ELTon Award Nominee

Truth or Dare for English Language Learners was nominated for the 2012 ELTon Award for Innovation in Learner Resources. The ELTon Awards is a program of the British Council designed to "recognise and celebrate innovation in the field of English language teaching," Nominated ESL and EFL learning resources are assessed on the basis of three criteria: innovation, practicality and effectiveness.

Read all about it on our Blog

Faster! Cheaper! Better!

English Books DOT JP.
Buy ToD in Japan at englishbooks.jp


Cambridge International Book Centre
Buy ToD in the UK and Europe at Cambridge International Book Centre
Designed especially for Adult ESL and EFL Learners
Truth or Dare for English Language Learners

PostHeaderIcon Blog & Dare

Tidbits, trivia and other stuff to help
ESL/EFL instructors get the most out of
Truth or Dare for English Language Learners.

PostHeaderIcon Woulda Shoulda Coulda Game

Learning Games
Game box ripped open

Finding authentic opportunities to practice the Third Conditional can be difficult. Since this particular set of targets is often used to express regrets, students may be reminded of personal trauma if asked to share language-appropriate personal experiences in the social setting of the classroom. Yet being able to articulate such things beyond the learning environment remains essential.

The woulda • shoulda • coulda™ game provides a mechanism for non-threatening, meaningful practice. In the spirit of competition, gameplay provides an incentive for students to accurately use and assess the target forms while peer-correcting for additional points. In the interest of depriving rivals of scoring opportunities, gameplay further encourages players to dig deep, exhausting any given topic. As a result, output becomes more extensive than might otherwise be expected. Click to download.


PostHeaderIcon Seconds Come in First

What's New
Game box ripped open

We're starting to accumulate a few damaged goods and we want them out of the inventory. Though eminently usable, these "seconds" are deeply discounted to make that happen. Singles can be had for just $10 each [regular $29.95].

We personally inspect every game that goes out and some components fail to pass muster. Some of the flaws include:

  • Scuffed or slightly dented game box
  • Scuffed [just one or two per box]or torn cards
  • Scuffed or slightly dented spinner board

Available only while stock lasts. Other than these slight cosmetic imperfections, the game is fully functional in every way. Visit the Ordering Page to grab a few while you can!


PostHeaderIcon Japan Gets Catalyzed

What's New
Japanese Paper Umbrella

Great news for Japan-based EFL Instructors. Apple has decreed that you and your students will finally have access to a wider range of ebooks including the first-ever interactive, multi-touch ESL/EFL textbook built specifically for the iPad platform: Catalyst: A Conversation Taskbook for English Language Learners. In announcing the long-awaited changes to iBookstore, Apple promised “titles from major and independent publishers" such as yours truly here at Speekeezy Publication Workshop. Starting today you can view or download Catalyst here at iBookstore Japan.

The change comes with minor strings attached, however. Users in Japan will have to upgrade to iBooks 3.1 for expanded access.

In spite of having the world's highest literacy rates, Japan has had to wait three long and restless years for access to Apple's signature e-bookstore. The delay, confounded by technological challenges related to the display of double-bit fonts, has been ascribed in part by an unwillingness on the part of major Japanese publishers to kowtow to Apple's draconian boilerplate terms and conditions.

Japan is a critical market where ELT publishing is concerned. Other key markets throughout the rest of Asia, the Middle East and Africa remain locked out.


PostHeaderIcon Instructors Stretch ToD Gameplay

Tips & Tricks
Stretching the Truth

English teachers are a creative lot, ever molding, shaping, adapting canned content to their unique teaching situations. Of course, it's always great to hear back from teachers about their experiences using Truth or Dare for English Language Learners whether via e-mail or in-person at conferences and other PD events. Usually we hear how much their students enjoy gameplay but sometimes educators also share a tweak or two. Below are a few of the "off-label" adaptations that customers have shared. If you have a unique take on ToD do let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an e-mail via the contact form.

Fantasy ToD: While ToD is designed as a platform for adult learners to share anecdote, a number of teachers have adapted it for use with children by simply having their kids, who as you might expect can be short on life's experiences, concoct a complete fantasy derived from the prompt cards. Such an approach of course is eminently usable for adult learners as well and in fact could be quite effective as a technique for encouraging imaginative stretching as well as exploring vocabulary realms somewhat beyond their own experiences. To prod students to think in a certain direction, the mini-whiteboard could be used to establish a context for the fantasy to occur in. For example, you could write "space" or "business" or "travel," something like that on the mini-whiteboard so student responses would be narrowed and directed towards those contextual goals and the need for appropriate vocabulary [rocket, planet, alien, etc.] would bubble up spontaneously. Need, afterall, is the mother of retention.

The Brutal Truth: This one came to me from a customer in the Middle East. The premise is simple, based on the prompt the student who is "it" must come up with 3 to 5 facts, one of which must be a lie. The idea is for the other players to use questions to uncover that falsehood.

Do or Die: the customer who sent me this variation noted that it "makes it more interesting and closer in spirit to the original game." This one revolves around questions as well. Starting out like the classic version in which the person in the spotlight shares an anecdote, other players are tasked to be more probing, to continue to ask follow-up questions until the person who is "it" finally opts out by choosing a Dare Card and performing it. Try timing the output and awarding points accordingly to provide an incentive for extensive output.

Word Associations: I'm not too crazy about this personally since it doesn't really encourage extensive speaking but I can see the utility, especially for groups that are struggling with the apparent lack of structure and direction of the classic mode. In this little variation the student who is "it" simply chooses the first two cards from the deck and attempts to link the prompts in a few sentences. Once comfortable with this scenario the ante can be upped by adding a third, then a fourth card and so on depending on the skills of the group. This can be a little mechanical but I've found it to be effective as a warm-up to get reticent, lower-level students to stretch into full-blown gameplay.


PostHeaderIcon Catalyst Global Availability

Catalyst: A Conversation Taskbook for English Language Learners

The release last month of Catalyst ESL Taskbook seems to have struck a chord in our initial four English-speaking markets. Emboldened by the reception of this one-of-a-kind resource, we're currently adding Catalyst to iTunes outlets in nearly 50 countries, primarily in Europe and Latin America.

First-Ever: Created specifically for the iPad platform, Catalyst: A Conversation Taskbook for English Language Learners is the first-ever "multi-touch" textbook for second language acquisition.

Not is all is right with the iTunes distribution network, however. North American textbook author-publishers, for instance, remain locked out of critical markets in Asia and the Middle East. For the most part, iTunes infrastructure exists; non-Asian publishers simply cannot access it. Bizarrely, though we've had inquiries from schools and colleges in Thailand and Korea and now a university in Japan, those ELTs are likewise locked out of iTunes in their home countries.

Breaking NEWS: Apple has finally added Japan to its complicated, convoluted and utterly ridiculous iTunes stable. Two questions Apple: What took you so long? What happened to the rest of Asia?
Read on...

PostHeaderIcon Elements of Gameplay

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