Most missionaries who serve in a foreign-speaking mission would agree that learning the language is one of the toughest challenges of the mission. Kaylie and Adam Allen, both returned missionaries, decided to create card games that make learning a new language a lot easier to swallow.
Kaylie, who served in Singapore and Malaysia, and Adam, who served in Chile, both struggled with the language for months after they arrived. Since their missions, they’ve studied and taught foreign languages, and now speak six languages between the two of them. Last summer they came up with the idea of creating games that make language learning more enjoyable, and Smart Canary Games was the result. After a successful Kickstarter, Smart Canary has sold hundreds of games all over the world. “We weren’t sure we’d reach our funding goal right up until the last week of the Kickstarter,” Kaylie says. “But suddenly a ton of people really got into it–largely thanks to LDSmissionaries.com, to be honest–and it took off from there.”
“These games certainly aren’t everything you need to learn Spanish, French, Chinese, or English,” Adam says, “but they sure make starting out a lot more fun and a lot less intimidating.” One deck of cards can be used to play 8 different group or individual games. “They work great in a classroom setting, where the teacher can lead both competitive or collaborate games,” Adam says, “and they’re also really effective and fun in informal groups or at home.”
Smart Canary games help beginners practice numbers, learn vocabulary, and apply the vocabulary to make sentences. More than that, they create an environment where students can relax, have fun, and lose the typical shyness that comes with pronouncing foreign-sounding words.
“We have just a couple different games right now, but we have plans to expand the languages we offer and design games for every level of language proficiency,” Kaylie says. “In the near future, Smart Canary will also include additional resources–such as online tutoring–so that students, home schoolers, and prospective missionaries can really get a head start.”
Editor’s Note: This article was paid for by Smart Canary LLC. To get your own language learning card games AT A DISCOUNT THIS WEEK, click here or click the images below.