Finish your partner’s sentences

I was just on Facebook to Stew when I stumbled across a video… and bingo, here’s a nice task for you learners: Tell a story about something two of you did together. OK, you don’t really have to have done this, ok? You can make it up – invent it. So: It should be a long event with lots of interesting details. Put the details on cards. Sort them into the sequence they “happened in”. Then tell your story. But the rule is: You’re not allowed to complete any sentence, your partner has to pick up and finish it for you. Then he or she continues the story, and you finish the sentence, back and forth.

Watch the first minute of Kermit and Fozzie doing just that here:

Discussion: How do you feel about completing your partner’s sentences, and about your partner completing yours? Does it feel like you are interrupting each other? Do you mind it when others complete your sentences for you in real life? What does it depend on?

Handling pairwork: How do you sort things out when you are not happy with your partner’s part of the story? Language tip: “Well, what actually happened was that we…” “But then…”

You can do this exercise in writing, too, of course: You start writing a story about the two of you, and your partner has to continue.

Have fun!

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Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

4 thoughts on “Finish your partner’s sentences”

  1. Hello Anne,

    I loved this activity! I think students would surely enjoy it, though not many may be would feel like interrupting each other in L2=)

    I would gladly give it a try at a certain appropriate moment! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Hi Anna,

    Please do!! I’m just as curious as you are what the students end up doing and what it feels like to them, whether it is like interrupting or more like being “called on”, just not by the teacher; or whether perhaps it feels more like they are supporting each other with vocabulary when they can’t remember words.
    Someone recently told me that she doesn’t like “creative” tasks where she has to think of something to say herself. I’d be curious whether if a teacher pairs up someone like that with someone who is more into making things up they can get something out of the task together.
    Thanks for your comment, and if you rememember and have time, please let me know how it goes!


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