While French has the same alphabet as English, some of the letters have little decorations that can make them look and sound very different. In French, accents are essential: they're there for a reason, so you must include them when writing.
If you want to read and write in French, one of the first things you should learn is the alphabet. Fortunately, French has the same 26 letters as English. Unfortunately, most of the names of letters are pronounced differently, as are many of the sounds.
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.