Glossika Review: Is Spaced Repetition the Right Method For You?

Glossika logoRecently I had the opportunity to use Glossika to learn some German. It is not the first time I have used the product as it formed part of my study routine for Mandarin and Spanish too. I am affiliated with Glossika and I did receive a free sample in order to be able to fully test the course(s). Although I am *affiliated with Glossika this is an impartial and honest review by a language learner for language learners designed to help you make a more informed decision about purchasing this product.

For a full list of products visit Glossika (affiliate link)

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So What is Glossika?

In their words…

“Led by Michael Campbell, Glossika was established by a team of polyglots and linguists who wanted to create a method that combines the latest developments in memory, language acquisition, spaced repetition, and linguistic knowledge to make language learning fast, effective, and easy”.

In my eyes…

“Produced by professionals it is similar to Pimsleur, but with a fresh more modern twist. It makes use of the spaced repetition method, which is sentence based-and audio focused. The website now offers language learning through gamification”

What Does it Cost?  

It is It’s absolutely FREE to sign up for an account, but courses can vary in price from $94.99 to $249.99.

How I used it…

Glossika has a recommended schedule that you can use. This is a fabulous idea that will help keep you focused. It fitted in perfectly with my busy lifestyle and it was a product that I could use on the move without using up any of my mobile data! When learning Mandarin and Spanish my study time with Glossika was split into 20-40 minute sessions per day for 15 days.

What Languages are on Offer?

An amazing 40+ languages are currently on offer!

The Spaced Repetition Method

There are two learning tracks with Glossika. The GMS (Glossika Mass Sentences) and the GSR (Glossika Sentence Repetition). The GMS is for the person who has a few hours a day to study and really wants to go hard core (respect to that). The Glossika Mass Sentences method will help you get a natural feel for the grammar, for cultural sayings, and natural speech. It is better for people will less time to dedicate to studying.

Pros and Cons

The Pros 

  • Glossika uses complete, natural-sounding sentences that you’re most likely to come across in everyday conversations with native speakers. Instead of learning word lists, you learn complete sentences in context.
  • Excellent product for busy language learners that are always on the move.
  • 120+ hours of spaced repetition audio (similar to Pimsleur).
  • You have A, B, and C files that make it easy to put the files you need on an MP3 player and tailor them in an order that works best for you.
  • You have the option to get a physical book and an eBook.
  • The PDF books are really helpful and contain translations, Romanized script (such as Pinyin for Chinese), the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), as well as the language in its original script (if applicable).
  • You can work as fast or as slowly as you want to, working with a schedule that is tailored to suit your requirements.
  • Language gamification is now available on the website.

The Cons

  • Currently, there is no option to see the languages spoken. For me seeing the movements of the mouth really help to get my pronation more accurate.
  • The sentences are the same for every language that Glossika is available in! So if you purchase, for example, an English-Mandarin, English-German or an English-Spanish package, you’ll get the same sentences translated into the respective languages. For example:

“”Mi hermano es un buen jugador de tenis …”, “Mein Bruder ist ein guter Tennisspieler” AND “Wǒ gēgē shì yīgè hěn hǎo de wǎngqiú xuǎnshǒu”

  • Different languages have different metaphors, and sayings that are commonplace in everyday life, too much structure across languages does not reflect the individual expressions of the language.
  • Glossika is not really suited for the complete beginner language learner. It targets language learners who have already acquired a basic understanding of their target language.
  • There is no focus on grammar explanations. However, as Glossika is not for complete beginners you should already have the basic elements of the target language.
  • I found that pauses in between sentences are too short, and the pace of the recordings are a little fast. However, that said if you’re listening to the files on your computer or tablet you can always slow the pace down. However, if you are listening via MP3 player this may not be possible.
  • Daily doses of Glossika can get a little tedious on its own, which is why I would suggest using it as part of a language learning routine to keep things interesting. I think it is important to stimulate all senses when learning a new language.

How Do Glossika and Pimsleur Compare?

They both make use of the spaced repetition method. Pimsleur is fantastic for pronunciation, reinforcing the sound of the language into your brain, and introducing you to basic grammatical patterns. Pimsleur also forces you to interact with the material, either actively recalling a word/sentence or creating a sentence for the first time when prompted. A lot of people recommend Pimsleur as an introduction to any language. If you complete the Pimsleur course, you will have good pronunciation and knowledge of simple phrases and grammatical patterns too. Pimsleur however, is not a great tool for learning vocabulary and this is where Glossika fits in perfectly. It takes you to the next level of your language learning.

The Verdict

Glossika contains no grammatical explanations about sentence patterns or rules. What you get is the repetition of key sentence components and vocabulary that you are most likely to find in everyday conversations with native speakers of your target language. Glossika is aimed at people who already have a working knowledge of the language they are learning. However, It is a fabulous resource for brushing up your skills or breaking through the dreaded intermediate plateau. In the past Glossika has helped to give me the confidence to be able to speak Spanish and Mandarin to native speakers.

Overall, Glossika is a valuable asset to a language learner’s tool kit, but I do feel it is not for complete beginners and should be used in conjunction with other methods, such as tutorials, games, books, and movies.

For more information or to purchase a course visit Glossika.com.

Have you used Glossika to learn a language? Are you going give it a try? Let me know what you think of the courses in the comments section: 

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Categories Trisha Tests...Tags , , ,

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