Early Impressions of Glossika Thai Fluency Course


If spending money was the main criteria, I would be up there among the best non-native speakers of Thai. I’ve spent a small fortune on books and courses over the years, and most of this cash could have been put to better use. My latest purchase is the Glossika Thai Fluency course, but my early impressions of this course is that it is money well spent.

Glossika Thai Fluency Out of the Box

I put my order in for the Glossika Thai Fluency course a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t get released until yesterday, so I’ve been like a little boy waiting for his birthday to arrive. I read on the Glossika Facebook page that there were some technical issues, so I was preparing myself for a delay, but they released the first level on time – the other two levels are due to follow soon. There is enough in the first level to keep me busy for a few weeks, so I don’t mind waiting for the other levels.

Yesterday morning, I made the mistake of checking my email on my iPhone during a 4am visit to the toilet – I try to avoid doing this because it wakes me up so much that I can’t get back to sleep. When I saw the email containing Glossika links, all thoughts of bed were forgotten. I ended up spending most of yesterday playing around with the material.

The first level of Glossika Thai is made up of 1,000 sentences. I’d been told to listen to all of these in one go on first day, so this is what I did – it took 81 minutes to do this using the short C files. The quality of the audio is crystal clear. I noticed a couple of minor errors (missing words), but nothing major, and nothing that is going to get in the way of my progress.

I did feel a tiny bit disappointed to discover I recognized all of the vocabulary in this level, but it is probably a good thing. It isn’t lack of Thai vocabulary that is holding me back from fluency, but the fact that I haven’t been able to transfer these words into conversational usage. As I said in my last post, there is no real value in me knowing thousands of Thai words if I pronounce most of them wrong.

How I’m going to Be Using the Glossika Thai Course

There are a number of paths language students can take using the Thai Glossika material depending on the amount of free time they have to spare. I’m aiming for fluency within six months, so I’m going to be working my way through 50 sentences per day. In the past, I’ve had a bad habit of doing things my own way, and this hasn’t been effective, so I’m trying to follow instructions as closely as possible.

In order to make good progress using Glossika, I’ll be using the following approach:

• Writing down 50 new sentences each day
• Learning these sentences with the book closed using file A
• Recording 200 sentences per day
• Translating oldest 50 sentences
• Revising last four sessions
• Listening to four Glossika Spaced Repetition files per day

In the instructions, it is recommended that I write down 50 sentences with the book closed and just listening to the audio. This isn’t really practical for me, as it would take me too long. I spend about 50 minutes just writing these sentences down with the book open.

I’ve heard that some people reckon this written work isn’t going to be the best use of my time, but I’m already devoting three hours a day to spoken Thai. By writing stuff down, it allows me to get a better feel for the words.

Update: Mike from Glossika has provided some further advice for how to use program on the Farang Can Learn Thai Language Facebook Page:

“… my courses can be done on as little as 20 minutes a day. I have given you *lots* of options. The 20-minute-a-day approach (GSR Files Only) will require as much as 3 months to get through just 1 book though. But believe me, in the end you’ll know the material really, really well. And even if you can’t speak yet (likely), your brain should be locked into a specific accent which boosts your comprehension. Everything you hear from then on should be crystal clear. Every language I learn, there’s always that moment when the sounds of the language become crystal clear and it’s a big turning point. It’s as if new ruts have been dug in my brain and all the sounds fit in those ruts perfectly. Once you have it though, it’s really easy to get your speaking to follow suit.
The writing just reinforces everything so that it helps you with speech production. By writing it out, you’re actually doing active work (vs passive, like listening). So if you’re only doing GSR, the best way to get active practice is by shadowing every sentence as much as you can.”

He goes on to give offer advice on using IPA:

“I never require students to learn IPA. It’s there as a REFERENCE. So if you go through all 1000 sentences in the book reading the IPA as you listen, you’ll know the IPA well before you’re done. It’s the easiest way to acquire knowledge of the symbols. No memorizing required. From then on, just use it as a reference.”

The Glossika Thai 3-in-1 package is still on special offer, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the other 2 levels.

Glossika Thai is Just One of the Resources I Am Using

I’m combining Glossika with the work I’m doing with Stu Jay Raj. I continue to study Thai over six hours per day, and I currently divide this up as follows:

• Thai Pronunciation Drills using ดรุณศึกษา (Darun Suksa) series (under the guidance of Stuart Jay Raj) – 90 minutes
• Glossika Thai – 90 minutes
• Stu Jay Raj material – 60 minutes
• Learn Thai Podcast – 30 minutes
• BYKI flash cards (I’m thinking of eliminating this temporarily) – 30 minutes
• Fun Thai Stuff (music, YouTube videos, Thai websites) – 90 minutes (more like 180 minutes because I watch Thai movies in bed)

There are times when I get frustrated with the pronunciation drills, especially near the end of the ninety minutes when I start to make more mistakes, but it is definitely leading to improvements in my ability to pronounce Thai. I’ve noticed that I sort of fall into a rhythm where I’m pronouncing the words correctly and afterwards it’s like – wow, did I just do that? Stuart Jay Raj recorded some of the work we have been doing with Thai drills, and I think he plans to release a video of this soon.

Other posts in this series on learning Thai

Week 0- My Quest to Speak Fluent Thai in Six Months
Week 1 -Creating the Right Mental Conditions for Learning Thai
Week 2- Maybe Just Getting Out There and Speaking Thai is Not Enough
Week 3 – 5 Improvements in My Approach to Learning Thai
Week 4 – Generating Enough Passion to Learn Thai
Week 6 – Early Impressions of Glossika Thai Fluency Course
Week 7 – Introverts Can Learn Thai Too
Week 8 – Winning Strategy for Achieving Fluency in Thai
Week- 9 – Thai Fluency in 10,000 Sentences

Latest posts by Paul Garrigan (see all)

14 thoughts on “Early Impressions of Glossika Thai Fluency Course

  1. Well done Paul. It’s great to get on a roll, yes? Today I’ll record myself before my first lesson with Luca Lampariello (Italian). Like you, I want to compare my pronunciation before and after. These materials are excellent for what I need.

    1. I’m really getting into this idea of recording myself Catherine. It is like being in competition with myself because each day I want to do better – it’s very motivating. I hope your first lesson with Luca Lampariello goes well.

  2. I’m a bit confused about the Glossika thing and the website isn’t super informative. Is it just a collection of Thai sentences which you learn and drill? Or is there something more to it? Do they involve substitution drills? And – questions, questions – what sentences are they? ‘My coachman has been struck by lightning’ stuff or something else? It sounds a bit like the audio-lingual stuff I endured at school as I suffered through French O-level but I may have the wrong end of the stick.

    Other than that, always interesting to read your posts but I notice you’re not doing any writing. Is that deliberate? Are you not interested in it? I would have thought that, if you’re aiming to produce videos, you would want to look at how extended texts are constructed.

    1. Hi Dan, the Glossika sentences are more conversational in nature. I think the idea is that you you start building stories in your head around the sentences. There are two main file types (methods). The General Mass Sentence (GMS) has each sentence in English, and then twice in Thai. The Glossika Spaced Reputation says the sentences once in English and once in Thai. The pace is fast with GSR but the lessons are short – you have the choice to either just listen or shadow the Thai speaker. I think many of the polygots use Glossika – I know Stu Jay Raj likes it.

    2. I will be doing more writing, but it is more the speaking that is my priority at the moment. I’ve being overly focused on reading/writing in the past, so I’m trying restore some balance.

    1. Hi Dan, yeah that’s the GSR – the GMS is significantly slower. There are actually two types of GMS – one where you repeat the Thai twice after the speaker and one where you try to say the Thai before the speaker. With the GMS, I mirror the speaker.

  3. Excellent, thanks. I might buy this. Last question (promise) – Did they say anything to you about when the other levels will be ready?

    1. No, I’m really curious about that too. I know all the vocabulary in level one. They do say there are three thousand sentences over three thousand different words. I think that should be enough to get somebody to a reasonable level of fluency in Thai.

  4. Hi Paul. Great to hear you are really digging in to learning Thai! At the risk of sounding cliche, its inspiring to hear of “old dogs learning new tricks” (not to say you are an old dog 🙂 ). I also need to really bone up on my Thai as well, though to be honest I’m much lazier than you about this. My energy is just sapped with everything else I’ve got going on now, I know – sad excuse.

    Anyway, maybe your example will get me going in the right direction. By the way, are there any free podcasts you would recommend for learning Thai?

    Hope you are well. I’ve actually been going through quite a lot recently, and just started trying to get caught up with your blog. Have a nice weekend!

    1. Hi Tan, I think you can get free episodes with both the Learn Thai Podcast and Thai 101. The Thai Recordings website has lots of free recordings on there – in fact, it’s all free and you can download the audio tracks along with scripts in Thai. Stu Jay Raj has some free stuff on his website too, and I highly recommend this if you want to get serious. There is also now a lot of stuff on YouTube

      Nice to hear you have been keeping busy – it took a long time for my motivation to learn Thai to return, but it has come back with a vengeance. I’m loving this experience, and I’m making real progress. I spent years feeling bad because of the idea that I ‘should’ be making more progress in Thai – if you don’t have the energy for it at the moment, don’t feel bad about it. What’s that song about everything having a season?

  5. Hi Paul. Thanks for sharing your journey. I’ve been in Thailand for less than a year so nowhere near as advanced as you. I’m interested in the Darun Suksa Thai Pronunciation Drills you mentioned but I can’t find anything about it on Google. Can you tell me what to look for please?

  6. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your info on Glossika!

    Maybe a little advice if you would? My Thai is reasonable and I can now read and write at a basic level (ie I can but very slowly).

    Just about to go through CTF with Stuart Jay Raj (online course) to try and get the foundations I never really got (I learned all of my spoken Thai by mimicry). I don’t think this course is really aimed at building my vocab though.

    Would you suggest doing CTF (which I assume may well take several months) then Glossika or both together? I tend to study around an hour a day.



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