Have you ever tried learning a new language? Most of us have, and we all run into the same problems: too much vocabulary, too much grammar, and worse yet, it's so frustrating when we can't find a way to say what we want — we can't express ourselves!
Over the last 30 years, linguistic science has found that the most reliable way to really acquire a new language is to listen to it. And that doesn't mean listening to whatever you please like TV shows or music — in fact, there's a very specific type of listening that learners need to do to become successful. In linguistics, that type of listening is called comprehensible input.
Comprehensible input means that what you're listening to is actually something you can understand. If you listen to a new language all day but you don't understand a word of it, you won't learn a thing! At Glossika, we make sure you always understand what you're hearing, through three key methods:
Keep reading to find out more about what we do, or click through to our course list to find out what we offer for the language you want to study.
A set of sounds used to convey meaning.
It’s one thing to hear a phrase and say it back right away, but it’s another thing entirely to say it again on your own, a day or a week later, in a completely new situation. In order to do that, we need to understand how the brain remembers the sounds it hears. Sleep and memory are deeply connected, and deep sleep (“REM sleep”) helps your brain organize patterns found in your daily activities -- including the sounds of your new language. Repeating activities over a number of days reinforces those patterns and helps push them into your long-term memory.
So what does that mean for language learning? Well, it means that cramming for hours all at once is not the best way to learn a language! For the best results, you should put in a shorter amount of time every day - we find 20 minutes to be a good starting point for most learners. This way, your brain will have plenty of time and space to digest the new material. Don’t be surprised when you wake up one morning humming some sentences in your new language as if you’d been fluent all along!
To speak a language smoothly and confidently – in a flowing way. (From Latin fluens, “flowing”).
You may have heard the common myth that children are better language learners than adults - but it’s simply not true! Science shows that children have the most opportunity to learn languages, because we keep our speech at a level that we expect them to understand. But children are perfectly capable of speaking fluently, even with their limited range of vocabulary and expression.
Don’t expect to master a language in a week or a month - a nearly impossible task - but you can still express yourself fluently using what you’ve already learned, even from the very beginning! We carefully select every sentence in our courses to gradually build vocabulary and grammatical concepts naturally, through repeated exposure in different contexts. Check out our courses for a detailed list of what topics are covered in each series.
In English, we're so accustomed to our own spelling that we can read and write with very little effort. But in a new language, making the jump from spelling to sound is usually one of the biggest stumbling blocks to clear pronunciation.
The fact is that you don’t need to learn how to read and write (nothing can replace comprehensible input), but reading and writing can be a valuable tool if you take the time to learn them. Phonics is a useful tool for language development, but how exactly do you do phonics when you can’t even read the script? Not to worry - we provide two different levels of detailed phonics, a romanization using the alphabet, and the International Phonetic Alphabet for people who are serious about pronunciation.
There are hundreds of languages with more than a million speakers. But we only see books and materials for the the most common written ones: English, Mandarin, French, German, etc. Unlike textbook methods, the Glossika method works really well even with unwritten languages and dialects. We're always adding languages, so why not try something new?
Can't decide what to learn? Check out our courses — we've rated every language by pronunciation difficulty for English speakers.
Note: If you have previously pre-ordered a language and don't see it here, don't worry! We will list it as soon as possible.
I bought the whole Glossika set for Swedish. I've been really impressed with how far my Swedish has progressed with this product.—Thomas Hjelm
This is even better in some ways than reading a novel or poetry. You are reading and the 'themes' of the story start to construct little scenarios in your mind where your mind starts to morph in and out of different responses as you read through the sentences (and write them). Every few words or so, a very different alternative is thrown in - and the 'very different' nature of it works as a memory peg in contrast with the other very similar responses that your brain had been drilling through. Then for me at least - my mind then goes off on other tangents formulating other possibilities. What Glossika has done here (I am basing this on the Chinese I have bought) is an interesting tie in with Krashen's work on Comprehensible Input. This isn't like just reading through a lonely planet phrase book. This is the kind of interactive stuff we're putting out there on the Jcademy platform.—Stuart Jay Raj, Hyperpolyglot
I’m an applied linguistics MA student, I fully support this method. Keep it up.—Ross Sundberg