Gameplay – How many can play TOD?
Truth or Dare for English Language Learners is rated for from 2 to 6 players. Four or five are ideal numbers. Groups of this size offer participants a good balance between being on the spot answering questions and the more comfortable role of participating from the sidelines.
Sideline play is still active as players are required to formulate questions and follow the topic at hand, adding comments while consolidating thinking. In groups larger than 6, reticent players will fall into the habit of passivity, spending more time observing, or day dreaming, than taking part.
Gameplay – Who can play TOD?
Truth or Dare for English Language Learners is recommended for adult and teen learners, false beginner and above. A solid rapport is a prerequisite for effective gameplay as a willingness to “open up” and share personal experiences very much depends on group cohesion.
While many children may have limited experience of life to draw upon, a number of instructors have reported excellent results deploying Truth or Dare for English Language Learners with school-aged children. One suggested a creative approach drawing on the more active imaginations of children by tasking them to simply make up experiences where anecdote may be lacking.
Gamewise, there are many offerings for children on the market. From the standpoint of adult language learners there is almost nothing. Truth or Dare for English Language Learners remedies that situation.
Mechanics – Word Associations
Truth or Dare Gameplay Schematic
Word Associations are so much a part of our daily lives that, for the most part, we just ignore them. They guide conversations forward and we’ve even come up with handy little conversational gambits to leverage the power of word associations in the tug and pull of everyday discourse. Phrases like “That reminds me…” or “Speaking of…” enable us to capture a conversation and selfishly take it in a new direction. In Truth or Dare for English Language Learners word associations come front and center, driving the game forward. Prompts first reverberate at a linguistic level but immediately catch on the experiential. Those associated memories then become the raw material for classroom discourse, a broader retelling, journal assignments and more.
Mechanics – The Truth Cards
At first glance, many teachers guess that participants are required to make a sentence using the prompts on the Truth Cards. Nothing could be further from the truth! The Truth Cards work on the principle of free association. Aristotle, Plato, Avicenna along with the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, all recognized the power of word associations. So did yours truly but perhaps that’s the only point of convergence ;-]
Truth Card Target Levels
Let me illustrate by example. At a recent conference one of the student volunteers dropped by the table and, after a short chat, asked me how the game works. Rather than drone out an explanation that would probably slip him into a coma I asked him to pick a card, any card. The one he selected said simply “Water”. Next I asked him to think back and recall any experiences in his past related to the prompt. With that he started telling me about the lake in front of the family hut back home in Indonesia. First he told me about how he taught himself to swim in the lake as a child of eight or nine years old. Then he went on to describe the importance of the lake to his family and other families in the village. Their drinking water comes from the lake and they wash their clothes and bathe in the lake. People fish for food and irrigate their crops with water from the lake. We could have gone much further but from a single one-word prompt he drew an incredibly vivid picture of a highly personal experience in a matter of 30 seconds.
Therein lies the power of word associations and that power is at the heart of Truth or Dare for English Language Learners. So here we have an anecdote within an anecdote illustrating how anecdote drives the game forward. Succinct, huh?
Mechanics – The Dare Cards
Dare to Be
Sometimes questions are a little too probing and personal; sometimes the situation calls for a little bit of silliness and levity. Call it an escape clause but that’s where the Dare Cards come in. For whatever reason, participants can always opt to perform a “Dare” rather than submit to the “Truth”.
Mechanics – Assessment
Truth or Dare can be used as a self- or peer-assessment vehicle as well. Participants can use a scrap of paper or a more formalized hand-out like the downloadable below to track each time targets are met, reporting performance back with roll call at the end of the session. This a good way to build up both participation and performance grades over the course of the session while keeping participants focused on targets during gameplay.
Download: Peer Assessment Form
Mechanics – The Mini-Whiteboard
Integrated into the spinner, the mini-whiteboard is used to set language or other targets. For instance, gameplay can be used to practice recently acquired grammar points such as conditionals or modal auxiliaries or verb tenses. Alternately, encourage extensive talking with timed goals ranging from 30 seconds to several minutes. Another use of the mini-whiteboard is to encourage the use of contractions or to task those on the sidelines to practice specific question types. Be sure to use bona fide whiteboard markers to avoid permanently marking the spinner.
Mechanics – The Spinner
The spinner works as a randomizer in much the same way as the bottle in the game “Spin the Bottle”. Random turn-taking is preferable to working successively around the table as students will tend to zone out in the latter scenario once their turn has been taken, tuning back in as their turn approaches once again. With random turn-taking participants never know when they will be required to respond and thus pay closer attention at all times.
Purchasing – What? No Tax…
Purchasing – How much does PayPal cost?
For you, not a cent. Sure enough PayPal takes a cut of every transaction before depositing the remainder in my account. That’s the price of security. It’s efficient and secure and that’s all that really matters. You don’t even have to have a PayPal account to use the service. All that’s required is a valid credit card. For more information follow this link: PayPal.
Purchasing – What is PayPal?
PayPal is a transaction intermediary service. You don’t want to give your credit card number to a complete stranger and, frankly, I don’t want the responsibility of handling it. That’s where PayPal comes in. PayPal, a subsidiary of E-Bay, has developed the technology and expertise to process online transactions with complete security. All transactions that originate on this website pass through the PayPal gateway, taking place within the confines of high security servers. When you decide to buy Truth or Dare for English Language Learners you’ll see PayPal at the end of the checkout procedure.
Purchasing – Japan
Those in Japan with a yen for lively classroom banter can order Truth or Dare for English Language Learners directly from our distributor englishbooks.jp. Doing so will ensure faster deliver, significant savings on shipping and even a reduction in the carbon footprint associated with your purchase. Smiles all around!
Look for ToD in retail outlets throughout Japan that specialize in English language books and educational materials as well.
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