Text for dictation:

Britain has one of the highest marriage and divorce rates in Western Europe. The average age for first marriages is now approximately 28 for men and 26 for women. Nearly 40% of British marriages are remarriages where one or both partners have already been divorced. The average age when divorces occur is about 39 for men and 36 for women. For the Anglican and Catholic churches, marriage is for life, but for between one third and a half of British husbands and wives, marriage is for about ten years.

Nearly a third of British babies are born outside marriage and about half of these are born to couples with stable relationships living at the same address. Attitudes towards different kinds of relationships have become far more liberal in Britain in recent decades. Cohabitation has become far more acceptable and some ministers of the Church of England are even prepared to marry people who have already been divorced. Many couples appreciate the atmosphere and symbolism of a church wedding, though others prefer the simplicity and honesty of a registry office. In other words, they attach little or no importance to the religious aspect of marriage, although they may still want a legal contract.

  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.