational path to his profession.

This will be good for more advanced students, but with the right scaffolding your intermediate level students could also use it to practice listening skills.  The transcript is below the video. There are lots of different academic tasks possible such as asking students to take notes as they listen for the main ideas. You can also give them questions to answer or vocabulary words to find as they watch and listen to the video.

How to be a Pharmacist

Here’s another video on on the topic of a pharmacist.  Same guy talking about the what the typical work day of a pharmacist is. Lots of interesting information available here.  Give your students some key points to listen for.  Why does this pharmacist keep patient profiles? What are the hours of a pharmacist?  What must the pharmacist do if he leaves the store? etc., etc.   The transcript is below the video.

Typical Day of a Pharmacist