Methods of relaying information as well as study methods and aids are constantly evolving and changing over time, but one perpetual learning tool that continuously remains useful is the ageless art of dictation. While this method is praised by some for its simplicity and accuracy, many do consider it outdated and not specific to the current times.
Whatever your beliefs as a student are about dictation, the one thing that all scholars and teachers can agree on is the fact that when it is done right, it works. Using dictation may seem like an old way of sharing and processing information, nevertheless, it certainly has its benefits and can help you retain information for extended periods of time as well as comprehend information presented to you. Which is something that certainly doesn’t hurt when it comes to studying for a big test or exam.
So, how does dictation work?
In a accordance with meaning stated in the Oxford dictionary, the word dictation stems from the act of dictating information or instruction. To define it in simple terms, it means to verbalise or read-out and write down information or text. The act itself is more prominent in the classroom, where teachers have been known to stand in front of a class and dictate text to learners through reading it out loud, where learners respond by writing this information down. However, dictation can also be used as a study aid. Dictation uses the knack of repetition, which is coupled with verbalizing information making it audible and easier to recall through reading it out loud, as well as ensuring comprehension and the understanding of what has been said by rewriting it.
Naturally studying can get rather stressful, and we have listed 3 ways for you to use dictation to help you be prepared and stay ahead of the semester.
1. Enhancing Memorization and Information Retention
According to an article written in the Procedia of Social and Behavioural Science, dictation allows the brain to lock down information as a result of repetition. As a student, you are most likely to read the text in your prescribed textbook in your mind first, then after, reading it out loud. According to research continuously verbalizing the text you are studying and rephrasing it in your own words helps your mind to easily memorise what you have read. Historically dictation was used to teach new languages through repetition of words.
2. Comprehending Information Through Rewriting
Another tactic of using dictation is the act of rewriting information that you have read in your mind or out loud in your own words. This act ensures that you don’t just hear and rewrite the text, but allows you to assign meaning and comprehension of what you are learning.
3. Enhancing Thought Processing and Accurate Listening Skills
Studies also show that over and above enhancing comprehension skills, dictation can enhance listening skills and help you process information given to you. One such example is seen when teachers read out a text and the student answers questions related to it. This forces students to listen accurately in order to correctly answer the question. This means when you study you can deliberately seek out what is relevant and discard the rest.
Another interesting way to use dictation is by writing essays. Research shows that dictation can be translated to apply to the mind and paper. Where your mind is reading out information to you and you are writing it down.
Understandably essays can be a challenging part of studying, but it’s a great way to help you review information.