Text for dictation:

Understanding an English menu depends not only on knowledge of particular dishes, but also on familiarity with cooking techniques. The key to these ways of preparing food is the cooker itself. Contrary to many students expectations, the cooker is not the person who prepares the food - that is the cook - but the machine used to supply heat.

Most cookers have four hot-plates, usually situated on the top surface. Other names for hot-plates are gas or electric rings. These are used for boiling, steaming, poaching, frying and for making chips. Below the hot-plates, you normally find the grill which delivers heat from above.

Grilled bacon and toasted bread are commonly eaten for breakfast in Britain. Below the grill, is a chamber called the oven which is used for roasting and baking. A roast potato is peeled and cooked in oil, while a baked potato remains in its jacket.

Some words on the menu assume more than one process. For example, a mashed potato is created first by boiling and then by mashing - crushing the boiled potato with a fork. Butter is usually added to give the final product a smoother texture.

  1. Get a good English speaker to dictate the text giving you a second reading with pauses so that you can write it down.
  2. Afterwards you can look at the above text to check your spelling.
  3. Next, using a red pen, put a small vertical mark high up before each stressed syllable in the text.
  4. Now click here to check that you have marked the correct syllables as the stressed ones.
  5. Finally, read the text aloud, taking care to stress the "stressed syllables" and not to stress the "weak" syllables.