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Dictation is a valuable language learning device that has been used for centuries. Although linguists have not completely understood how it facilitates language acquisition--it would be extremely difficult to isolate the language competencies that are employed--many have attested to its pedagogical value. One of the 20th century's most influential linguists, Leonard Bloomfield (1942), strongly endorsed the use of dictation as a learning device. Today, many methodologists are at least inclined to agree with Finocchiaro's (1969) summary of its value: "[Dictation] ensures attentive listening; it trains pupils to distinguish sounds; it helps fix concepts of punctuation; it enables pupils to learn to transfer oral sounds to written symbols; it helps to develop aural comprehension; and it assists in self-evaluation."
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