The many surprising benefits of playing board games


Those old board games are sooo last century right?

Learn French Game for adults

Adults learn French by playing KLOO’s Race to Paris Board Game

Well no, they’re really not. Board games bring lots of benefits that on-line games and screen games just can’t. And some of those benefits are really quite surprising.

At KLOO, we make language games to help people learn a second language as they play. The game is increasingly being adopted by schools and the feedback from young students is fascinating. Teachers are often taken aback by the enthusiasm a board game can have on a generation that is used to smart phones, video-on-demand and touch screen technology. Surely a lowly board game involving moving plastic cars around a game board isn’t going to cut it? Again, no. They love it…..I mean really love it. These are just a few genuine quotes from teachers:

“My students beg to play KLOO” MFL Teacher, Canada

“Much laughter was heard, disturbing my head of department who congratulated me on making French so much fun” French Teacher, UK

“I’ll often say to my students, “What would you like to do?” and 9 times out of 10, the answer is KLOO!! Students love it” MFL Teacher, UK

Naturally we are pleased to hear this and it is flattering. But I would suggest that the format of board games in general bring added benefits which stir up enthusiasm.

Learning to Speak Spanish without embarrassment

Play and learn together though board games

They’re Social: Board games help people to interact, socialise and have fun. Fluctuating fortunes and competing for bragging rights keep people engaged and on their toes, looking for ways to win and outwit opponents. In our KLOO games, players have to learn words and build sentences to power little motor cars.

Suddenly, building vocabulary doesn’t sound so boring!

Breaks down barriers: Another aspect of board games is that they break down barriers and give people lots to talk about…often people will relax and start to tease and joke with

Family Board Game of KLOO

Board games bring families together

one another. People who are absolute strangers can quickly become comfortable with each other because they are, after all, just playing. For learning a language this aspect of board games is terrific, Many teachers tell me about how many adult learners can be very self conscious of speaking a second language out loud for fear of mispronouncing. When playing KLOO, however, they quickly forget their inhibitions and start making sentences and talking out loud within a few minutes.

Family board games

Family board games

Hands on reality: With board games it’s away from screens with their distracting alerts. Instead it’s hands-on, tactile and fun and totally absorbing. You enter a different world. Moving the dog or hat around a Monopoly game board feels good. Twisting real cards feels good. The virtual world is great too….but the real thing is better.

Motivating: When you can see the people you are competing against (not an avatar) – it becomes very motivating. You want to do well because honour is at stake. Whenever I play chess on-line I am never that bothered about losing to some faceless opponent. When I play opposite a real person, however, I am much more focused on winning. With KLOO too, people up their game, learn more words, build longer sentences, because they want to win. Board games are brilliant at tapping into our competitive instincts.

KLOO language game

Schools use KLOO Board Games

Child development: One of the great aspects of playing board games is that we learn on multiple levels. This is especially beneficial to children who learn key skills such as the principles of cause and effect; social skills and how to behave; spatial awareness; critical thinking and the ability to focus for longer. The latter point is hugely important with attention spans are in decline as we get hit by so many messages in our everyday lives.

Board Games are good for mental health

Board Games help fight dementia

Mental Health benefits: Research conducted in France and reported in the British Medical Journal (thank you for sharing) on the impact of board games on mental health shows that regular playing of board games helped reduce the incidence of dementia as well as reduce risks of depression. The report stated: “playing board games could be a particularly relevant way to preserve cognition and to prevent cognitive decline or dementia.” Interestingly they also stated: “Other stimulating leisure activities like reading, travelling, gardening, doing odd jobs or playing sports do not offer the same advantages and ease of practice.” That’s pretty compelling! Go Board Games!

A humble board game has a place in this century – and probably every century. Play that game, have fun and get a load of benefits thrown in.

Board Game of the Year


If you are interested in learning a language while playing a language, we suggest you take a look at KLOO. We are a multi-award winning game. You can play Race to Madrid to learn Spanish and Race to Paris to learn French. It has actually won many awards including Toytalk’s Best Board and Card Game of the Year and the Academic’s Choice Award for educational value. That basically means you’ll have a lot of fun learning a language.

You can check out our range of board games below. Have fun!

KLOO Learn French GamesLearn Italian GamesTEFL Games for teaching English

KLOO Learn Spanish Language Games


Learn French with KLOO board games

A KLOO Board game for learning French

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Helping your child learn a language – when you’re not fluent yourself

You can teach your child a languageParents often want to help their children learn a second language. And with good reason. Apart from the academic achievement and career benefits a language brings, a second language is good for your mental health. Health research shows that people learning a second language can stave off the onset of dementia by up to four years. That’s a big deal. Four years’ delay is far more effective than any drugs around today. The current theory is that a second language causes the brain to create more connections between the cells…and that in turn makes the brain more resilient to mental health issues.

That’s great News! But how do I help my child learn a second language when I cannot speak a second language myself?

How best to teach children a languageMore good news…you don’t have to be fluent – or even that competent! Research highlighted by Professors King and Mackey in the Bilingual Edge has shown that learning with your child is in fact more effective than your child learning on their own with most language materials (including exercise books, videos, language toys etc). Don’t let not knowing a language stop you helping your child!

Do they say that good news comes in threes? (Or is that bad news? Today it’s definitely good news!)

language games for kidsThe third bit of good news is that there is a  language game that parents and children love to play – and as they play – they learn a language. It’s a great resource for parents who aren’t themselves fluent but want to help their children. It’s also a multi-award winning game that’s fun. Learning a language has never been this easy.

Watch the video to find out how easy it is to start learning a language with your child.

Help your child to revise for a language

Best way to teach a child a language

The importance of a language for a child

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Helping your Child to Revise a Language

Getting your child to revise for Language Exams

1-Mum points out

Parents are making language fun!

Languages are not easy…but it’s because they’re not easy that they are so well respected academically. It has been shown that children who have a reasonable level of competence in a second language enjoy many benefits including improved mental health, better lifestyles and higher career income.

Good luck in persuading a child of this!

This is the perspective of an adult. Kids can see learning languages very differently…for many it’s a drag, boring, too difficult, unnecessary. And when these attitudes set they are hard to dislodge.

Unless, Unless…

Unless of course you can change learning a language from being:

Hard to Easy; Boring to Fun; Slow to Fast!

Thousands of Parents and Schools are discovering the power of a language game to change child perceptions and get results. Whether you just want to motivate your child or indeed if your child is coming up to exams KLOO can make a difference:


More Information

KLOO Games for Kids

What’s the best way to teach children a language?

Language Myths

Proven Best Way to Learn New Words in a Foreign Language

Shopping Links:

UK Parents can find best priced KLOO games at:

USA and Canada Parents go to:

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Research on how Games improve Language Learning in Class

A Study of The Power of Games to Motivate Learners

Languages Teachers need good language resources

Teaching languages is no easy task

We have a lot of empathy with language teachers. MFL is, without doubt, a difficult subject to teach – more difficult than most.

Teachers need to somehow motivate students to learn lots of data (words) which are also annoyingly fiddly and work to some arcane grammatical rules.

That would be OK if every student in the class was a model student and prepared to knuckle under…but that’s not the universe we live in. In reality many students tune out as soon as the tough stuff comes long. And if consecutive classes become difficult they can switch off from the subject altogether. Many teachers will admit they have some zoned out students in their classes.

From Bored Beings to Keen Beans

If students have switched off then teaching is very unrewarding  as the efforts of teachers fall on deaf ears. The only hope is to somehow switch them back on, get them enthused, wake them up! Four separate sources suggest that one of the very best ways to do this is through games.

RESEARCH 1 from the ASCD (The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), Haystead, M. W., & Marzano, R. J. (2009). Meta-Analytic Synthesis of Studies Conducted at Marzano Research Laboratory on Instructional Strategies.

This was a huge piece of research involving the impact of games on games on student performance As part of the study used a variety of language and vocabulary games. The outcomes were impressive. This ASCD Research shows that games on average improve academic performance by 20% – that’s a huge lift – and that’s from just an average game. Really good games will do a lot more. Perhaps some of that uplift is from students being more alert and focused. But it really doesn’t matter why – games just work and you should put them to work for you. (To see the actual paper go here).

RESEARCH 2: Games in Foreign Language Classrooms at SIT Graduate Institute, January 2010

(Part of the Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, and the Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Commons)

There is a paper written about the affect of Games in Foreign Language Classrooms by Amy Talak-Kiryk, at the SIT Graduate Institute which is useful for deeper insight. She was a Spanish Teacher and very interestingly this is the opening line of her thesis. Do you recognise this?

” I taught Spanish the way I learned it, using the audio lingual and grammar translation methods. As a result, the students would use their hands to prop up their heads while looking utterly bored in class. Only a few students were participating regularly, and those same few were the only ones who really knew what they were doing. “

It’s well worth reading what happened and the journey she went on to enthuse her class. Suffice to say she turned it round with games.

RESEARCH 3 Washington Post and A 2007 study by Carnegie Mellon University on board gaames

Games can help kick start interest in languages

Games can help kick start interest in languages

The Washington Post ran a terrific article titled: Board Games help reinforce lessons in the classroom. The opening paragraph sums it up:

“Disconnect the Xbox, uninstall the computer game software and close the laptop. You want your child to have fun but learn at the same time, at a fraction of the cost? Play a board game, experts say.”

Check out the article but the message is clear….except I would go a stage further. Take the board game into the classroom. They refer to a very thorough 2007 study by Carnegie Mellon University which showed players reaped performance leaps from playing board games as simple as Snakes and Ladders.

Further Source: The Bilingual Edge by Language Professors King and Mackey

When it comes to language learning, this hypothesis is reinforced in a great Book called the Bilingual Edge by Language Professors King and Mackey. In this book they recommend teachers and learners avoid screen learning. It is very illuminating. This kis what they say about language learnining Do’s and Don’t’s:

“to be effective, language learning exposure must be with a real human being not a DVD, television program, computer game, or talking toy. These edutainment devices, while extremely well marketed and popular with parents and some children, cannot substitute for a real person and real interaction…..focusing more on making language learning a positive, fun, interactive and engaging process.”

They go onto to say games are one of the very best ways to learn. We recommend reading it.

The Game that Teachers Recommend for Language Learning

KLOO language game

Schools are loving KLOO

Thousands of schools around the world have been introducing KLOO into the classroom with dramatic effect. We are always very grateful for the endorsements we receive from teachers – for us it is the ultimate proofing of our game.

We share a few of their comments.

I’ll often say to my students, “What would you like to do? Reading, a song, noughts and crosses, hangman, KLOO?” And 9 times out of 10, the answer is KLOO!!” Lindsay D, MFL Teacher

“At first I thought KLOO was just another game. Then I realised this was different. It’s fun, it’s intuitive and, more importantly, it works. It’s a wonderful way to learn a language.” Jack Lonergan, Professor of Language

“I bought a couple of sets of KLOO at the Language Show and the language assistant plays it with the students, all ages and abilities. They absolutely love it!” Dulce F, Spanish Teacher

“This game is without a doubt the best Language learning game I’ve ever used as a Teacher of Languages – we’ve got a whole cupboard full of more expensive alternatives that fail to deliver what this game does in bundles; fun and learning at the same time.” Angela Azzopardi, Spanish Teacher

Watch this Video of how to play Classic KLOO in French. Check Out how students are: learning words; making sentences, and speaking out loud. That’s language!


Award winning learn French Games at

To buy Learn French “Race to Paris” Board Game visit:…

KLOO is the award winning card game that teaches you how to speak French as you play. In this video we show how to play Classic KLOO – a game in which you make French sentences and learn French words to score points. KLOO provides fun and educational games for learning languages.With each deck of KLOO cards you can play lots of language games (see our other videos). Ideal for studying French or Spanish or as MFL resources for use on courses and in lessons or use at home as French Games for kids. KLOO is the fun way to learn how to speak French!

Buy French KLOO Games at

00:26 Ideal game for learning French for adults and children
00:36 The aim of the game
00:43 Making French sentences is easy
00:46 How to start a French sentence with KLOO cards
01:04 Look at coloured arrows to know what card to play next
01:25 How to score a Classic game of French KLOO
01:49 How to treat an untranslated French word
02:05 All French words are translated by the end
02:09 What to do after your turn
02:15 Next player’s turn


How to play Classic KLOO. KLOO is the fun card game that teaches you French as you play. The game is very easy to play and ideal for adults and children. To start a game of Classic KLOO, start by dealing seven cards to each player. The aim is to score points by creating sentences and translating French words. Making a sentence and learning a new language in KLOO is really easy.
Here’s how. Always start your sentence by playing a red card first. If you weren’t dealt a red card and don’t have one to start, you can play one card, just one, of any color.

Once you’ve played the first red card, all you need to do is look at the colored arrow and play a card of the same color next. Now you can play a yellow or green card, we’ve chosen yellow. Now a green card. Now a blue. Don’t forget, you cannot finish on a double arrow card, so make sure you can play the next one.

You score points in KLOO as you play your cards. You score one point for every card you play. And you also get points for every French word you can translate. If you don’t know a French word, remember to look at the bottom of the other cards for clues. If you still can’t translate a word, keep it in a separate pile for everyone to see, and the next person to translate it on their turn gets an extra three points. All of the other cards go into a word bank. This way, all the cards will be translated by the end of KLOO.

When you’ve finished your turn, pick up cards from the pile to take your hand back to seven. And it’s on to the next player. That’s it. You can score with a pen and paper, or use the KLOO board to spice things up.

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Why students are learning languages faster with this game

Students enjoy learning languages with KLOO MFL Games

“My students beg to play this game”

That’s what Debbie, a US Spanish Teacher, said about KLOO on Amazon. She also has a blog  where she writes about KLOO: why she “fell in love with it!”; and what her students learn by playing. (You can see the full blog here “KLOO Great Language Learning Game“).

Why are MFL Teachers loving KLOO?
What has got Debbie and thousands of other MFL teachers around the world so excited? Well, our research shows it is not because KLOO is a multi-award winning game. It’s not even because students love playing – although the lift in enthusiasm is definitely appreciated. No. What has them really excited, is the fact that students are learning much faster as a direct result of playing.

Why are students learning faster?
Some of that extra speed of learning is as a result of students becoming more switched on and engaged when trying to win the game. The other reason is that the game is well designed and PACKED with lots of important language principles that help you learn words and build sentences as you play. Take a look at the short video below to see some of the aspects of language covered by playing.

Watch this Short Video to see what students learn with KLOO:

KLOO really doesn’t cost that much but does make a big impact in the classroom. Watch enthusiasm soar and learning accelerate.

Read about KLOO Language Resources for School

See full range of KLOO games for school with Special Offers too.

Award winning MFL games

KLOO has won more awards than any other foreign language game

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What language do you learn when playing KLOO?

Take a look at this short video to see what you learn by playing KLOO. It shows:

  • The word types players use (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives etc)
  • How players make grammatically correct sentences very quickly
  • How players build their vocabulary

When we created KLOO we wanted a game that went beyond the basics of language – a game that helped learners to really start speaking the language properly; a game that used words as building blocks and rewarded players for making proper sentences; a game that made learning easy and fun.

Thousands of schools are now using KLOO….just by playing students use many different types of words, make sentences quickly and building vocabulary without studying or working. Most of all they find it a fun way to learn. Enthusiasm for language jumps through the roof.


KLOO MFL Resources for school at

This video looks at KLOO as a French and Spanish MFL resources for schools. We look at what language content is contained in a game of KLOO including:

– what word types are learned
– how grammatically correct sentences are made
– how you can learn foreign words as you play through Discovery Learning
– the word themes of each deck.
– how much foreign language knowledge you need to be able to play


00:10 What language do you learn when playing KLOO?
00:17 Deal 7 cards
00:28 To start a sentence play a red card first
00:32 Play with Pronouns and Verbs
00:36 How to built a foreign sentence by following coloured arrows
00:46 Using Nouns and articles
00:53 Using adjectives
00:59 Connectives and conjunctions
01:09 Gender Agreement
01:14 Expressions and Phrases
01:18 Clues to translate foreign words and build vocabulary
01:22 Using Discovery Learning to build vocabulary
01:35 How much language do you need to know to play KLOO?
01:48 What foreign vocabulary will you learn?
01:55 Learn French, Spanish and Italian vocabulary about People
01:58 Learn French, Spanish and Italian vocabulary about Places
02:00 Learn French, Spanish and Italian vocabulary about Clothes
02:02 French, Spanish and Italian vocabulary about Everyday Objects
02:05 French, Spanish and Italian vocabulary about Everyday Eating & Drinking


What do you learn when playing KLOO? Let’s take a look.

In most games of KLOO, you are dealt seven cards. To score points, you need to make a foreign sentence. The longer the sentence, the more you score. But it’s really easy.

To start your sentence, you play a red card. With red cards, we get to play with pronouns and verbs.

To build your sentence, you just need to follow the colored arrows. So we are learning grammar too.

So we play a blue card next. That’s a noun with its article in agreement. We can play yellow or green card next.

We’re going to play yellow. That’s an adjective.

Now, a greed card. Green cards are connected to make our sentence longer.

We can now play another blue card now, and another yellow. There’s more gender agreement here.

We can also play a purple card here. So we learn great expressions too.

We also get clues to translate words we don’t know. In this way, we use discovery learning to build vocabulary as we play. You would score a lot of points for this sentence, and learned a lot of language too. And this is just one hand.

How much language do you need in order to start playing KLOO? None. You can play and learn as an absolute beginner, or even if you’re more advanced. Just be ready for how fast you learn.

What about vocabulary? What sort of words will you learn? Each deck covers particular language themes such as people, places, clothes, everyday objects and eating and drinking. And with every deck, you can make three million sentences. That’s a lot of language and a lot of fun.

KLOO, the multi-award winning MFL game that packs a lot of language.

Find out more

To browse games visit
About KLOO as an MFL Resource

KLOO provides fun language resources and games for schools. In the UK KLOO games are ideal for key stage 2 and key stage 3 French and Spanish. KLOO language Games are available in French, Spanish and Italian.


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How to build your French Vocabulary swiftly and easily

Is learning foreign words like running through treacle?

build vocabulary

Building vocabulary can be tough learning the wrong way

Building vocabulary has always seemed to be such an ordeal. Long lists of words…trying to somehow memorize them..but your mind starts swimming and gets confused….then you test yourself and find that they just won’t stick…so you repeat the process. And very soon your mind just starts to shut down.  You feel deflated and demotivated and just plain exhausted.

It’s like running a marathon through treacle.

And yet it really doesn’t have to be like this at all. It can be like flying…

You can learn much faster without having to work or study!

Use Discovery Learning to build French Vocabulary

Building Vocabulary can be effortless – like flying

When you use the power of Discovery Learning coupled with placing words in context and then wrapping the whole experience in a game – a strange thing happens. Picking up words becomes automatic and almost effortless.

See how it works by looking at the short animated video. The trick is to tap into our natural ability to learn words – that’s the way we learned our first language. Discovery Learning does that.

How to Build French Vocabulary Swiftly and Easily

About this Build French Vocabulary video

To learn French words and French vocabulary go to

KLOO is the award winning card game that teaches you French words as you play. In this video we show how you quickly learn French words to build your vocabulary and make French sentences and phrases. KLOO Language Games are an ideal way to learn French. Ideal as French resources for French lessons; for fun at home with the family or as French games for kids. KLOO – the fun way to learn how to speak French.

00:18 How to learn French words with KLOO
00:29 What if you don’t know the meaning of French words
00:43 Find French translations at the bottom of other cards
01:02 How to lay out the KLOO cards after playing
01:11 All French words are translated
01:20 Using Discovery Learning to learn French vocabulary
01:32 Locking words in the long term memory
01:39 Replicating how we learned our first language


How to learn French words with KLOO. In many KLOO games, you get points for how many cards there are in your sentence, and also for how many words you know. But what if you don’t know all the words?

Imagine if you cannot translate “boisson” and “je prends”. For every word you don’t know, you’ll be able to find the answer on the bottom of another card.

Here we can see that je prends means, “I take.” But we’re not so lucky with boisson. In the game Classic KLOO, all the cards you have played go face up on the table, and any untranslated cards are kept separate. In KLOO, all the French words will be translated in the end. Just keep playing, you’ll be amazed at how fast you learn.

KLOO uses Discovery Learning to teach you new words. You discover the word you want to know, and then you place the word in the sentence. Linguists have shown that this is an essential part of locking the word in the long term memory. These two underlying principles mean you’ll learn French much faster, because it replicates how we learned our first language. You’ll have much more fun, too.

Posted in Build Vocabulary, French Games, language games, Language Learning, Learn French, mfl games, Teach yourself French | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment