Core Study Sequences: Glossika Language Training

Welcome to Part 4 in a series of articles in which I show you exactly how I’m learning foreign languages every day.

In these articles I talk about how I’m using my Core Study Time – a 30-45 minute period at the start of every day which I set aside for intensive study.

Before you read this, you should go back and check out the previous posts in the series:

  1. Core Study Time In Your Language Routine
  2. Core Study Sequences Part 1: Listening Comprehension
  3. Core Study Sequences Part 2: Learning Vocabulary
  4. Core Study Sequences Part 3: Lesson Preparation
  5. Core Study Sequences Part 4: Glossika Language Training
  6. Core Study Sequences Part 5: Studying Dialogues
  7. Core Study Sequences Part 6: Transcribing Audio
  8. Core Study Sequences Part 7: Reverse Translation

Studying With Glossika

The aim of this routine is to use the Glossika Language Training product to build familiarity with your target language.

Glossika is an innovative language training product that is becoming increasingly popular among language learners.

What is it?

Well, it’s basically a long list of sentences!

But what makes it special is the way these sentences are chosen.

You see, every language has certain grammar patterns that crop up over and over again.

Once you learn these common grammar patterns, you have a good grounding in the language.

Then, as a language learner, there are certain phrases you can expect to hear over and over again. (Think: “How long have you been learning Japanese?”)

Once you recognise these common phrases – and know how to reply – you can cope easily with many familiar situations you’ll find yourself in.

In a nutshell, Glossika gives you all this foundational stuff on a plate… which is awesome!

All you have to do is learn it!

And that’s what this post is about.

Step 1: Train Your Ear

Glossika sentences come in groups of 50.

This can be overwhelming at first, but I like to see this as an opportunity.

You see, when you’re faced with a bunch of new language, it’s a great opportunity to test your ear and see how much you can understand. (Even if you don’t understand very much.)


Simply, this forces you to push yourself and understand as much as possible without any help.

This is good training for when you encounter real people.

So, the first thing I do is simply listen to my chosen set of 50 sentences over and over again, on repeat.

I’ll only stop once I feel I’ve understood as much as I can, and there’s nothing more to be gained from repeat listening.

Time spent on this: 1-2 days (dead time).

Step 2: Study The Sentences

Once I’ve tested my ear as much as possible, it’s time to knuckle down and study what I’ve been listening to.

Now, rather than simply listen to the sentences, I’ll listen and read at the same time.

This helps your ear make sense of the sounds, by giving it some written words to “anchor” on to.

At this stage, I’ll also look at the translations, so I know what everything means.

This takes concentration, so I’ll do this in my core study time – not when I’m walking around.

Time spent on this: 20-30 minutes

Step 3: Learn The New Vocabulary

From the 50 new sentences, there will be some words or phrases you don’t understand.

This is a good thing, as it’s an opportunity to learn some new stuff!

What I like to do is to identify the stuff I don’t know, and write it down in my notebook.

This would typically be around 10-12 new words or phrases, but it will vary depending on the content.

(Sometimes, there may be some language I don’t think is very useful, in which case I might just ignore it altogether. It’s all part of taking ownership of what you’re learning.)

I like having an organised collection of the stuff I want to learn. It makes it easier to pick up my book and focus on learning it later.

I’ll then use the method described in Core Study Sequences Part 2 to memorise the vocabulary.

Time spent on this: 1-2 days

Step 4: Start Speaking!

Everything that’s happened up to this point, I see as the groundwork – the preparation for what comes next. 🙂

It’s also probably the step that most people skip.

What is it?

Well, up until now, I’ve been listening and learning.

But I want to be able to use this new language when I’m speaking, too.

One of the cornerstones to my approach to language learning, is that you can’t simply “assume” you’ll remember the important words when you need them.

You have to actively train yourself to recall vocabulary and say it “on demand”.

This is the hard part, but also the part that will bring you the most results.

Luckily, Glossika has your back here!

In the audio that comes with the course, there is one track that gives you this:

  • English sentence
  • [PAUSE]
  • Sentence in target language x1
  • [PAUSE]
  • Sentence in target language x2

So, over the next few days, as I’m out and about, I’ll use this track to train myself to say the sentences in the target language.

This is not easy, and takes a lot of time and patience.

But once you can say all 50 sentences aloud, with confidence, and “on demand”…

You’re on fire!!! 🙂

Time spent on this: 2-3 days

After following this routine for a couple of months, I saw big progress in my Cantonese.

It’s certainly not a “lazy” language learning method, and you really have to apply yourself and concentrate on what you’re doing.

But if you give it a try… and really try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

To try Glossika Language Training for yourself click here. 

Would you use this routine yourself? What problems would you have?

Please do share this post on Facebook or Twitter if you found it useful, then leave me your comments or questions below!

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  • lubab

    Thank you, Olly, for sharing us this a good and useful series.

    Regarding Glossika, my target language is English, but I didn’t find it on their website.

    Please, do you recommend some other web which closes to Glossika’s method?

    Thank you


    • Hi Lubab,

      I’m not sure there’s anything identical to Glossika, but I suggest you try:

      They’ve got lots of great dialogues which you can use to practise your listening and grammar. The premium version is best, because you get “clickable dialogues” which are great for training your ear.

  • Victoria Minnear

    Hi Olly! I’ve recently gotten into listening to your podcasts and reading your blog. You got me motivated enough to start speaking with a Russian tutor, which is something I’ve put off until now due to being a bit of a wimp lol. And of course, that is going really well, so I’ve just got to say how much I appreciate your advice!

    I watched your series of study sequences last night and purchased the Russian Glossika as it looks like it can really help me. I’ll also be putting some of your other strategies into my daily routine. Большое спасибо!!!

    • That’s so cool, and I’m really happy to hear about all your efforts! Come back in a few months and let me know how you get on!

  • Alan

    Are there any plans to include hebrew to your available languages?

    • Hi Alan, do you mean for Glossika? I’m not sure if they’re planning on it, but I can ask for you!

      • Alan

        Thank you! I appreciate it

        • I asked Mike about this. He said they’ve been trying to get Hebrew done but had some logistical problems. They’re working on it! 🙂

  • Mateusz Sycz

    Hey Olly, at what point in Glossika do you suggest starting speaking with a tutor, say on iTalki? I’m about half-way through Mandarin Fluency 2 and not sure if I know enough to start having conversations.

    • Hi Mateusz, I’d say start speaking with a tutor right from the beginning! It’s probably a good idea to be working through a good textbook at the same time as using Glossika, and so you should have a good foundation fairly quickly. Either way, you don’t want to wait too long before speaking, because you’ve got to get feedback on your tones 🙂

  • AndyN

    Hi Olly thanks for this. I have Glossika French, but I always found their “official” advice on how to use GMS too demanding (and GSR too slow). Your advice was exactly what I was looking for!

    As a result every day I’ve started a routine of doing 3 roughly five minute tasks. First in the morning first and then repeated again in the evening.

    First using the C files I listen to 50 tracks, then I listen while reading 50 tracks I’d only listened to before, and finally I attempt to recall the target language from the B files for the tracks I’ve both listened to and read on previous days.

    I repeat this for two days before each file gets moved up a stage. In this way, with both listening and reading, each track gets 8 repetitions over four days before I attempt to recall it. If I’m finding this too difficult as the sentences get more demanding later on then I’m sure I can extend the stages as required until I’m happy.

    I set up a goal page to track my progress using the dojo website that you spoke of a while back. That site’s now, and it’s free for something like this. Hopefully this links to my page:

    Thanks Olly!

    • Hi Andy, that’s really cool… I love the action and the commitment! Let me know how it goes!

  • Heather

    How does this fit into your core routine? Is it part of your
    intensive study? I note that you have listening drills on top of your
    intensive study, so which does Glossika fit into. I note from another
    video on listening that you have a video open which you get a friend to
    transcribe and you listen over and over. Is this part of your listening
    drill, the core study, or something completely different? If it’s part
    of your intensive study then what do you consider to be a listening
    drill, and what about the writing stuff down and going over them and
    repeating them? Which part does that come under? Sorry for asking so
    many questions, but it seems confusing to me how you would fit them all
    in if they are separate things.

    • Hi Heather, thanks for the questions! They’re all part of my core study time. What I do is rotate between all these approaches over time. I get bored quite easily, and hit plateaus, so it’s important for me to have different things to work on. If I feel my vocabulary needs work, I’ll do one thing. If I feel my listening is weak, I’ll do something else. Does that make sense?

  • SMO404

    Great article and series Olly. I’m using Glossika to learn Italian. I’ve been using the GSR approach outlined by Glossika but have been looking for ways to interact more with the materials. It sounds like your approach works out to about 50 sentences per week? Is that right?

    • It’s difficult to say, because I tend to skip over some stuff that’s either too easy, too hard, or not relevant to me at that moment. But assuming the difficulty of the material is just right (and I’m interested), then yeah, that’s about right!

      • SMO404

        Thanks much Olly!

    • Francesca Di Pippo

      Te lo scrivo in Italiano, così ti eserciti anche un pò:
      Nel corso di italiano di Glossika la speaker presenta dei gravi difetti di pronuncia. Se impari a parlare come lei, gli italiani dubito ti capirebbero. In particolare mi riferisco alla cadenza ed alla “r”. I madrelingua inglesi faticano un pò a pronunciare la “r” all’italiana, studiare in un corso dove chi dovrebbe insegnarti come fare non lo sa fare, secondo me è controproducente. Poi, quell’italiano non è l’italiano standard, cioè non è l’italiano che parlano i media. Non capisco come un linguista del calibro di Glossika possa aver scelto una simile voce. Forse anche lui non conosce tutte le lingue per cui vende i corsi e quindi non ne può verificare la qualità…