Glossika Review: Powerfully Effective Language Training

I've been looking forward to publishing today's review for a few months now - it's a favourite language course among polyglots.

Here's the short version of my verdict: If you've been frustrated because you can't find a way to speak your target language, this is perfect. Buy and use Glossika courses and you will be chatting in no time - the system works when you speak.

Click here to see the full list of Glossika courses

In my review, I was as neutral-bordering-on-skeptical about the Glossika courses as I am about any others. I don't write reviews about things I don't like. It's often the same marketing that we're bombarded with in this space: fluency, science, natural learning, immersion, blablabla.

But here's the thing: Sometimes something just works.

What Are Glossika Courses Like?

This isn't really a language explainer like my own German courses. The method is all GO, sentence-based and very heavy on the audio. You will hear a sentence and be prompted to repeat it - that's the 2 second version of it.

This simple task of repeating input will solve your #1 problem of having nothing to say. TA DAH fluency.

Glossika isn't for the very early language beginner - if you're looking for a starter, try something like Language Hacking books. This is a method I see as perfect for anyone who's sick of language learning theory and wants to start getting as much practice as quickly as possible.

Sound familiar? Yep. That's the biggest problem adult language learners face.

Does it Work?

My own experiences with the method started with a similar system called Say Something in Welsh, which I've been using for about a year. The method of prompting realistic and natural sample sentences with a native speaker is the Glossika principle, and if you're a Welsh learner you have GOT to get yourself a copy of this right now.

I mentioned the system to my long-term student Randy (who you can hear in podcast Episode 6), he decided to give it a try. Randy's situation might be very similar to yours: a busy person fitting in weekly language study and conversation practice around. He tested Glossika 123 German.

Randy says:

"This course is a bargain for the amount of material you receive. In my opinion, it provides more study material for your money than any other course I have tried (and I have tried just about every one available)." "Of all the self-learning courses I have used, this one is the best. It has the widest range of content and gives me the best opportunity to speak German when I am alone."

Speaking when you've got no one to speak to is an ENORMOUS trick in language learning, and Glossika has taken out the awkwardness.

And here's the thing I can see in Randy, my "test subject": The difference is striking! Within a week or two, I noticed a transformation in his confidence level. Randy found himself cutting out hesitation, he was no longer getting stuck in the middle of his sentences because of one or two missing words. He's made a HUGE jump by activating all of that passive knowledge in his mind.

Glossika is Gold for Intermediate Learners

Glossika's website has impressive claims listed, with accounts such as "400% progress". So can you become a fully rounded expert in a language in a short amount of time using this method?

I'd say yes - if you've been putting in the work. Glossika has this way of unlocking the knowledge you hold within yourself, and it will teach you a million new things.

The language learning process is one of learning lots of new links and having to put them together differently. It's a lot of input, but even more creativity. You can quickly use any method based on repeating audio prompts in order to boost and develop your speaking confidence.

So being fluent in another language also means being able to understand patterns and build your own sentences (in academic terms, you have do develop procedural knowledge). The better you are at pattern spotting and working out the rules, the easier it will be to fit that language jigsaw together.

In conclusion, this is one time when the hype could be real. When you hear accounts of learners who made significant leaps with Glossika within days, you can believe them. This is the experience I witnessed in my students and in myself.

But if you were only using Glossika and nothing else, you might find yourself a fluent parrot rather than a flexible conversationalist. My advice would be to pair this method with a conventional course, ensure you read the transcripts and follow up with grammar points that don't make sense.

If Duolingo is a cute owl, Glossika is one that means business!

If Duolingo is a cute owl, Glossika is one that means business!

Why I'm Convinced You Should Try This

Glossika builds your speaking confidence at a rapid pace, gets you used to a native voice, and challenges you throughout. The payoff for language learners who don't have time and access to regular meet-ups is remarkable, as I've seen with Randy and with myself.

I would recommend the Glossika method for all of you who have spent many hours reading, listening, maybe even writing your target language. If you find yourself hesitating in mid-sentence and you want to feel confident and fluent, this is absolutely perfect.

And for me as a tutor, it's been a godsend to recommend to experienced students.

Click here to see the full list of Glossika courses

Polyglots Will LOVE This

The range of languages on offer from Glossika are unrivalled. They don't just offer the classic set of English, French, German, Russian and Chinese. Instead, Glossika is currently available in over 30 languages. The range of languages on offer from Glossika are unrivalled. They don't just offer the classic set of English, French, German, Russian and Chinese. Instead, Glossika is currently available in over 30 languages. Randy, who's tried and bought dozens of materials, also said

This course is a bargain for the amount of material you receive. In my opinion, it provides more study material for your money than any other course I have tried.

Click here to see the full list of Glossika courses

That number up there isn't even complete yet, as Glossika currently has 46 (!) other language courses in development. I am incredibly impressed by this much commitment to languages from all over the globe, and to celebrating the world's diversity. No matter which language and which country you are interested in, the amazing Glossika range will give you a speaking boost from anywhere in the world.

Have You Tried Glossika Before?

I'd love to hear if you're a Glossika user too. Which language are you studying? How did you find it? Tell me over on Twitter or right here in the comments.

PS: There is no Welsh version yet, but Welsh learners who haven't tried Say Something in Welsh should get themselves over there RIGHT NOW. You're missing out, guys.

Podcast Episode 16: Discover languages, dialects and scripts with Lindsay Dow

In Episode 16, I'm introducing our new co-host: Lindsay Dow from Lindsay Does Languages. I’m bringing Lindsay in for more Creative Language Learning Podcast because she's just been so much fun for you to listen to. The episode is supported by Flashsticks (use code KERSTIN10 on www.flashsticks.com for a 10% discount).

podcast languages

In Episode 16, you’ll hear:

  • A discussion of the world’s many different scripts and writing systems, with Lindsay’s recent forays into Amharic and how I worked in Korea for 2 days

  • What makes a dialect different from a language, and where is the line?

  • What travelling to Europe and getting your Health Insurance card can do for your world perspectives

  • A live recording of my first ever #iglc Instagram Language Challenge video

Tips of the Week

In this episode the tables were turned and Lindsay allowed me to choose the tip of the week from three awesome creative tips she had researched. I loved it! My favourite tip ended up being tip 3, using a language in order to learn a language.

1) Open your ears and get into the exercises at listeningpractice.org

2) Learn a language with Pinterest. Both Lindsay and I love this social network and we have about how you can enhance your lessons and learning adventures with it. Here they are:

3) Learn a new language via a language that you already know

Links for Episode 16 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast

Thanks for reading this article on Fluent, the Language Learning Blog. If you are feeling able to give $1 to keep the podcast and the blog going strong, please head over to Patreon and become a supporter!

Introducing First Results and Happy Readers

In the journey of creating something individual and unique, sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees. For me, the most recent months have at times felt like this. I wrote The Vocab Cookbook and reviewed and updated all of Fluency Made Achievable, created the resources for the online Combo pack and so much more.

After the first month of my books being published, I'm excited to let you know that I have counted over 50 happy readers already. And here is PROOF that people are making real progress.

The new readers have been:

  • Trying out exciting memorization techniques like memory palaces - just check out Richard Gilzean's story, for example
  • Organising their learning routines better through the Three Week Plan in Fluency Made Achievable
  • Testing their own core skills profiles
  • Inspired to make their own vocab learning recipes inspired by my interview with Oli Antosch in The Vocab Cookbook
  • Started a whole new Flashcard library - on paper, not on Anki!

You Can Try Before You Buy

I am over the moon today and so proud to be giving you an exclusive first ever sample of the official Fluency Made Achievable AUDIOBOOK! The intro and conclusion are read in my own voice, with the bulk of the book coming to you read by a fabulous voice artist (another Kirsten!) hand selected by me.

Here is a round-up of where you can get yourself a copy of the new Fluent guides.

On Fluentlanguage.co.uk

language learning books

I am selling the best packages on my own website, featuring three file formats for all e-readers as well as worksheets and bonuses. Read them on your iPad, Kindle, Nook, kobo or desktop screen. There is a format for each one.

The UK Store has Fluency Made Achievable* and The Vocab Cookbook*.

The US Store has Fluency Made Achievable and The Vocab Cookbook.

If you're located somewhere else, simply search your amazon store for "Kerstin Hammes".

On Audible

Yes indeed, Fluency Made Achievable is now available on Audible, a great marketplace for audiobooks for any kinds of readers. I'm right next to Michel Thomas!

New subscribers to Audible can even listen to the full audiobook for free as part of their free trial.

First Book Reviews:

I am reading your book and loving it, loving it! You’re the only one I’ve read that discussions the four core skills, offers assessments and a plan! (Judi Martindale)

I have devoured your books and I really enjoyed them. (Marco Nieri)

You can read lots more reviews on Amazon too! Have you checked the books out yet?

*these links are affiliate links which help me keep www.fluentlanguage.co.uk going

Language Learning Website AudioLingua Provides Free Audio In 10 Languages

Hey guys, it's Kerstin here - your new editor at Fluent! Well, really I'm still just Kerstin from Fluent, the Language Learning Blog, but I want to take a second and celebrate our new writers. I hope you like their contributions so far!

Today I just want to share a website with you that I've recently discovered. It's called AudioLingua and offers free native speaker audio on everyday topics and in 10 languages. What an absolute gem.

You can search the tracks by language, level, gender of the speaker, age of the speaker and their length. They are all submitted by real people, so that means natural language content and relevant topics and expressions. Here's an example in German at B1 level:

Using AudioLingua As A Tutor

In my own sessions, I've used the A1 content from different examples to practice listening with students. I left them to listen to various examples a few times, and then asked:

What do you know about the speaker?

When working with a student in 1 to 1, I have the great advantage that I can figure out exactly what they understood. I repeat difficult sections as many times as necessary and focus on specific words, giving hints and explaining as we go along. This way I can try and help students to find as much of the meaning as possible.

After discussing the text, I also put in some comprehension exercises such as "Did the speaker say she lives in Berlin?" and so on.

Depending on the level you're working with, these can also be great prompts for writing homework or for asking a student to prepare a spoken response.

How to Use AudioLingua As An Independent Learner

If you haven't got a teacher or language partner on hand, the most important thing is to remember that you have time - this means no skimming and no "I get the gist".

A few suggestions:

  • Select tracks at your level on the CEFR
  • Before you listen to a track, look at the description and note the themes, try and remember words you know about this subject and say them out loud
  • Have the first listen
  • Listen again, this time pausing the track and trying to make notes
  • On your third listen, things should start coming together. Now, I'd recommend that you type up your notes in a transcript and post them to a native speaking friend, a teacher or the community on italki to check yourself

Of course there is also a great option of downloading every track, so you'll be able to use them as podcasts on the go. Repeat the input more than you think is necessary - this sounds odd, but trust me that you should begin to get bored before you have really learnt the language.

Get Involved

Any native speaker can become a language teacher with AudioLingua. You can support this great project by recording yourself as you read out a simple text in your native language, and sending it to the AudioLingua project. Please go to this page to read the manual and the submission form. For such a great resource, I hope you'll find the time to submit a recording. I know I definitely will!

Thanks for reading this article on Fluent - The Language Learning Blog. Don't forget - if you sign up to our newsletter, you will receive a free Guide to the Best Language Learning Resources!

Michel Thomas in Fluent Review

If you have ever browsed the shelves of a book shop dreaming of that date or trip where you speak fluent French, you have probably come across old Michel T. His language learning tapes were a huge success from the 70s and are still popular today. I'm currently using the Michel Thomas tapes myself for my study of Russian. The method is reportedly the same as on the original tapes with the man himself, although here it is a Russian instructor teaching the class.

What I like and adopt about the Michel Thomas method

My own basis for teaching is similar to his - here's a communication-focused approach, in a relaxed environment. Throughout the class, he'll feature learners who are real. They hesitate and make mistakes like everyone else, but the message is: You can do this! Language learning is not some elitist skill for the most intelligent people only - it's for everyone. As such, we language tutors owe a lot to pioneers like Michel. He knew what it meant to take the mystery out of language learning and open them up for everyone through encouragement rather than strict punishments.

I'm a big fan of this message. In fact, it's the first reason I started this blog. I wanted new and experienced learners to find language easy, accessible and fun. This world will hand you the key to many closed doors once you embark on the journey of language learning. My mission is to encourage learners and make things interesting and inverting, much like Michel did.

A review of the Michel Thomas product

The method is based on recordings that the learner is supposed to listen to. There is no book, and no one makes you take notes during the class. Obviously, this simplicity is one of the big attractions about the method: You can download the MP3s on Amazon or Audible, put them on your ipod and listen to them anywhere. I find that this Russian course  teaches vocabulary and speaking/listening, but personally I do not believe that this method is "complete". I miss the written aspects, grammar and seeing the language in real-life use. 

This is of course a commercial product, so they couldn't resist a bit of marketing at the start of the lesson. Here's what I made of it: 

 

Conclusion

You should get yourself a Michel Thomas as a supplement to other language learning or for a quick boost before your next trip abroad. I don't believe that it compares to language tuition with a real person, which should be like meeting the friendly and encouraging tutor, but getting three times as much out of it, but the method is friendly, open, encouraging and won't tire your brain out.

If you are expecting fluency and linguistic expertise out of Michel Thomas products alone, you will be disappointed but at the price point they are a decent start. Just supplement them with some notes and some reading. Please?

Availability 5/5  (you can get Michel Thomas on Amazon, Audible and in most book shops)

Free Michel Thomas for Audible folks

Value for Money 4/5  (I got mine on Audible for just 1 credit worth less than £15/$20)

Audible also lets you download the first book for free if you're a new customer, just click this link for free Michel Thomas method goodness: 

 Results 3/5  (This is always related to what you expect of course - expect to say a few sentences, not to become a confident conversationalist or able to read much of anything at all. You should use the method together with something else, ideally a tutor.)

PS: This post is not sponsored by Audible, I just think that what they offer is great. The links I provided tell the vendors that you came from Fluent, so you're supporting the blog and getting a good deal. Thanks!