East Yorkshire Dads Launch Spanish Language Board Game

Published on 28/01/2009 in Learning Spanish

Comprendo board gameTwo fathers from East Yorkshire who wanted to help their families learn Spanish have turned their idea into a board game.

Comprendo! will be launched by Stephen Foster, of Kirk Ella, and John Ainsley, of Welton, at Princes Quay Shopping Centre in Hull tomorrow.

The concept was born eight years ago when Mr Foster wanted a game to help his son, Oliver, then 12, with his language skills.

There was nothing available so Mr Foster designed a simple question and answer game on a sheet of A4 paper.

Oliver's Spanish improved and Mr Foster asked his friend Mr Ainsley to help develop the concept.

Mr Foster said: "We were just a couple of dads who wanted to create a fun way for our children to pick up a bit of Spanish before we went on holiday."

The game soon moved from a simple format to simulating a holiday in Spain, where players compete to fill their "wish list" of day trips and earn points by speaking Spanish words and phrases.

Mr Ainsley said: "We developed the board into a colourful map of Spain and added elements of culture, history and geography.

"The questions and choice of answers were carefully constructed to make speaking and pronunciation easy for players from around age 11 to adult."

Friends and family, including Mr Ainsley's children Lucy, Thomas and Jonathan, loved the game, prompting the fathers to think about launching it commercially.

The game was called Passport and the early prototype became Mind Your Language.

Mr Ainsley said: "Extensive research showed there was nothing like this around and that's why it has taken so long to develop the game."

Spanish teacher Isabel Smedley, of Hessle, helped create the questions and phonetics to encourage players to pronounce words correctly.

Comprendo! is now a registered European trademark and 2,000 copies have already been produced and marketed online at £29.95 each.

Mr Foster and Mr Ainsley have formed SJS Games Ltd to handle the venture and have appointed sales directors in Spain to target the large British expat community.

See more information on the game at www.comprendogame.com

Written by: Mark Preston

About the author:Comprendo! Game

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