(English – Text only) Learn naturally: Teddy Nee’s impression of “Glossika”* learning method
I was on my way to the capital city of Taiwan, Taipei city, one day when an idea occurred to my mind. The train was packed as usual, so there were no empty seats left for me, I had to stand as usual. I was lucky to find an empty spot next to passenger seats, that’s my favorite spot to stand because I can lean on the window rather than standing at the middle of the passageway where there is nothing to support you, and hoping not to fall on anyone.
Sitting next to me was a kid with his mom, the kid kept on talking to his mom during our journey, and I bet his mom might have been so annoyed. I noticed that this kid spoke Chinese just like any other kids of his age but he used several words that I either did not recognise or would not use because of willing to simplify my speech. My question was how could this kid learn to speak like that? I am sure that I have spent more years learning Chinese at his age.
This circumstance intrigued me so much to find out how kids learn their native language, and what does “native language” really mean? Similarly, I was asked quite often by Taiwanese on how I master the pronunciation of rolling R, which exist in one of my native languages, Indonesian. If you are a speaker of European languages, you certainly don’t have problem with the pronunciation. I did nothing else than listening to my mom and imitating the rolling R.
I am not a linguist and I don’t have any formal education about linguistics, however, any topics about language learning always catch my attention. Soon I realized that kids learn languages by listening, that’s why kids usually speak first before they can read or write. What’s more amazing is nobody has ever taught them about grammar because kids simply won’t get it. Then, how can these kids speak better as they grow?
The next time you observe the way kids talk, you will find out that they learn an extensive vocabulary from people at their surroundings — parents, neighbors, friends, etc. And perhaps, they absorb so much in the beginning before they start to talk. Then, I thought to myself, we can learn languages “naturally” if we learn like how kids learn languages. I know that we won’t have the privileges that kids have, but we can simulate the situation.
Later I found Glossika*, a language learning book which is very different from other language learning books that I have encountered before. Glossika* does not have grammar explanations, stories, useful phrases like what you can find in travel phrasebooks. It might seem difficult to learn at the beginning because you won’t get the information of what is usually provided in language books. However, I figured out that Glossika* method matches “learn naturally” concept that I mentioned earlier.
Glossika* has sentences, from short to long, of different contexts. The books are divided into three levels of difficulty, so-called Fluency 1, Fluency 2, and Fluency 3. They are categorized as, but not limited to, the following:
- Ask & answer relationship status
- Ask & give age / price / job
- Describe what someone is doing now
- Describe what people often do
- Talk about likes / dislikes
- Describe what people don’t often do
As what you can see here, the topics are somewhat different and unconventional. The speaking style that is utilised by Glossika* is the colloquial, but polite and acceptable form that is used in real life. I have seen many language books that utilize informal and formal speaking style which the native speakers don’t actually use in real life. For instance, the translation of “you” is “kamu (inf.)/ Anda (for.)” in Indonesian but in fact, Indonesian don’t usually address each other like that.
Apart from the speaking style, I have also learnt about constructing sentences because there are sentences with the same pattern, and there is also International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. Using Glossika* is my first time to learn about IPA and to see how it is used in language learning. It would be a great experience to be able to read IPA because it means that you can pronounce words in any languages perfectly.
Repetition is a key to successful language learning. Glossika* method also focuses on this and there is also learning schedule prepared for you. As what is written in the website, “3 books — 3000 sentences — 10 months of content (on suggested schedule of 20 min/day).” It is better to spend a little time for language learning than nothing at all because our brain needs time to process what we have just learnt a while ago. Note that babies don’t talk right away after they are born, instead, they take time to absorb and process your speech.
Teddy Nee is a passionate language learner and blogger. An IT Engineer by day and a language learner by night. His mission is to raise awareness of the importance of knowing more languages and to educate more people to be global citizens. He believes that learning the language of the others is a milestone to reach world peace. You can correspond with him in Medan Hokkien, Indonesian, English, Chinese Mandarin, Spanish, and Esperanto. Visit his blog at www.neeslanguageblog.com
*Glosika is an independent company and the opinions here are based only on the guest’s point of view. It does not mean that My Polyglot and/or Mello Method Organisation endorse or have any connection with the company or the writer. The efficiency, or not, is based only on an individual point of view. The links to Glossika website are affiliated by the guest Teddy Nee. Feel free to comment or even write another guest post with a similar or contrary opinion.