Glossika Review – Did it help me learn Russian?
Glossika claims it is the “most robust syntactic-based spaced repetition audio training supplement on the market”. On the Glossika website, they explain that when learning a foreign language it’s best to use full sentences for as it will be easier to learn correct pronunciation, syntax, vocabulary and grammar this way.
So how how did I find my experience with Glossika?
The method works on the premise that listening, reading and recording yourself speaking sentences in the target language will intuitively allow you to gain a solid understanding and fluency of the pronunciation, syntax, vocabulary and grammar of a language. Glossika is not supposed to be a primary learning source but a supplementary one.
The Glossika Mass Sentence Method means listening to thousands of sentences bilingually while reading them. The texts are 4-fold (as in the photo below): native language (English for me), target language (Russian here), target language with stresses and finally in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
I tested the “Russian – Fluency” version of Glossika, which included 3 units (Textbook with sentences; 20 audio files in each unit) using the GMS method.
1. Intuitive – The bilingual sentences (and stressed/IPA texts) are effective as they allow you to absorb the vocabulary and patterns of the new language (i.e. syntax/grammar) without huge effort as they are quite intuitive
2. Natural Pace and Intonation – even if the speed is extremely quick at times, the natural cadence of the language was clear to me when listening to the sentences (with the aid of the text in front of me). This was very useful as vowels are often almost elided when spoken in the manner that native speakers are likely to confront us with.
3. Time utilization – The audios and sentences can be accessed from your smartphone so Glossika is easy to use any time of day when you have say 15 minutes free to kill. Again emphasizing that everybody has enough time to learn a language; just some of us don’t utilize our free time effectively.
4. Range of languages – Glossika is available in an interesting range of languages, including less learnt ones like Thao, Icelandic, Cebuano, Kazakh, Kurdish and Uyghur. More popular languages like Spanish, French, German etc. are also available.
1. Voice recognition – not possible to compare your pronunciation to that of the native speaker and see the differences. You have to rely on your own awareness (which is limited in a new language as new sounds are difficult to distinguish).
2. No explanations: Glossika claims that I am going to figure out the language intuitively and with an intermediate level of Russian, I could understand all the structures. However, with a lower level (less than B1 on the CEFRL) it would have difficulty to have spotted the grammatical patterns.
3. Lack of culture-specific information to the target language: Glossika uses the same generic sentences for each language but this means that most of the culture-specific information is lost. Moreover, seeing non-Russian names for people is a pity as the names vary depending on the case used and I am more likely to be speaking someone called Igor or Sveta in Russian than Brigitte or Daisuke!
So would I recommend using Glossika?
As a supplementary method for learning a language that you already have a good grasp of, I found Glossika to definitely be of great value. It was easy to use and helped me a lot with internalizing grammar patterns and native speed pronunciation. In fact, I used it a lot while in the gym on the bicycle or treadmill so it was easy to incorporate it into my daily routine. For more on Glossika’s products, click on their logo below.