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Glossika method


Auberon
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There was a new review by Days of French 'n' Swedish a few weeks ago. (Here) As a native Swede I can confirm that some of the sentences are really weird.

 

The fact that they use the same sentences for all languages is probably the biggest minus for me, with native audio being the biggest plus. 

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I've been on glossika for about 30 mins a day for Canto for about 3 months now. Screenshot:

chrome_xG5Xt2ybEu.thumb.jpg.13a06226ee710d43f16304878f838191.jpg

 

(The little medal things at the bottom represent green for days new words are learned, blue for days SRS reviews are completed)

 

After thinking about Glossika for a long time now, and having always voiced my support for shadowing, I invested a few months ago. I would say my verdict is: if you are learning Chinese languages, this is the resource you should be using at some point in your journey. Its not something you want to do forever, but I would highly recommend it for a year at least. My Cantonese tones (esp minimal pairs in sentences) have improved a lot in the last few months. I've solely been learning new vocab through the sentences too - very slow but I simply don't have enough hours in my day to learn new vocab elsewhere.

 

One big takeaway with the structure of the learning is just how realistic the CEFR alignment is. There's no gimmick, just lots of emphasis on hard work and putting the time in. Having done 50+ hours on the site, I'm still only a third of the way through the A1 level sentences (It seems there are 1000+ sentences in the 'A1 High' level still to learn).

 

Note: you need a grammar book or a teacher to accompany this resource, it definitely isn't standalone. As I already have Mandarin, I'm going to stick with just learning through Glossika to see out of curiosity how my Canto improves over the next few years. Will probably report back here in....2023? 

 

As for Michael Campbell, he's definitely a walk the walk guy leading the company - very, very knowledgeable about Chinese languages and dialects, some of his blog posts are fantastic on this subject. That being said, I wouldn't use Glossika for any other language than Chinese-related ones, as (and correct me if I'm wrong) it seems they've been 'plugged in' from what I hear (sentences haven't been organically mined). 

 

 

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Decide to go for the Black Week offer, have been meaning to do more listening practice and shadowing.

 

I like the simplicity of it so far. A bit of a bummer that it's frozen on a sentence in my third session (Chinese audio will not load, so I'm not able to proceed). Not sure if it's a server error or something on my end (Windows 10, latest Chrome browser). Hope it's not something that happens often.

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On 11/24/2021 at 6:21 AM, Tomsima said:

That being said, I wouldn't use Glossika for any other language than Chinese-related ones, as (and correct me if I'm wrong) it seems they've been 'plugged in' from what I hear (sentences haven't been organically mined). 

Well the majority of the original sentences were actually taken from English grammar books (an older edition of English Grammar in Use i believe). I think someone found the books and shared them earlier in the thread. So the base sentences for all languages were translated from English.

 

That being said, i believe they've started adding language-specific sentences for some languages. For Chinese languages i think Glossika works particularly well, especially if you have access to a native speaker to ask questions since it comes with zero explanations.

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Well the majority of the original sentences were actually taken from English grammar books (an older edition of English Grammar in Use i believe). I think someone found the books and shared them earlier in the thread. So the base sentences for all languages were translated from English.

 

That was my biggest beef with Chinese on Rosetta Stone.  I got free access to the program but soon quit because all the sentences were obviously imported from English or some other European language.  The photos also, if I'm not mistaken.  It felt really absurd to be studying Chinese with no jiaozi, no Great Wall, no real Chinese flavor at all.  The underlying concept, that languages are all the same except for the particular words and script, is quite useless and weird, in my opinion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another comment about the strategy of using the same sentences for all languages...

 

Quote

The importance of family and culture for U.S. language learners was echoed in a recent national consumer survey Duolingo conducted in collaboration with DKC Analytics. Across all respondents, including those not currently learning a language, 65% said learning about a new culture would be their top reason for studying a new language—and culture ranked ahead of all other potential motivators.  https://blog.duolingo.com/2021-duolingo-language-report/

 

To me, this says that a language learning app that uses the same sentences for all languages is missing the boat with respect to why many people learn languages in the first place!

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I think that's a bit unfair. The Glossika method would not be a good way to learn about Chinese culture even if every sentence was originally written in Chinese and then translated to English. The way I see it, the Glossika method is best understood as a way to reach speaking fluency as quickly as possible for people who are very motivated and not easily bored. It's not a standalone resource. You'll have plenty of opportunity to learn Chinese culture from other resources, probably ones that are focused on listening or reading rather than speaking.

 

Would Glossika be better if all the sentences were originally written in Chinese? Of course. But there is no such collection of sentences out there which can match Glossika in terms of the thoroughness and the level of thought that went into organizing them. (Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on that--I haven't gone looking in a while).

 

One big advantage with using the same sentences for every language is that it's much cheaper than coming up with new sentences for every target language. And it's kind of cool to think that you could study any language using another other language (e.g. a Spanish speaker could go from Spanish to Chinese instead of English to Chinese). Or at least that's the theory. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in practice? I'm not really sure. I think it mostly hinges on the quality of the translations. I was happy enough with the Mandarin translations. But I would not really recommend using Glossika as your only resource.

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The Glossika method would not be a good way to learn about Chinese culture even if every sentence was originally written in Chinese and then translated to English.

 

Actually the sentences and their vocabulary couldn't help but reflect and reveal the Chinese way of thinking if they derived from Chinese culture, society and life in China.  That's the point, not that the sentences would constitute a course on Chinese culture in themselves.

 

I remember when I was learning Spanish, I was really puzzled that in dialogues people called each other things like "joven," "viejo," "gordo," "flaca" and so on instead of using names, but that's an illustration of how learning a language is learning a culture.  If you translated those words directly into English, you'd sound stupid going around calling people "young man," "old man," "fatso" and "skinny."  We don't talk that way in English.  If I can think of a good Chinese example I'll come back and add it.

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  • 4 months later...

Anyone know if it's possible to manually select one's "level"?

 

I took the level test initially, and after having gone through 236 sentences at "C1 low" I am told that I've "reached the highest level and learned all the content we have so far!"

 

That's a bit of a bummer, but I wouldn't mind learning the sentences at a couple levels below too, since I'm doing this mostly for pronounciation practice. Can't see any way to do that though, except doing re-test and trying to guess which questions I should answer wrong to get to the level I want. There must be another way, no?

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On 4/16/2022 at 3:17 AM, Balthazar said:

That's a bit of a bummer, but I wouldn't mind learning the sentences at a couple levels below too, since I'm doing this mostly for pronounciation practice.

 

Is there a reason why it has to be Glossika?

If there isn't, I may have a suggestion for you.

 

Take any sample of spoken language. On YouTube or anywhere that's convenient for you.

Personally, I'd suggest downloading audio of interview style dialogue/speaking.

And use something like WorkAudioBook to play the mp3 file on repeat and mimic sentence by sentence.

 

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Are people listening to the English and then shadowing the Chinese?

 

I am not using the website but curious to know how other people use it.

 

 I am not sure if it’s worth the money for Mandarin. However, for Cantonese, where there’s fewer good resources, I can see the benefit.

 

 

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On 4/17/2022 at 12:54 AM, pon00050 said:

Is there a reason why it has to be Glossika?

 

None other than convenience. It gives me a complete (and curated) package which saves a lot of time, of which I have precious little after I recently became a father. Open a link, press one button, ready to go (well, mostly).

 

@Tomsima thanks, I'll try sending an email. Posted the same question on their FB group, and does indeed seem like there's no way except re-taking and failing the test on purpose. But I'll try an email, maybe they can manually alter my level setting for me.

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