Clozemaster is a language learning resource that I’ve been really interested in checking out for a while for a Clozemaster review. Just on Pinterest, for example, where I love to pin helpful language learning tips, Clozemaster has an awesome presence that, honestly, I’m almost jealous of! And obviously, as a language learning blogger, I am all about the Clozemaster blog!
So how about the Clozemaster platform itself? In this Clozemaster review, let’s talk about what exactly it does to help out language learners, besides Pinterest tips!
Clozemaster review: languages
As always, we’ll start with the languages you can learn using Clozemaster. These include:
- Mandarin Chinese
- Mandarin Chinese Traditional
- Norwegian Bokmal
- Persian Farsi
- Scottish Gaelic
This is definitely an interesting collection of languages. There are a few languages in there that are not the most popular, and, interestingly, they not only have Spanish but also Basque and Catalan!
Plus, at the end of their languages page, they also suggest you contact them and let them know if you’re learning a language they don’t currently offer. Not bad, Clozemaster, not bad.
But what is a clozemaster?
First of all, I am absolutely in love with their tagline: “learn language in context”. Yes, yes, yes!! I am all about taking in a new language in context, as opposed to boring rote memorization of new words/concepts. It’s a significantly more efficient and more fun way to learn a new language. Clozemaster gets it!
Which is why I do have to point out their use of “cloze”, which is interesting and important. If you don’t know what a cloze is, the direct definition is
Of, relating to, or being a test of reading comprehension that involves having the person being tested supply words that have been systematically deled from a text
Or, in other words, a fill-in-the-blank. I love this – it’s my favorite way to create my Anki decks! Instead of boring, inefficient rote memorization, you figure out the meaning of a word via context.
All that being said, you become a clozemaster by using Clozemaster. That’s a pretty nifty play on words, if I do say so myself!
Clozemaster review: a walk-through
After creating an account on Clozemaster and selecting a few different options, you’re spat out onto the dashboard.
Honestly, at first glance, this is really overwhelming. While I do like the whole 8-bit vibe they’re going for…there isn’t any obvious “start here” button or direction or anything, so it took me a sec to figure out what I actually wanted to do.
I mean, you do see a moderately-sized “play” button, but you don’t actually know what you’re “playing” nor have you selected any levels, really. You’re just kind of thrown into something and have to hope that you can figure it out.
Let me show you what I mean. My first go-around, I opted to practice my Afrikaans. Since I started using Mondly for Afrikaans over a year ago now, I’ve maintained a very very basic understanding of the language, so why not give it a shot, right? This was the first question that Clozemaster threw at me.
Remember, I went into this with a very basic understanding of Afrikaans. Like…I recognize when I’m looking at it and can pick up a few words here and there. This? This was way above my pay grade.
Suffice to say, I got it wrong. Nonetheless, I kept pushing onward. Maybe it’s supposed to be that hard, and I’ll learn a lot. It’s called Fluency Fast Track, after all!
Welp. Still lost. Clozemaster helped me a bit, for sure. But it was clear that Clozemaster is not meant for beginners.
I do love the hints, but just looking at the phrases that you’re translating. They’re pretty colloquial, which is great if you already have a decent understanding of the language.
So I switched to Spanish, my go-to.
That ended up being a pretty good choice. When I switched to Spanish, I could get a much clearer idea of the knowledge you need to have in a certain language for Clozemaster to be beneficial to you.
This screenshot is telling of a couple of things:
- Clozemaster throws you into an intermediate level; you probably don’t have to necessarily conquer intermediate concepts before diving in, but you should at least be somewhat familiar with what’s going on.
- Clozemaster pays strict attention to accents!! That’s HUGE! I hate when language learning programs just poo-poo accents. Dude, they’re important!
While that screenshot is telling, it is also fairly simple. By that I mean that it’s a pretty common phrase that you’ll find anywhere. Remember how I said Clozemaster gets super colloquial? That’s where Clozemaster really shines.
Honestly, at first glance, I didn’t know the answer to this! That was super weird to me, but also a really nice challenge! It’s not like this was a super advanced grammatical concept or asked for some weird vocabulary. It was just colloquial.
(The answer is “hasta”, by the way!)
And then, at the end of all that, you’ll level up with a sweet gif. I’m a fan!
Like I said, I was pretty overwhelmed by the Clozemaster dashboard. I hoped that switching to mobile would calm that down a little bit. There’s much less real estate on a mobile app than there is on a desktop computer, and I wanted to check out the app anyways.
Turns out I had the right idea!
On mobile, Clozemaster is much cleaner and easier to operate. I got to enjoy some new Spanish vocabulary that I couldn’t predict (which is weird for me!), without the overwhelm of desktop.
These questions were all great and I had a lot of fun learning words that in all my years of studying/reading/immersing in Spanish, I had honestly never seen!
And then…things got weird. Like really weird.
I’m not sure…am I just supposed to ignore this? Despite the fact that this is clearly some kind of passage from a text, this hardly seems the place for such an overtly religious connotation. I was kind of taken aback by this, and still am, to be honest.
I just…I’m really not sure what to say about this. It’s really weird. I’m gonna move on, but I almost feel like I shouldn’t.
Despite that, Clozemaster does wrap up the reading really well with intense reading comprehension exercises. This is what I was faced with when I chose the easiest level.
Clearly, any language learners below an intermediate/advanced level would not be able to figure this out. This was super challenging for me, and I didn’t even get them all right!
If you opt for Clozemaster Pro (which we’ll talk about in a sec), you can switch up your options and practice more than one language skill at a time.
Y’all know that I love being able to practice multiple language skills! And Clozemaster does listening just as well as they do reading.
While I do love this method of working your reading and listening skills, I do have to mention how robotic the audio is, which can make it very hard to understand. I’m not totally sure if it’s on purpose to match the whole 8-bit thing they have going on, or if they were just being cheap, but the voice being so unnatural can make it difficult to understand.
Clozemaster review: should you go pro?
Let’s talk about becoming a Clozemaster subscriber. Certain aspects of Clozemaster are always free, ie. the “Fluency Fast Track” and all the reading practice.
Honestly though, Clozemaster Pro opens up a ton of doors when it comes to both reading and listening practice. They’re generally divided into two categories: vocab and grammar.
Pro subscribers get access to all of these lessons, both as reading and listening, all as fill-in-the-blank, contextual questions. Which is awesome! I’m totally for it.
And honestly? Clozemaster Pro is only $8/month. That is absolutely dirt cheap, considering the sheer number of languages you have available to you. On top of that, they even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. For an $8 service! Wild.
Who is Clozemaster for?
So, at the end of the day, Clozemaster is not the right resource for everyone. For one, beginners. Beginners will get overwhelmed and not learn anything useful using Clozemaster. Seriously, I almost cried trying to use Clozemaster for Afrikaans!
Clozemaster is for the intermediate-advanced language learner who’s looking for some high-quality practice. Clozemaster does not explain any concepts to you. You will not be taught anything, at least not outright.
Instead, you’ll learn through context clues. You’ll figure out words and grammatical concepts in a much more natural way, which I love. Even if you feel like you’re at a pretty advanced stage of your language, just give Clozemaster a spin. I was surprised at how much I was challenged!
And as for Clozemaster Pro? If you find free Clozemaster beneficial to you, there’s no reason why Clozemaster Pro wouldn’t be even more helpful. Especially at $8/month!