Humans of New York is a website, and Facebook page, that has lots of interesting pictures of people – and a very short story about them. Brandon (the publisher) started with pictures and short stories just about people in New York City. But then he started including personal stories from people in other places around the world – such as Pakistan, Iran, India, Vietnam – and some longer stories on subjects such as refugees and people in prison. The latest set of stories is about people in Brazil. Here is an example:
“He fell in love with me the first day he met me. He kept calling me princess. He said we were meant to be together because our feet were the same size. Look how embarrassed he’s getting!” (São Paulo, Brazil)
— Thanks to Pat for suggesting this website. She uses it for reading practice in her English class. —
Dictation is listening to someone speaking and then trying to write what you hear.
Practicing dictation can help improve your:
English listening skills
Writing and Punctuation
Speaking and pronunciation (if you speak the words you hear – out loud – while you’re writing it)
The EnglishClub website has a good collection of dictation exercises, at 3 different levels of difficulty. Here’s an example:
1. Listen to the dictation at normal speed (just listen; don’t try to write it).
2. Listen again at slow speed and try to write/type what your hear (with a smartphone, you need to use paper).
Include capitalization and punctuation.
3. Listen again at slow speed if you need to.
4. Listen at normal speed for a last check.
5. When you’re ready, click/press Show Answer and compare the answer to your writing. (The mailbox is just behind the big water fountain.)