One of the lessor known language learning companies is Glossika which was founded by Michael Campbell. They teach a wide range of languages, but of course one of them is Japanese! That’s why I’ll be sharing my Glossika Japanese review with you today.
When I first used them to improve my Japanese, it was back when they sold books with accompanying audio files. But that has all changed with their new technology that uses artificial intelligence to help people learn to speak better and faster.
It actually pretty crazy how high tech this company is!
Let me talk about their unique course and how it works first, and then once I’m done with that I will talk more about the content of the course and what you’ll learn if you use them.
What Does Glossika Do?
Glossika is an online, interactive language learning course that is centered around two primary concepts.
The first one is the “mass sentence” method where you learn a language through the consumption of a huge amount of full sentences in the language.
This is similar to how people generally learn their first language, by hearing people speak naturally a lot, and it takes advantage of the brain’s ability to recognize, identify, and then recall patterns.
It also allows you to learn grammar in a natural method, since it’s pared up with actual words instead of just being talked about in a theoretical session.
On top of that, it helps you to learn how a particular word is actually used by natives and not just some of its potential meanings which you see when you look it up in a dictionary.
I have always been a big fan of learning Japanese through the use of full sentences, and this course takes that concept to the maximum level by providing thousands of different ones for you to learn and practice.
The other concept that this course uses has to do with a special type of review. What the founder learned was that people’s brains tend to forget words unless they re-encountered it soon after learning it. Because of this, the system keeps track of which words the learner knows and when they learned them so that they can review them at the optimal time.
That’s one of the reasons why the course uses an online interface to deliver its lessons. There is a lot of technology behind it that is tailored to each user’s specific level and progress.
This means that anyone who is using it is always learning new words and sentences that are just the right fit for their level in Japanese, and that it ensures that they review the right stuff before their brains naturally forget it.
I really like this because it means they do all of the heavy lifting of choosing the right material to learn and review, and all I have to do is sign in and start the day’s lesson.
How Can Glossika Be Used?
Glossika is really intended to help people break through to spoken fluency. Because of this, it is heavily reliant on listening and speaking comprehension.
I remember listening to Michael talk about his Chinese students who could read and write English well, but couldn’t understand him when he spoke English to them. Needless to say, their speaking skills were also lacking.
What his research uncovered is that the average student who has taken years of language classes has spoken an average of 3,000 full sentences.
But, it takes 30,000-100,000 spoken sentences for a person to actually break through to the point where they can converse at ease about the topics that they are interested in.
He also said that the average 10-year old kid has spoken 1 million sentences, which is why kids can use their languages so well!
If you’re struggling to speak Japanese well and you’re wondering why a native kid has such as easy time with it, you can be pretty sure that one of the main factors is the sheer number of spoken sentences that kid has produced.
Getting back to Glossika, this is a course that is really designed for speaking, and of course listening since that is the other half of the coin.
All of that being said, the flash cards that you use in the lessons contain full written Japanese (as well as furigana and romaji) so you can also practice reading if you want to.
The last time I checked out their online course, they also had some writing exercises, so typing is a thing too.
By the way, what I’ve been talking about up until this point is their “Full Practice” mode which is intended to be used at home when you have time to sit down and completely focus on each lesson.
But there is also a “Listening Only” mode that is designed for people who are super busy and can only practice their language learning when they are on the go (in the car, at work, etc.).
Because of this, you can use their program to learn a lot of different aspects of the language, or you can focus on what the course excels at and do listening and speaking exercises whenever you’re able to fit in a session.
What Do You Learn?
There is a huge amount of material in the course when it comes to the content. There are over 3,000 Japanese sentences that start out at a basic level, such as talking about the weather, and then become quite complicated later on.
In addition to that, there are even more that are devoted to specialized areas like business or engineering.
The main course is intended to take you from an A1 level to a B2 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Since the focus in on fluency, these topics are typically everyday stuff and can range from conversations that you would have with friends, family, and strangers, all the way to describing certain events that you witnessed.
That last one might come in handy if you are recounting an experience to a friend or to a police officer.
Within each of these categories there are even more sub-categories so that you can really hone in on just one particular topic if you want to.
When I took the screenshot below, there were 16 primary categories and a total of 149 sub-categories that could be accessed.
But who knows, maybe there are even more at this point!
In fact, Glossika may have the most extensive categories that I’ve seen in any language learning course. I’m not 100% sure if that’s true or not, but at the very least they are one of the best that I’ve seen.
What’s nice is that you can include as many or as little of them that interest you so that you spend your time learning the things that you really want to.
My Personal Thoughts
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Glossika and what the company is doing for the language learning community. I hope to see them continue adding new languages, and innovating their system for the rest of use to utilize.
I do have to admit that when it comes to learning Japanese, it can be a little overwhelming for newbies.
I say this because Glossika takes more of an implicit approach to picking up the grammar, rather than an explicit one. By that I mean you don’t really get in-depth explanations on how the grammar functions during the lessons.
To help with this, they have actually created a free eBook that helps people learn Japanese pronunciation and grammar which you can find on their main website.
I will put a link down below that takes you to it. I would highly recommend people use that in combination with the course unless they are already at an intermediate level.
The other thing to keep in mind is the focus of the course: attaining spoken fluency.
If you’re the kind of person who is learning Japanese to primarily read manga and light novels, then this course might not be the most optimal choice for you.
Having said that though, if you’re struggling to produce full Japanese sentences in a relatively easy manner when speaking, then Glossika might be exactly what you’re needing to attain a breakthrough.
The best part is that they allow you to try out the full system for a week for free when you sign up. All you have to do is create an account with your email, Facebook, or Google account so it is a pretty easy process.
Where To Find It
There are a lot of good things to say about Glossika, and I hope that I’ve done a decent job of explaining how it works and what my personal feelings on it are.
Using Glossika helped me to overcome my own struggles with speaking Japanese. It’s the best course that I’ve used for breaking through to spoken fluency in the language.
If you have any experience with using Glossika, then please let me know what your thoughts are by leaving a comment down below. Thanks!
Further Resources for Learning Japanese: