A breakdown of the different types of training you can do on Glossika. This guide will explain:

  • How to learn new items and review old ones

  • The behind-the-scenes work Glossika does for you


How to learn new items

From Glossika's dashboard, click the blue "Learn New Items" button.

This will place you into a training session. In each new session, you will learn 5 new sentences. Each sentence gets practiced 5 times, meaning you'll be doing 25 repetitions (reps) per session.

Assuming that your placement test results were accurate, you should be seeing sentences that are "just right" — they're a little challenging, but not too hard. Most sentences introduce you to a new word or grammar point, but they include enough familiar parts that you can figure out what each word in the sentence is doing.

As you do more new sentences and progress through Glossika's levels (there are 12), you'll see progressively more difficult sentences. We've put a lot of thought into which sentences go where, so while you might not be sure why you're seeing a particular sentence right now, please trust our difficulty curve. If you follow our progression, you will improve. We promise.

If your sentences seem way too difficult, retake the placement test and start Glossika from a lower level. Glossika should feel like you are picking up low-hanging fruit: you are effortlessly acquiring a language, not making an intense effort to break down and study each individual sentence.

If our easiest sentences are too difficult, wait a little bit to start Glossika. Skim through a textbook, watch an intro series on YouTube, or try another app. You don't need to know this stuff like the back of your hand — so long as you can make sense of what's happening in a given sentence, that's good enough. You'll commit a surprising amount of information to memory by sheer exposure over time.

Further reading: Desirable Difficulty and Comprehensible Input


How to review already-learned items

From Glossika's dashboard, click the white "Review" button.

This will place you into a training session. In each review session, you'll review a maximum of 25 old sentences at a time. Each sentence only gets practiced once, so if you're just starting a new language, your review sessions might be less than 25 repetitions in length.

The first time you click the white review button, you'll be asked what type of review you want to do. Glossika currently offers five different ways to review content:

  1. [Algorithm-supported] Priority Review — Our algorithm will present you with sentences to review, prioritizing the items you've learned most recently. If you don't have much time, we recommend using this mode.

  2. [Algorithm-supported] Weakest Memories — Our algorithm will present you with sentences to review, prioritizing the items that you're most at risk of forgetting.

  3. Collection — Review all the items you've learned in Glossika order, starting with the easiest ones and gradually working your way up.

  4. Favorite — Review the sentences you have favored by clicking the "heart" icon while in a session. You might favorite sentences that you find interesting, that you feel are difficult, or that you expect to use in the near future.

  5. Levels — Review all of the sentences from a specific level.

In the future, you may change your review mode at any time by clicking the Review mode icon while in a session.

Reviews stack up over time and can become overwhelming, so we strongly recommend starting each Glossika session by working through your algorithm-optimized review list.


How Glossika's algorithms support you behind the scenes

Forgetting is a natural part of learning — you will forget no matter how smart you are, how seriously you take your learning, or how much you're focusing during sessions. We begin forgetting virtually immediately after learning something, and from there, our memories are constantly weakening.

Thankfully, if we are prompted to recall information, our memories will grow stronger over time. Visualized, that process looks something like this:

In simplistic terms, Glossika's algorithms remember your performance over time to automate and optimize this process. We make estimates of how well you know a given item and how quickly your memory is decaying by looking at factors like when you first saw the learning item, how many times you've seen it since then, and (in full-practice mode) whether you tend to get that item correct or incorrect.

This estimate is then used to schedule each item you learn for review at a later date.

If you learn a new sentence today, you'll be shown that sentence each day for 4 to 7 days. Upon convincing Glossika that you've learned an item, you'll begin seeing it less frequently. Each time you demonstrate your knowledge by getting the item correct, the interval of time that will pass before Glossika asks you to review it again will become larger. From two days to four, a week to two weeks, a month, two months, four months, eight months, and so on.

Eventually, you will reach a point where you're only being prompted to review a given item once every couple of years, and at this point, you've effectively learned it. So long as you are actually using your language (having conversations, reading books, watching YouTube, and so forth), you'll almost certainly see that particular word again before two years have passed. You'll never forget it again.

Once you reach this point with the majority of the content on Glossika — or perhaps sooner, depending on your goals and personality — you will have graduated from Glossika. We encourage you to move on and begin learning by doing.

Our promise: even if you know nothing about linguistics or teaching, to learn as efficiently and optimally as possible for your unique situation, you only have to do three things:

  1. Log into Glossika each day

  2. Review the content our algorithm has prepared for you

  3. Do new sessions at a daily pace you feel comfortable with

Further reading: The Forgetting Curve and Spaced Repetition


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