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Six Sentences
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Purpose: To focus on accuracy as students provide a narrative of only six sentences.

Info: This activity requires students to write their answers. Speaking activities allow students to quickly repair any communication breakdowns with requests for additional information/clarification. Written activities don't allow easy repair, so students must focus on accuracy as well as narrative.

Step One: The teacher selects a topic before the start of the lesson. The topic should be relevant to the level of the class. It should also allow natural use of the target language, assuming the class focuses on a specific grammar or language point.

Step Two: The teacher provides the topic to the class as a question. Students must write an answer, but with only six sentences. For example:

Question: How would you describe yourself in six sentences?

Although any level-relevant topic works well, a question that allows students to answer something about themselves often generates more interest and better participation.

Step Three: Students spend about five minutes answering the question. The answers should be rich and interesting, but six sentences also require some brevity.

Step Four: Students get into pairs and exchange the written answers. Pairs read the information, and then ask/answer the one question they most want to know.

Step Five: Optional. Students work in pairs providing correction to one another's written answers. Dictionaries may be consulted. The teacher may also provide one-to-one assistance when needed.