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: Everyday Life Skills

This is yet another one of my favorite websites. GCF Everyday Life has the coolest interactive Life Skills activities I’ve seen on the Internet. (and they’re all FREE!) Students get listening and reading/scanning for specific information practice with beautiful art. Students will need to drag and click locations or pictures to complete the activities, but there is a tutorial to help them with this navigation. However, showing them how to do it would probably be a whole lot faster. If you show them one activity, they should catch on to all the others quickly.

The link above will give you the entire menu of activities. I’ve listed some below that I think fit particularly well with the story lines, but it might be good to just let students explore the menu and make their own choices. They are all valuable Life Skill lessons. Each activity also has a printable handout. You could use it to pre-teach some vocabulary and concepts, or use it as review after they’ve done the activity online. Students may learn some of the more difficult vocabulary through the images and their exploration of the scenes.

USALearns tie-in stories would be U14: Women’s Changing Roles, where Benjamin promises to help Marta in the household if she lets him move back in. Benjamin really messes up when it comes to keeping house and paying bills, so these would all be perfect “lessons” for him. Also in U8: Men’s Changing Roles, Karina asks Viktor to take on more responsibility in the house. Any of these links below would be a nice supplement to either of those stories.

Reading bills and scanning for specific information:  Pay Bills

Finding specific information on a receipt: Check your receipt

Filling out a deposit slip at the bank: Deposit

Reading labels and prices while grocery shopping: Grocery Shelves

Following a recipe to make a cake : Measure

Following the directions for baking a cake: Bake

Learning about safety when grilling:  Grill Safety

…and many more good ones on the menu.  Check them out and let me know which ones you like the best and how your students liked them.


2nd Course – Housing and Family Life – Grammar

Students often ask for more grammar practice and here’s a site that will give them lots of activities.  I found activities that fit with the grammar covered in 3 of the units about the Pushkins, but students who like grammar can find many more hours of practice here. Give students the URL for and suggest the following exercises for each unit. You might also wait till the last unit of this story and have students do all of them as a grammar review.

Managing Family LifeMust vs. Have to — Road to Grammar #72 (10 MC questions on DON’T HAVE TO or MUST NOT)

Using Information ServicesCan and Could  —  Road to Grammar #34  (25 multiple choice questions)

Men’s  Changing Roles – Make vs. Do  —  Road to Grammar #150 (Make or Do 10 questions) and #125 Household Chores (10 Questions)



This next 10-question exercise doesn’t really line up with the grammar lessons in this video story, but it provides students with more modal practice in sentences used in business situations. A good fit would be with Accessing Services when Karina needs to contact the phone company.

Telephone English

On the same site, there’s another activity for practicing the use of make vs. do to supplement the Men’s Changing Roles unit. These expressions go beyond just household chores. I always think having students write down new expressions and using them in sentences is a good way to help them remember these forms.

Make or Do


2nd Course – Renting Issues

This is a great listening extension for the story of the Pushkin family and their quest to rent an apartment.  All the audio is available in the form of a handout. The content reviews important vocabulary and renting-related issues discussed in the 4 units in “Housing and Family Life.”

Have your students practice note-taking with this audio presentation. Or, you might ask them to simply report back by listing 5 things a tenant is responsible for and 4 things a landlord is required to repair.

Click English and the audio-slideshow will open in a new window.

Renting Issues