Saturday, July 28, 2012

A dictation featuring - ie- and -ei-

A lot of students have problems spelling words which contain the diphthongs -ie- and -ei-. Of course they should all remember the rhyme

i before e,
Except after c,
Or when sounded as "a,"
As in neighbour and weigh.

Here's a dictation to do with your upper-intermediate or advanced students.

        On entering the hall Adam at once perceived that grief and melancholy reigned supreme in their house. Still struggling with his impressions he allowed himself to be relieved of his hat and coat and in silence followed the servant up the shallow stairs.       
        Mary received him in her father’s study. She wasn’t alone. She introduced him to her niece, a tall girl of eighteen with piercing eyes and her uncle, a fierce-looking priest in his late forties. After the brief introduction Mary began speaking of what had happened in tones so absolutely foreign to her that Adam started. In fact, the truth was worse than he had conceived. It was maddening. He believed he might have yielded to despair, had he known it all at the time.
       Suddenly his joy in himself and his achievements dropped from him. He didn’t feign indifference but allowed his voice to tremble with emotion as he stretched his hand out and spoke in a hoarse whisper. The chief difficulty was that he had to find an excuse for his long silence. After what he thought was a plausible explanation Adam uttered a sigh of relief and relit his cigar, which had gone out while he was speaking. He passed his handkerchief across his forehead. Of course, Adam’s explanation had not deceived even himself. Mary asked the priest to explain to Adam what mischief had been done to the family and that much of their property would be ceased for payment of debts.
        It was the price they had to pay for his thoughtlessness and carelessness. For some time everybody was silent. The girl kept examining the room, the ceiling, the walls, each piece of furniture, then Adam. Looking into her eyes, Adam for a moment forgot where he was. The shriek of the brakes from outside brought him back to reality. The lawyer had come. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. Do you know where I can find similar featured dictations?


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