KLOO – Don’t leave home with out it!

Play KLOO and learn a language on holidayI am starting to think about holidays and booking somewhere on the continent. Usually we go to Italy (my wife is Italian) – but I am thinking maybe France this year – or Spain?

severiano-balleste_1675629cWhen I was a kid (admittedly some years ago) Seve Ballasteros, the great Spanish golfer, used to urge holiday makers to not go on their travels without packing their American Express card. I always remember the strapline “Don’t leave home without it”. He said it in a strong Spanish accent – lovely. Obviously a powerful strapline if I recall it all these years later!

Well here’s another thing to pack. KLOO was described by the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller Magazine as one of the 7 must pack items when going abroad…and Dr Toy is the USA made KLOO a Best Vacation Toy.

It's True! I would like the sweet cake and the

It’s True! I would like the sweet cake and the fresh coffee

It must be one of the very few games that will help you speak the language when you arrive! By the time you get there you will be ready to order your pain au chocolat with confidence.

Check out why KLOO is perfect for your holidays. Learn hundred words effortlessly as you play.

Too easy…have fun.


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Am I fluent at languages? No

Not being fluent was an advantage when designing KLOO

As the inventor of KLOO, I am frequently asked whether I am fluent in languages. Alas no. The presumption is that I must be fluent in some languages in order to have created KLOO.  In reality, not being fluent and having a poor experience of learning languages was an advantage when it came to designing a game, because I knew what issues I wanted to fix.

At school I was not particularly good at languages – French and German were my weakest subjects!…I found languages difficult and confusing – and they were not my favourite subjects. The way we were taught really was archaic – and not enjoyable – and there were no games to bring the subject to life.

The issues I had are the same as those of millions of other people who want to learn a second language. I had difficulties with retaining vocabulary, I was confused by grammar rules, and, I learned language mainly by rote. My knowledge was inflexible and not at all useful for proper interaction with French or German people.

I may never have had any interest in creating a game, if it were not for the fact that I married an Italian and we had aspirations of moving to Italy. To do that, we wanted to improve our children’s language skills. They were at school and also found languages difficult – so I decided to create a game for them. And I knew what I wanted it to do!

I wanted it to be fun and motivational

I wanted players to effortlessly build vocabulary as they played

I wanted a game where you could build sentences in seconds.

The first game of KLOO was played with bits of paper around a kitchen table…but when I saw how motivated and excited my children were….and how fast they were learning, without even trying – I knew we had a game that was worth  sharing.

You can learn languages with KLOO too. Take a look to see how you build vocabulary fast using Discover Learning and then can build sentences in seconds (12 million sentences in fact!).

Most of all you can have fun – and it will never feel like work. Never.

Learn foreign words as you play

Learn to make foreign sentences in seconds


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Languages are good for jobs – but you need something else too

You need more than a language to land a good job

We have posted here about how good languages are for securing a job. Languages are considered to be “proper” subjects and they bring some useful skills to the workplace. But unless you are going into a language specific job – you’ll need something else. Another subject? No. Not at all.

What 80 % of employers are looking for – but don’t find

80% of employers say that graduates coming into the workplace do not have the right skills. They want specific skills: the ability to communicate clearly (in English will do!); the ability to work in a team; the ability to make a plan – and execute it; the ability to understand risk and reward and manage resources. Having a language is useful and proves some academic rigour. But these workplace skills are what make the difference every day and can jet propel your career.

The Gradbridge Award

Show more than just a degree

Show more than just a degree

There is a new event – which I am involved in – which helps to equip undergraduates with these skills so that they can stand out to employers. It’s called the Gradbridge Award. Top employers are supporting and attending the event so they can find graduates with these skills. It takes place in 2 – 4 September 2015 on the Sussex Downs, UK. If you are studying languages (or any subject) and want to bolster your chances of gainful employment, this is worth a look. The aim is to make help students stand out and demonstrate that they have the right skills and experiences – and help businesses find the employee they are looking for. Take a look at this video to find out more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDQKl_uCsjI

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A Fresh Approach to learning a language

New Year and a Fresh Approach to Learning a Language. Yes you can!

Learn French Spanish and Italian with KLOO games
The New Year is always a good time to take stock. What can we do differently? What can we do better? It’s true of life generally – and true of learning a language. There are always improvements we can make that will make the way we learn more enjoyable – more effective. And it can be easy! A little time thinking about ways to improve can pay off all year round.

What do you want to achieve?

Every year learning a language is one of the top ten things people wish to achieve in the year ahead. However many have already tried and been knocked back…then mistakenly believe they just cannot do it. The thing is you can – lots of people feel the same way:

“I would like for my lessons to be more engaging.”
“I would like to retain vocabulary more easily.”
“I would like for grammar principles to be quickly understood.”
“I would like to be able to talking out loud with confidence”
“I want learning a language to be fun”

Lots of language learners, like you, are finding KLOO ticks the boxes. In this game players score points by making sentences and learning words as fast as possible.

The result is lots of motivation, lots of fun and learning at a much faster rate!

You will be able to make grammatically correct sentences in seconds (yes seconds – see this video to see how); and building their vocabulary up to 10 X faster (see this video why).

Learn a French Spanish and Italian with KLOO

Time to Get Started….GO

New Year…Different Result 

They say a form of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Give KLOO a try and see a different result this year. It’s so easy to start.

Special Offers

Or if you prefer to order on-line, go to at www.kloogames.com. Don’t forget the Special Offers. You can get up to 20% OFF and Free Postage.

KLOO: The Critics’ Choice

KLOO has won ToyTalk’s Best Board Game for the YearDr Toy’s Best Classic Game; the Academic Choice Award in the USA. Indeed it has won 9 top international awards – more than any other foreign language game. In terms of credentials for learning and fun – KLOO is hard to beat.


Play the Game. Speak the Language (and have some fun!)


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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.


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:


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:


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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