When you’re lost in a game, learning a language comes easy

ToyTalk 2011 “UK’s Best Board Game” KLOO

Many students fall into two camps when being taught. There are those that enjoy the subject and are incentivised to learn. These are a teacher’s dream and unsurprisingly they make more of an effort – and achieve better results.

Alas in many, if not most classrooms, there are also the polar opposite students. Those that don’t enjoy the subject, have no wish to learn and possibly would rather be anywhere else. These are a teacher’s challenge. It’s difficult (maybe impossible) to effectively teach someone who is switched off and resentful.

Moving the goalposts can achieve amazing results

Many disenfranchised students can be reached by moving the goal posts – i.e. by changing the objective.  In the case of language learning we change the objective from

KLOO's learn Spanish board game - Race to Madrid

Learn Spanish with KLOO’s Race to Madrid

learning a language to winning a game. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that KLOO Language Games were introduced and students are tasked with racing round a game board to reach Paris (for French) or Madrid (for Spanish) first. The primary objective now is to win a race and score points (not learn a language). How do they do that? By making sentences and learning words as fast as possible in a foreign language (now the means – not the objective).  The difference in attitude and application can be amazing.

Teachers report that students are so engrossed in the game they are quite oblivious to the fact they are learning the language and are genuinely surprised by how much they learn. In a 25 minute game children (and indeed adults) will easily make sentences 9 – 10 words long and will learn the meanings of 15 – 30 foreign words.

How long would it take for a disenfranchised students to learn 30 new words?

Check out how easy it is to make sentences with KLOO cards. Many teachers say their students love playing KLOO – even the ones that are hard to reach.

Making French sentences with KLOO cards

Learning Spanish vocabulary with KLOO cards

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