Build Foreign Language Vocabulary easily and FAST

Boost learning from 3 to 60 words an hour in one quick decision

Best way to learb vocabulary in French Spanish and Italian

The Best way to learn vocabulary isn’t widely used

Ever since I discovered that the average child (aged 11 – 16) learns 850 foreign words in the five years leading up to their exams…I have been puzzled.

850 words – in 5 years?

The research by Milton and Meara is backed up by other studies and indicates that vocabulary learning, at least, is an area that needs to be closley looked at. Doing some simple maths, we can break down this figure. 850 words over 5 years is 170 words a year or just over 3 words a week.

Looking from the perspective of lessons: if we say students have an average of 60 hours of lessons a year, that equates to 3 words an hour. If we were to add in homework – the averages reduces to 2 words an hour.

2 words an hour!

Using poor techniques will slow your vocabulary learning

Vocab learning with poor techniques

We know something must be wrong. It is such an amazingly poor return on time and effort on behalf of the teacher, the students and the school. It’s learning at a glacial rate.

Lets be absolutely clear – it’s not the teachers or even the students. Language Teachers are every bit as good as other teachers and students are a constant. So if not the teachers and not the students – then what?

The methodology of vocabulary accumulation

It’s the way that people learn vocabulary that creates the problem. Even now, in the face of all evidence, children and adults are given lists of words (from the curriculum) and told to learn them – as a list. A list of 30 words a week would be quite normal. And yet we can see that 90% of vocabulary is forgotten. If students could learn 3o words a week, in 5 years (based on 30 school weeks a year), students would have a vocabulary of 4500+.

Vocabulary Lists are just wrong.

Vocabulary lists don't work

Vocabulary lists send us to sleep

Lists are just wrong in every way. 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”. In essence, our brains are not built to retain information in lists….the information goes into the short term memory for emergency use and then released.

Change the way we learn vocabulary and you will dramatically change the outcome

Boost Vocabulary Learning with different techniques

Boost Vocabulary Learning with different techniques

Most people have built up a strong vocabulary in our first language without resort to reading the dictionary. Why do we do this with a foreign language? Dr. H. Douglas Brown says in his book that lists are the worst way to learn a language.

Let’s put vocabulary into context

Luckily, he also says what does work…and that’s putting words into context. When we learn a word in context we are placing it in a relevant place in the memory and then all the other words, already known, act as hooks to help cement the new word into the long term memory. The new word becomes meaningful – and our brains like that!

The result of using contextual learning for vocabulary are spectacular…..our own experience with KLOO suggests that you will learn 10 x faster this way. In KLOO you make sentences and learn words to score points (which in turn power little cars around the game board).

KLOO: A game that packs powerful vocabulary building tools

As you play KLOO this is the process for scoring points:

1. You discover the meanings of words (see this video)…

2. You place them into a relevant context (a sentence), to score points (see this video).

3. You say your sentence out loud to score points.

Build French Spanish and Italian Vocabulary with Discovery Learning Techniques

Discovery Learning. The natural way to build vocabulary

In KLOO players learn 15 – 25 words in a 25 minute game. The words are all high frequency words needed in the curriculum for students and for life in general. Each deck of cards is themed around a subject (such as “People” or “Food & Drink”). As you learn all the words in one deck you move onto the next, quickly and easily building vocabulary as you go. In no time you know a few hundred words and can make millions of sentences…

Teachers who have embraced KLOO in the classroom have seen the results:

Happy children, learning fast and having fun. Adult self learners love it too.

Even if you don’t buy KLOO – don’t learn from lists

We think that KLOO is a great way to get into a language…but we don’t have it in all languages and so not everyone can use it. So even if you cannot play KLOO, please don’t waste any time on learning from lists. Life is too short. Find Discovery Learning and contextual methods…you’ll learn much, (MUCH) faster.

The Power of Discovery Learning for building vocabulary

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YOU can learn 10 X Faster with Language Game Changer

Play and learn a language 10 x Faster

What could be easier or more fun?

You play An Award Winning Game…and as you play, learn a language.

No studying, no working, no writing – just playing. It’s why parents and teachers love KLOO. Within seconds players learn how to make grammatically correct sentences…and learn words as they play.

Learn 10 x Faster

Indeed players effortlessly learn between 15 – 25 words in a 25 minute game. Compare that with the average 15 words a month learned by the average secondary school student in the 5 years up to exams (Source: Milton: Journal of French Language Studies – see below for more on this research). It’s the proven Discovery Learning element inside KLOO games which make picking up language so easy and natural. Watch this short video to see how.

RESEARCH ON VOCABULARY ACCUMULATION 

Milton and Meara’s Research shows the average accumulation of vocabulary by British children from 5 years to their GCSE exams (typically at 15 / 16 years old). It shows that by the time of the exam vocabulary is on average 850 words. It is a mainly uniform progression of 170 words a year or 15 words a month. On the basis that a typical child has 60 hours of lessons a year, children are learning at the rate of 3 words an hour. It is quite normal for children (and adults) to learn 15 – 25 words in an half hour game of KLOO.

The Learning begins as soon as you start

Very soon players are whizzing around the game board, able to make thousands of possible sentences,speaking out loud, learning words and having fun! For many language learners KLOO is not just a game – it’s a game changer.

To see how easy (super easy) it is to make sentences watch this video here  or below.

It’s so simple, fun and effective. It’s why

 

KLOO has won more awards than any other language game – Ever!

And why

 

KLOO is the # 1 category Best Selling Game on Amazon.

 

Play your heart out…

You can earn a French Spanish and Italian faster with KLOO

You can learn a language faster

 

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The key to learning Spanish is context

Context helps lock Spanish words in the long term memory

Learn French Spanish and Italian by putting words in context

Young Man learns speaks 11 languages fluently including Spanish

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 – including Spanish. 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”

This is something that I agree with and is in fact supported by research into language learning. It is all the more shocking therefore that this mode of learning is often ignored in favour of vocabulary lists (bottom of the class for performance).

So below I am re-posting a blog I wrote a year ago about this very point. Interestingly when I look back at my blog stats I can see that this post is one of my most popular. Maybe people have a sense of its importance.

Make It Meaningful! The Importance of Meaningfulness and Context in Learning  a Language

Research shows that words and phrases need to be learned in context in order to avoid the dreaded fate of “Systematic Forgetting”. At all costs, therefore,  you should avoid learning from random lists, phrase books, and vocabulary drills. It is a waste of time!

KLOO puts foreign words into context to learn a language

Use context to learn Spanish faster

However if you learn words when you need them and then immediately place them in context with known words (i.e. make a sentence) YOU’LL LEARN FAST! By putting words into context you give your new vocabulary meaning. Meaningfulness is a central plank for getting words into your LONG TERM MEMORY.

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.

Learn to speak Spanish Game

Creating context with KLOO is super easy, so you learn Spanish quicker

Dr Brown says that this theory “provides a strong theoretical basis for the rejection of conditioning models of practice and repetition in language teaching. In a meaningful process like second language learning, mindless repetition, imitation and other rote practices in the language classroom have no place.” He goes on to expand the point: “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”

So there yo have it. Have a meaningful relationship with words and they’ll love you and stay with you. KLOO is a language game that places new words in sentences to make sense. It is not surprising, therefore, that tests show people learn words 200% faster with KLOO – and often even faster than that.

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.

Here is a lovely video that makes the same point – with animations!

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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.

 

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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

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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

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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

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