Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two Truths and a Lie

So every time I start a new class I try to make them feel comfortable by telling them a few random things about me. Sure I could tell them how old I am, how long I've been teaching and why I live in Prague, but the idea is to remind them that I'm human too. (Setting the bar a little low is good. It means you impress them pretty quickly.)

So most of my classes, I play Two Truths and a Lie for the first game. Yes, I first played this as a drinking game. (Note for teachers, nearly every drinking game you've ever played can be a teaching tool. Simply replace the 'Drink alcohol' consequence with something appropriately related to your subject e.g. ask a question using present perfect tense, do a math problem, tell me the theory of relativity, etc.)

At first I was going kind of easy on them and one of my truths was, "I am American." But I realized pretty quickly that they all know I'm either American or Canadian and most of them assume I'm American. That's almost like giving them a freebie.

So this week when I started four (yes four) new classes, I decided to change things up and make it a little more difficult.
  1. I speak Spanish and Chinese.
  2. I visited 11 countries in 2010.
  3. I am a twin.
If you don't already know the answers, I encourage you to take a guess before you continue....

I'll wait...



Now obviously they can't possibly know any of these about me. (You know far more about me than my brand new students do.) It's a guessing game. Eliminate the least likely. Well, considering knowing two foreign languages isn't all that likely, especially considering one of them is Chinese, they almost always go for this one. 

But the 11 countries in one year totally throws them off. They have difficult deciding which one is more unlikely and with good reason. Then there's the whole twin thing. In one of my new classes yesterday, I had a set of twins. Weird. 

I believe twins have a sense about these things. I obviously don't give off the twin vibe/scent/whatever because they weren't buying it

So for those of you playing along, I do speak both Spanish and Chinese. Coming from Texas I began learning Spanish from a young age (10). I was proficient back in college, though I haven't used my Spanish in a couple of years. However, I still feel fairly confident in my ability to at least understand what's going on. As for Chinese, I think most of you know I learned Chinese while I was living in Taiwan. I am what we language teachers call intermediate level in Chinese. I can get by and I can even read and write a little (read more than write) which is honestly the hardest part.

I did visit 11 countries in 2010. I went home to America for Christmas 2009. On January 1, 2010, I went to Seattle and the next day my sister, her family and I went to Canada to go skiing. (Canada totally counts as a foreign country.)

Then I went back to Taiwan (country number two). I went to Thailand with my seester (No. 3) in July then back to Taiwan (only counts once, so we're still on three). When I left Taiwan it went a little something like this: Vietnam (4) , Laos (5), Cambodia (6), Malaysia (7), Indonesia (8) Malaysia again(We've already discussed how repeats work...), England (9), the Czech Republic (10) and a quick day in Germany (11). 


I am not a twin. 

I used to think I don't look like anyone in my family at all. But that's because as a kid all I saw was that my hair is blonde (My family all have brown hair) and my eyes are blue (They all have brown, green and hazel...) and my skin is a deathly shade of white (where the hell is my olive-toned skin, dammit?). My sister used to tell me I was adopted... I totally believed her for awhile no matter what anyone else told me. 

'Cause seriously, how do you argue with that?

Alas, now that I'm getting older I'm recognizing more facial features that I share with my family (mostly face, eye and nose shape). 

Funny how that works.

To wrap up, I challenge you to play Two Truths and a Lie.


  1. What a fun idea, might have to use this in one of my classes. I would have totally guessed the Chinese one. I figured you knew spanish, but Chinese isn't something most people just 'pick up' smarty pants ;)

  2. Hahahaha that's too funny, as I'm reading through this post I was thinking to myself Wow Linds would get a kick out of playing this game with her students!!

    Jimmie you are one lucky girl to visit TEN countries in one year!! I'm jealous!

  3. Hmm, I dunno KY, I still count 11. I went back and added numbers just in case it was a little confusing. I know it was a bit convoluted. :)

    Also, feel free to share any games I ever mention with teacher friends, EFL or otherwise. (Or use them one night when you're having a party, whateve)

  4. Hey I'm in HS and I'm thinking about going to the Czech Republic for a year abroad. Can you contact me so I can ask you some questions? My email is, thanks!


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