Chances are, Glossika is pretty different than any other language app or textbook you might have used in the past. Our first sentences might be harder than you expected, the sentences you're seeing might seem random, and you might be confused as to how all of this is supposed to benefit you.
Here are answers to two questions that are probably on your mind:
Why is Glossika like this?
We believe that languages must be used to be learned, and we recognize that it’s difficult to use your language as a total beginner. You need a foundation to stand on, but you don’t have one yet. It’s only natural that people turn towards courses, apps, and textbooks to build that foundation.
The problem is, a lot of people never move beyond those “beginner” applications. They maintain their streaks, and they learn a lot about their target language, but they never really begin using their target language. As such, they never grow beyond a certain level of basic proficiency.
These people aren't total beginners — they’ve studied their language for awhile — but they can’t do anything fun or useful in their language, either.
That’s where we come in.
To learn, do! | Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
The majority of these people’s language learning problems would disappear with sufficient exposure to their target languages. In other words, most learners don’t need another textbook. They need something that will help them transform their book knowledge into practical ability.
As such, Glossika is designed to give you as much level-appropriate input per minute as is possible. You’ll be learning with full sentences (albeit very simple ones) from Level 1. We’ve set up the program to eliminate all of the guesswork from your training regimen: we determine what you’ll study next, when you should review it, and when you’re ready to move on. This enables you to focus entirely on your target language. We spoon-feed your target language to you, it goes in your ears and comes out your mouth, and then your brain picks up on the language’s patterns over time.
So long as you can loosely make sense of how a sentence in your target language and its translation into your native language line up, that’s enough. Your brain is working behind the scenes and building a mental database of how your target language communicates ideas.
Glossika’s end goal is to see you build an intuitive ability to express yourself in your target language.
How will drilling/repeating these sentences benefit me?
In our experience, you'll need to put in 25,000 reps before you're ready to reliably stumble through your first conversations. How many reps you do beyond that is up to you, but we encourage users to strive for 100,000 reps. A five year old child has already spoken a million sentences in their native language. Regardless of how smart or diligent you are, you're going to need to spend a lot of time speaking in order to cover that gap.
Thankfully, you'll work through several exciting milestones along the way.
1. You'll figure out the rhythm and melody of your target language
A big part of your first few thousand reps on Glossika simply boils down to getting your mouth comfortably around the sounds of your target language. Early on, each sentence may seem like a tongue twister, and you'll struggle to say it smoothly through.
Your tongue | Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
As time goes on, the language will "slow down" for you. You'll find that you can hear the audio more clearly, and that you can repeat sentences aloud with much less effort. You may not understand all of what you are hearing upon encountering a new sentence, but you'll be able to repeat after the recording without much effort.
This is an important hurdle to reach for three reasons:
It gives you a serious confidence boost
It frees up mental bandwidth, enabling you direct more of your focus toward understanding the logic of your target language
For your conversation partners — it's easier to understand someone who can speak smoothly in whole sentences
2. Sentences you learned will start "falling" out of your mouth
This is going to sound weird... until it happens to you.
You'll be going through your day, totally normally, and then something will happen. Out of the blue, without a conscious effort, one of your Glossika sentences will appear right there on the tip of your tongue.
That "spontaneous recollection" of your target language will come gradually. At first, it's primarily something you'll notice while doing your review reps.
You'll be drilling a sentence you've already seen several times — such as the one above. Glossika prompts you, you read the beginning of the sentence "on..." ... and then, as if you'd pressed a keyboard shortcut, the entire sentence will pop right out of your mouth: onŭl chumneyo.
This is another important step! It means that your target language is successfully embedding into your brain, stooping like tea leaves in water and getting stronger.
3. Ever smaller "chunks" of information will start sticking out to you
As you continue doing your reps, you'll get ever finer and more independent access to the individual parts of the sentences that you're learning.
Here's a few examples of the sort of information bits you'll latch onto:
Individual words — From the above sentence, you'd remember the word "onŭl" (today)
"Recyclable" phrases — you'll see a Spanish sentence like quiero ir a la fiesta (I want to go to the party), and one day it'll occur to you that you can just precede any verb with quiero in order to communicate what you want to do
Grammar points — continuing with the Spanish example, you'll eventually notice that that 2nd person verbs ("you" form) tend to end in an -s (bailas, vienes, piensas) and that third person verbs don't (baila, viene, piansa)
This won't be a flawless process, and you'll eventually need to consult a grammar reference to polish your speech. However, you really will just be polishing your speech. Repetition alone is enough to let you put words in the right order and construct sentences that have a more or less correct "shape" to them.
4. You'll be able to recycle and repurpose those "chunks"
This is where the magic happens.
All of those details that you've been picking up on — some smaller, some bigger — will eventually become consciously accessible to you. You'll be able to slice, dice, and rearrange Glossika's sentences in order to express your own unique thoughts.
This part goes here... | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
That process looks something like this:
The weather is nice today.
(noun) is (adjective) (time).
→ Your outfit is cute today!
→ This curry is delicious!
→ My mother is smart.
In other words, you haven't "just" been memorizing a bunch of sentences. What you've really been doing is internalizing the structure and logic of another language. Soon, you'll be able to manipulate it quite naturally.
To facilitate this process, speak to yourself in your target language as much as possible. Try describing the things you see, narrating your own actions, talking about your plan, and whatever comes to mind. This is an important practice that will reveal the holes in your knowledge to you and train you to actively apply your language skills.
5. You'll build your language muscles
At a certain point, you'll find that you can more or less express yourself. No matter what you want to say, you'll have the tools necessary to express that thought, even if it takes a bit of creativity.
From here on out on Glossika, you're simply building your language muscles:
You'll expand your vocabulary to several thousand words
You'll master an increasingly wide range of sentence structures
You'll have figured out which grammar points you can learn through osmosis and which ones you'll need to sit down and intentionally study
6. You'll be able to stand independently in your target language
Eventually, your language muscles will be strong enough that you can function independently in your target language. You'll be able to "graduate" from Glossika and hit the ground running with conversations, books, YouTube, or whatever it is that drew you to your target language and sparks joy in your life.
When exactly this point comes will differ from person to person. A lot of it comes down to your personal tolerance for mistakes and/or how confident you are.
Nevertheless, you will reach this point so long as you're diligent.
You'll know when the time has come.