Never be lost for words in French! Build French Vocabulary fast

What’s the best way to build your French vocabulary?

learn French Spanish or Italian language with KLOO MFL Games

Hand gestures only get you so far

The bedrock of learning French, or indeed any language, is vocabulary. Without it your ability to communicate is limited to pointing and hand gestures (and we can even get the meanings of those wrong!)

When we start learning French we need to accumulate high frequency words…words that are useful, appear often in the language and can be used in multiple situations. With several hundred well chosen words you can go a long way.

What’s the best way to learn them?

Different ways to build your French vocabulary

There are three main methods for learning vocabulary. Some of the methods can combine. One permutation provides the optimum method.

Method 1: Learning vocabulary through lists i.e. Rote Learning

Method 2: Learning vocabulary through Discovery Learning.

Method 3: Learning vocabulary through context

METHOD 1: Strike Vocabulary Lists OFF the List!

Believe it or not Method 1 this is the number one method of learning new words – and it is also the most inefficient. It is still prevalent for teaching French in schools. Typically we get a long list of words and then we try and force feed our brains to retain it. Our brains are not computers into which we can pour random data. And even if we do manage to cram it in – it sits in the short term memory and will be forgotten.

Dr. H. Douglas Brown in his excellent book “Principles of Language Learning and Teaching” states that if you learn through lists you are likely to suffer from “Systematic Forgetting” – a scary thought which roughly means “in one ear and out the other”.

So Say NO TO LISTS!

METHOD 2: Discovery Learning

How to build your vocabulary in French Spanish or Italian with Discovery Learning

Discovery Learning helps turn your brain into a sponge for French vocabulary

Discovery Learning replicates the way we learned our first language. Discovery Learning is learning what we want to know, when we want to know it. It creates an Ah ha! Moment. In essence, when we discover something of importance to us, at that moment, our brains become hugely receptive – like sponges…and because it is deemed important the information locks into the long term memory. Oh Happy Days! We can learn French vocabulary more easily if we can just use Discovery Learning.

Watch the short animated video below to show how Discover Learning works.

But there is a third method that you can combine with Discovery Learning  – and that is putting words into context. This can boost your learning further.

METHOD 3: Putting vocabulary into context

I was struck by the recent news of a young man who is fluent in 11 languages. There is a lovely piece on him on the BBC where he does in fact speak in all 11 languages. It is significant that he said only one thing about what makes it easier for him to learn new languages and I wrote it down word for word. He stated:

“THE EASIEST WAY TO LEARN IS FROM CONTEXT. I REMEMBER WHAT I SEE OR HEAR MORE EASILY THAN WORDS WRITTEN IN A LIST”

Context is important for building vocabulary in French Spanish and Italian

Use context to learn French vocabulary faster

Meaningful learning means connecting new information with information that is already known. This creates what is called a cognitive structure – in essence the new information is “hooked” in by the known information. And the more hooks there are, the more “anchored” the new information becomes.

Dr Brown says that this theory (its worth reading it all)

“In a meaningful process like second language learning, mindless repetition, imitation and other rote practices in the language classroom have no place. Too many languages are filled with rote and practice that centres on surface forms. Most cognitive psychologists agree that the frequency of stimuli and the number of times spent practicing a form are not highly important in learning an item. What is important is meaningfulness. It appears that contextualized, appropriate, meaningful communication in the second language seems to be: THE BEST POSSIBLE PRACTICE THE LEARNER OF A SECOND LANGUAGE COULD ENGAGE IN.”

KLOO blends methods 2 and 3 to build vocabulary

Learn French vocabulary through KLOO MFL games

Learn French Vocab through Discovery

KLOO Language Games has built these two learning principles into a game. Players will learn how to make sentences in foreign sentences in seconds as well as Discover the meanings of words as they play. The results often astonish those who play. In a game, players will typically learn 15 – 30 French words – without trying. And often it’s not until they play again that they realise they have effortlessly picked up vocabulary and know how to immediately make sentences with them.

If you are learning a language you should try it. Its fun!

Watch this short animated video of how it works.

 

Posted in Build Vocabulary, French Games, Learn French, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning Spanish like a Parrot can seriously slow you down

Spanish Language Learning Tips

Learn French Spanish or Italian languages with KLOO MFL Games

Don’t learn to talk Spanish like a Parrot!

We’re not parrots! So why do we still learn parrot fashion?

Independent research has shown that some, much used learning methods, are totally inefficient ways to learn a foreign language.

The main practice to be placed in the naughty corner is learning by rote (this includes vocabulary lists, phrase books and repetition exercises). Dr. H. Douglas Brown in his excellent book “Principles of Language Learning and Teaching” states that if you learn using such products and methods you are likely to suffer from “Systematic Forgetting” – a scary thought which roughly means “in one ear and out the other”. There are strong scientific reasons for this phenomenon.

Rote learning involves the mental storage of information that is random and unconnected with other bits of information. Its insular nature means it is unlikely to be retained – a bit like someone asking you to remember a random telephone number while they dial it. You hold on to the information to complete the task in hand. Within minutes, however, the information has been forgotten. Alas.

So what does work?

There are two main methods for learning vocabulary that are proven to work. And you can combine them for to power boost your learning.

Method 1: Learning vocabulary through Discovery Learning.

Method 2: Learning vocabulary through context

METHOD 1: Discovery Learning

How to build your vocabulary in French Spanish or Italian with Discovery Learning

Discovery Learning helps turn your brainsy into a sponge for foreign vocabulary

Discovery Learning replicates the way we learned our first language. Discovery Learning is learning what we want to know, when we want to know it. It creates a Ah ha! Moment. In essence, when we discover something of importance to us, at that moment, our brains become hugely receptive – like sponges…and because it is deemed important the information locks into the long term memory.

Oh Happy Days! We can learn vocabulary more easily if we can just use Discovery Learning.

Watch the short animated video below to show how Discover Learning works.

But there is a third method that you can combine with Discovery Learning  – and that is putting words into context. This can boost your learning further.

METHOD 2: Putting vocabulary into context

I was struck by the recent news of a young man who is fluent in 11 languages. There is a lovely piece on him on the BBC where he does in fact speak in all 11 languages. It is significant that he said only one thing about what makes it easier for him to learn new languages and I wrote it down word for word. He stated:

“THE EASIEST WAY TO LEARN IS FROM CONTEXT. I REMEMBER WHAT I SEE OR HEAR MORE EASILY THAN WORDS WRITTEN IN A LIST”

Context is important for learn Spanish vocabulary

Use context to learn Spanish faster

Meaningful learning means connecting new information with information that is already known. This creates what is called a cognitive structure – in essence the new information is “hooked” in by the known information. And the more hooks there are, the more “anchored” the new information becomes.

Dr Brown says that this theory (its worth reading it all)

“In a meaningful process like second language learning, mindless repetition, imitation and other rote practices in the language classroom have no place. Too many languages are filled with rote and practice that centres on surface forms. Most cognitive psychologists agree that the frequency of stimuli and the number of times spent practicing a form are not highly important in learning an item. What is important is meaningfulness. It appears that contextualized, appropriate, meaningful communication in the second language seems to be: THE BEST POSSIBLE PRACTICE THE LEARNER OF A SECOND LANGUAGE COULD ENGAGE IN.”

KLOO blends methods 1 and 2 to build vocabulary

Using Discovery Learning to Build French Spanish and Italian vocabularyKLOO Language Games has built these two learning principles into a game. Players will learn how to make sentences in foreign sentences in seconds as well as Discover the meanings of words as they play. The results often astonish those who play. In a game, players will typically learn 15 – 30 words – without trying. And often it’s not until they play again that they realise they have effortlessly picked up vocabulary and know how to immediately make sentences with them.

If you are learning a language you should try it. Its fun!

Watch this short animated video of how it works.

One other thing.

The best way to learn to speak a language is through Meaningful Interaction with humans!

On the other hand meaningful interaction is the best possible way to learn a foreign language. This means talking a foreign language with another person. That other person does not have to be fluent. They can be friend, member of the family or colleague who wants to learn the language too.

KLOO does this too!

A Spanish MFL Game that makes learning Spanish Fast, Easy, Fun and Meaningful!

How about a game that uses the principles that Dr Brown extols? That puts words in context, uses Discovery Learning, makes them meaningful and involves social interaction (not screen interaction).

Only KLOO does this. Multi-award winning language games that are growing fast in schools and at home. Check out the video below – it shows how easy it is to make Spanish sentences with KLOO cards.

KLOO language games are also available for learning English, French and Italian.

Dr H. Douglas Brown is a professor of MA-TESOL at San Francisco State University and has written many books, articles and textbooks on language teaching.

KLOO is an award winning MFL resource in French and Spanish and a proven way to build vocabulary and make sentences in  a foreign language

How to build Spanish sentences in seconds (yes seconds) with KLOO…watch this video

Related articles
Posted in Learn Spanish, mfl games, Spanish Games | Leave a comment

Speed up language learning with “Trans-Language Verbs”

Speed up learning French Spanish or Italian with KLOO MFL Game

Express Yourself

There is a simple, effective – but usually overlooked way to speed up your language learning. The advice is: Learn Trans-Language Verbs first

What’s a Trans-Language Verb? A Trans Language Verb (or TLV) is a verb that can be used across the language in millions of situations. TLVs include verbs: to see, to like, to want etc.

You can see a person, like a person and want a person. You can see a bag, like a bag and want  a bag. You can see a pizza, like a pizza and want a pizza…these are mega useful verbs that work pretty much everywhere…..learn these first and can go a long, long way into a language

In fact there are surprisingly few real Trans-Language Verbs…most verbs are limited and only work in context. Non TLVs include: walk, read, jump etc.

You cannot walk, read, eat, or jump a pizza (or a person or a bag) . Out of context non TLVs make no sense at all.

KLOO uses TLVs

KLOO MFL games has packed its games full of TLV’s so you can quickly be speaking in multiple situations. By playing KLOO you’ll learn the following verbs and more:

to like, see, look for, find, admire, look at, buy, sell, take, ask for, have, want, choose, have, carry, bring, hold, prefer etc….

And guess how many sentences you can make with one pack of KLOO cards? 2.9 million!

And is it difficult to make sentences with KLOO? No – couldn’t be easier – just watch this video.

Play KLOO and learn lots of great words that will boost your language learning – and have fun!

Learn French with KLOO Race to Paris Board Game

Posted in mfl games, Language Learning, Build Vocabulary | Leave a comment

The Top 100 words to learn in French, Spanish, Italian and any language

Best words to learn in French, Spanish and Italian

With some well selected words you can go a long way in any language. At KLOO we think long and hard about the words we select to go into our games. Our aim is to give the player words that he or she can use in multiple situations.

When selecting words we always start with verbs. Each deck of our games comes with 20 verb cards (the red cards). Some words will work right across the language…others are limited. For example the verbs, to see, to look for, to want, to prefer, to hold…work in lots of different situations.

I see the red dress, I look for the red dress, I want the red dress, I prefer the red dress, I hold the red the dress.

These are great – multi-functional, trans-language verbs.

Learn Italian KLOO Cards

I look for the intelligent woman and the nice man

However lets pick other verbs – like to read, or to cook. You can see these work only in specific situations. I read the newspaper – yes. BUT I read the red dress, I cook the red dress…no! These verbs are semantically limited – and not trans-language.

We pack our games with trans-language verbs to give your language capability a real power boost.

After selecting our verbs – we focus on common nouns. Each deck of KLOO cards covers a specific topic such as People, Eating & Drinking, Places and Everyday Objects. So the nouns we choose will reflect these areas…So for Eating & Drinking we have the words for coffee, tea, water, meat, beef, fish, pizza, fruit etc etc.

Now we add in the adjectives to work with these nouns such as delicious, tasty and fresh.

Add some connectives (such as “and” and “as well as”) and then some expressions such “It’s true”…then we have all the elements to make many, many sentences.

KLOO cards help you learn French Spanish and Italian

It’s true! I would like the sweet cake and the

So with these rules in place, guess how many sentences you would be able to make with one deck of KLOO cards?

2.9 million.

That’s what we mean by giving you the building blocks to speak the language.

So the top 100 words in French, Spanish or Italian? Well we cheated a little – we give you 250 carefully selected words and in total you can make over 12 million sentences…….

Now we just need to turn it all into a game so that the learning is fun and effortless!

KLOO is Toytalk’s Best Board and Card game of the Year and has won more awards than any other language game – EVER.

Have fun!

Learn French Board Game from KLOO

Posted in Language Learning | Leave a comment

Building Language Foundations

Foundations for language learningWe know the parable of the man who built his house on sand – it washed away because there were no foundations.

It is the same with language…build slowly and methodically. You cannot rush it. You could, if you wanted, spend a whole day, 10 hours, learning a language. But most of it won’t stick…it will wash away because you have not built the foundations for the new knowledge to stand on.

And what are the foundations of a language? Well I would say learning common words and being able to manipulate them into useful sentences. Once you have a vocabulary of a few hundred words and understand how they work together, you know how to express yourself. Indeed make millions of useful sentences. From here you can jump into more complex aspects of the language such as idioms, exceptions and nuances.

KLOO Games: effortless learning

learn French Spanish or Italian language with KLOO MFL Games

KLOO helps you learn the foundations of a language. Its a game in which you learn how to make grammatically correct sentences (in seconds) and build vocabulary as you play. In a typical game, players learn between 15 and 30 words. After a few games you have hundreds of words and can make millions of sentences. Great foundation…with no work whatsoever – just play.

KLOO’s Many Awards

KLOO has also won many awards – more than any other language game ever – and is the number 1 category best seller on Amazon.co.uk …mainly because of reviews.

If you want a fun and effortless way to learn the foundations of French, Spanish, Italian or English…play KLOO. From £12.99 / $17.99

Watch this

Some people doubt that they can learn how to make grammatically correct sentences in a foreign language in seconds (about 10 seconds). They can. Watch this and have fun.

Posted in Language Learning, Learn French | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Memory of new language lasts longer than fitness

Language Learning v Staying Fit – which is easier?

learning a second language French Spanish Italian

Jog or Learn a Language?

My family has been moving house. Many say that moving house is one of the 5 most stressful things you can do…I agree. Especially when you have teenage children in tow.

When you move house for the first time in 16 years, everything else goes on hold – including this blog.

Now, 10 days, into our new place I am starting to turn to the things that I have neglected. Before the house move I had got into a daily rhythm of learning Italian…and also jogging a few times a week.  This week I returned to both and this is my observation. Your language learning holds up very well if you leave it for a couple of weeks…your fitness, at my age (50), doesn’t hold up half so well.  It was much easier getting back into Italian – in fact enjoyable. I had a nagging paranoia that everything I had learned was seeping away. It hadn’t….good to know. My jogging was much more arduous.

Another observation – nothing to do with language. Where do we get all this stuff from? I can honestly say we opened up some drawers and cupboards and most of what we found went to the charity shop, was recycled or to the dump.

And it felt good.

Kept my Italian books though!

If you want a really easy and fun way to learn a language – take a look at our KLOO language games. We have award winning games in French, Spanish and Italian.

And if you want a good book on jogging from sofa slouch to regular fitness…I read a book called Run Your Fat Belly Off (it’s not really fat but the title captured my lack of fitness last year). It’s good. Check it out.

Learn French with KLOO Race to Paris Board Game

Posted in Language Learning | Leave a comment

Holidays!! The best Opportunity to Learn a Language!

Play KLOO and learn a language on holiday

Holidays!! Play and Learn a Language

IN THIS EMAIL: HOW YOU CAN LEARN HOW TO MAKE 10 MILLION SENTENCES ON HOLIDAY BY PLAYING AN AWARD WINNING GAME

There’s lots of talk about how immersing yourself in another language is the best way to learn a language. The reason is simple – when everyone is speaking a foreign language and all the messages and signs are foreign too…then your mind works overtime to understand what is happening around you.

But total immersion breaks are not possible for most people. We have busy lives and commitments and jobs! But holidays can be the next best thing if you are travelling abroad. You will be surrounded by foreign people, foreign signs, menus and media. You can use this foreign environment to plunge yourself into a foreign culture and take every opportunity you can to pick up the language.

BUT YOU STILL WANT IT TO BE A HOLIDAY!!

But of course you don’t want it to turn into hard work  It is a holiday after all! So here’s a way of getting the best of both worlds.

learn French Spanish or Italian language with KLOO MFL Games

Double deck packs. Play 16 games and learn French.

PACK KLOO CARDS – THE # 1 BEST SELLING LANGUAGE GAME

KLOO has become a very popular as a travel game. Our handy-sized French double deck pack is the # 1 Best Selling Language Game on Amazon in the UK. And you know it’s fun because it  won the 2011 ToyTalk Best Board or Card Game of the Year and the Dr Toy Best Vacation Game in the USA. It’s just a great game for all the family.

So here’s a plan.

Pack your KLOO and play on your travels , in your hotel or on the beach. In no time you will be having fun, making sentences and learning words (watch this video below to see how). You’ll be amazed at how fast you pick up the language – and when you are on holiday – it reinforces the language you pick from your environment.

PACK 10 MILLION SENTENCES

We have decks dealing with Food & DrinkPeoplePlacesClothes and Everyday Objects. And guess how many sentences you can make with each pack? 2.9 million sentences!! That’s because KLOO uses words as flexible building blocks to express yourself in a myriad of different ways – as opposed to than learning stock phrases from a phrasebook.  Buy 4 decks (two double deck packs) for £20 and pack 10 million sentences in your bag.

MOST IMPORTANTLY IT KEEPS YOUR HOLIDAY FUN!

By treating language as a game, KLOO keeps your holiday fun! You can play with others or solitaire games on your own.  We have games in FrenchSpanish and Italian.

Pack a few decks and make the most of your language opportunity!

Bon Voyage!

PS To see how easy it is to play, watch this short animated video here

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment