AN EFL ACTIVITY FROM ERNEST HEMINGWAY
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For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Six words, one story. Legend has it that this six-word story was written by Ernest Hemingway. Apparently he bet his friends he could write an entire story in six words. Needless to say, he won the bet. Whether or not the story is true we’ll never know.
What we do know is that this is a very clever activity which we can easily use in the English as a Foreign Language classroom. Because it is only six words, students won’t feel overwhelmed by writing a story. There are no limitations to what they can write so they are free to express their creativity. The brevity of the exercise means that the actual writing won’t take long and more time can be spent on the creative process.
So how can you use six-word stories in your EFL classroom?
Introducing six-word stories as an EFL activity
Write a few six-word stories on the board:
Only child, but never the favourite.
They lived happily ever after, separately.
Don’t marry her, warned Future Me.
Let the students discuss what they think the stories mean and who wrote them. There are no right or wrong answers – let the students speak freely.
Watch a video
Watch this TED Talk about six-word stories and give your students comprehension questions to answer as they watch. You can also use the talk to focus on any specific language point that would be relevant.
NOTE: Make sure you watch the video beforehand to make sure it is suitable for your learners. If it isn’t or if you don’t like the video, there are quite a few other videos on the topic.
Give your students time to write their own six-word stories. Here are a few ideas on topics:
- Your own memoir
- A famous person’s memoir
- Topic-based e.g. fame, pollution, Christmas, secrets.
- Word-based e.g. write a six-word story using the word orange/love/money
Source six-word stories online. Cut them up so that a half of each story is written on a piece of paper. Give each student a piece of paper. Let the students mingle and find the other half of their story.
Six-word stories started out as a joke but have become a phenomenon. They are fascinating and thought-provoking and, as a result, a good source of classroom material. They are useful as both a source of discussion and a creative outlet, with the added bonus that there is a wealth of authentic materials available on the topic. Everything we could ask for in an EFL activity.
Six words. One story. Your turn.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
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Processing you think is unlawful
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Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
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Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
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- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.
I am currently an TEFL tacher in China.
I have turned 60 last December, and the cut off date for TEFL ryeachers is 60, unless you have a Doctorate degree. I will have my DBA later this year, but I am late for a VISA for September.
Is there a way that you can help me with a job in Any other countries?