French Dictation Exercises
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Dictées are a classic way to practice French, even for native speakers. For them, dictées are a test of grammar (particularly agreement) and spelling – sort of like super-charged spelling bees. For French students, dictées are an excellent form of combined listening and writing practice.
Doing dictées is pretty simple: you listen to a French speaker or a recording, one phrase at a time, and write / type what you hear. At the end, you compare your text with the original and voilà. It’s a good idea to listen again afterwards to make the connection between the spoken and written language.
Thanks to the internet, there is no shortage of dictée material; here are my favorites.
These dictées provide the corrected text after each snippet, so that you self-correct as you go. New dictées are published every week for Premium subscribers (though you can try a few with a free account).
Video-based dictées featuring real-time feedback as you type, highlighting errors and omissions. Try one to see what you think.
DIY dictées are available using any site that has sound files plus transcription, such as listening comprehension exercises. There are also sites that offer a bit more assistance:
- Dictée Larousse – daily Twitter challenge
- Une dictée par jour – excerpts from French literature
- Exercices PDF – focused on specific language aspects (e.g., capitalization, past participles)
- Tête à modéler – dictées for children
- La Dictée Géante – annual competition