Topic Template


1. T or SS choose a situation based on a topic, for example:


2. T elicits various elements for each situation to create a table. Note: at this stage, it is important that each SS in the class has the same table.

3. SS work in pairs to complete information in the table. T monitors, checks, and corrects. SS are free to use as much imagination as they possess!

4. SS find a different partner and sit back to back with them. One SS talks about their situation as if it has happened to them or to somebody they know, using the information they have written. The other partner listens, asks questions, and makes notes. For example, in the ‘selling a car’ activity:

Student A: I’m selling my Jeep.
Student B: What year is it?
Student A: 2010.

…and so on.

T reminds SS that they should use full sentences, rather than simply listing what is in each box of their grid. Then the second SS talks about their situation – again, as if it has happened to them – while the other listens, asks questions, and makes notes.

5. Or, this activity could be done as a straightforward information exchange: SS fill in the table separately, then ask each other questions to find out the information in their partner’s table. For example, in the ‘plastic surgery’ activity, above, SS could ask:

Student A: What procedure is Pippa having?
Student B: Botox.
Student B: What is the reason for Jane’s procedure?
Student A: She’s unhappy with her nose.

…and so on.

SS could note down the questions they had to ask to get each piece of information.

6. Group feedback: T asks some or all of the pairs to present their work – or extracts from it – for the whole class. T writes down errors and elicits corrections and improvements from the class.


  • The more entries in the vertical column on the left, the longer the activity will last. For a short activity, SS should work with only one entry, e.g. one car, in the first example, above.
  • The success of this activity will be determined by the quality of the situation that T and/or SS choose initially. Primarily, it should be something that is of interest to and relevant to the SS.
  • SS could develop their ideas into:

o role plays
o dialogues
o ‘gossip’ monologues (see p.83)
o short stories (for homework)