Dictation Spelling — How Do You Spell It?

Some of the words in English have such similar sounds…

Some of the words in English have such similar sounds that it’s often difficult to differentiate the spelling. As a result, we misspell even the most commonly used words. Words ending with “tion,” “sion,” and “cion” have similar sounds that lead to spelling errors. This confusion applies to dictation spelling as well.

This article will help you spell dictation correctly and understand its usage in writing through examples.

What Does Dictation Mean?

Dictation is the act of uttering words aloud so that someone else can transcribe or write down your words. It encourages students to acquire not only contextual spelling but also proper sentence structure and punctuation. Dictation could also be for official purposes where someone is given an authoritative or instructional direction to write something in words.

  • We have a French dictation class today.
  • We need a secretary who takes dictation well.

Origin of Dictation

The word dictation is borrowed from the Late Latin dictatio(n-), which means “uttering of material to be transcribed, command.” This originated from the Latin dictāre meaning “to say repeatedly, say aloud words to be transcribed by another” plus the “-tiōn-, -tiō” suffix. This was a suffix added to action nouns.

Dictation Spelling: How Do You Spell It Right?

Dictation is a 9-lettered word: D-I-C-T-A-T-I-O-N with 4 vowels and 5 consonants. This is a 3 syllable word, dic-ta-tion, with the stress on the second syllable. It will be easy to spell the word right if you can correctly split the word in its syllables and acknowledge the sounds.

According to the English dictionary, the phonetic transcription of ‘dictation’ is /dɪkˈteɪʃ(ə)n/. It sounds like [dik·tay·shn] in both American and British English.

To spell the word correctly, follow the spelling rule below:

Rule 1: Drop the silent final E before adding the suffix “-ion.” Apply this rule to the root word “dictate,” which makes it:

Dictate (root word) + ion (suffix) = Dictation

Quick Tip:

If the word ends with a “shun” sound, it is usually spelled with the “tion.” However, if the ending sound is “zhun,” spell the word with “sion.” So, listen to the ending sounds of each word carefully!

A boy in a green long sleeve shirt holding a pen.
Photo by Kuanish Reymbaev on Unsplash

Dictionary Definitions of Dictation With Examples

The word ‘dictation‘ is a noun, and it is formed from the verb dictate. The definition is given below with example sentences.

Dictation (noun) – the act of directing or instructing someone to write, type, or record words that are being spoken.

  • I couldn’t find the passages for dictation.
  • Could you please help me with the English dictation passage?
  • It is difficult for me to write letters from dictation.
  • Dictation improves listening skills and overall English learning

Dictate (verb) – To read something aloud for another person to transcribe or a machine to record. The word could also be used in a sense to command authoritatively.

  • You should not dictate a passage so fast to a child.
  • You have no right to dictate to me.

Four Tips to Help Your Child With Dictation

First of all, a child needs to understand what dictation is. It helps the child read a book smoothly and determine how to spell the words without saying them aloud first. The child can simply listen to the words, then spell them. Following are four tips to help your child with dictation.

Dictate Easier Sentences

Based on your child’s level of comprehension, start by dictating only a few sentences each day. But make sure to use only the words that your child or student has already learned to spell and write. Make it clear to your learner that he must concentrate because you will only say the sentence once.

Repeat the Sentences

It’s okay to repeat the sentences to your child if they fail to follow along. Repeating the sentence will help learners retain the information in their memory long enough to understand the sound and write it down.

Don’t Correct the Mistakes Right Away

If you notice your child making a spelling mistake while filling out a sentence, don’t correct him right away. It’s best not to look at him while he’s writing. This will help him focus on his writing without feeling judged or watched. It will allow him to enjoy and concentrate on the process of spelling. You can correct the spelling mistakes in the next stage when reviewing the work.

Let Your Child Proofread the Sentences

Ask your child to read her writing out loud to herself. This is good practice to help your child or student spot the mistakes and self-correct. It will help to improve the learning and reading process.

To Wrap Up

Dictation spelling is easy to learn and should not be mistaken if you follow the rule. This is a 9-lettered word with 4 vowels and 5 consonants. Follow the rule mentioned in this article to spell the word correctly.

You must also listen to the ending sound of the word carefully to determine the correct suffix for the word. This is a guide for both teachers and students to learn or teach the spelling of dictation and use the word appropriately in sentences.

Dictation Spelling — How Do You Spell It?

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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