Gymglish Review: Is This English Language App Worth It?
As an English learner, you might have stumbled across the popular Gymglish, which is a tool that offers personalized English lessons delivered straight to your email inbox, during your hunt for great online problems
I’m going to review Gymglish by looking at its features and what it costs, as well as the benefits of using it versus areas that could be improved.
If you’ve already heard of Gymglish and are curious about trying it out, this review should answer all your questions!
- So, What Is Gymglish?
- Who Should Use Gymglish?
- How Does Gymglish Work?
- How Much Does Gymglish Cost?
- Pros of Using Gymglish to Learn English
- Areas That Gymglish Could Improve
- What Gymglish Alternatives Are Out There?
- Final Gymglish Verdict: 7/10
So, What Is Gymglish?
Gymglish is a Paris-based company that creates language learning content for users worldwide. In addition to their English lessons, they also have French, German and Spanish courses for adults as well as special English courses—one for beginners and one that teaches the language through news and world events.
However, for this review, we’re primarily focused on the Gymglish online “adaptive learning” English course.
Who Should Use Gymglish?
From my experience using Gymglish, this online course is best suited for those who already have a basis in the language. That’s because all of the lesson content in the “Full English Immersion” option is written in English with no actual translations into other languages, so if you’re an absolute beginner, you probably won’t understand it.
You can, however, access some or all of the lesson material in your native language. For example, French, German, Spanish, Vietnamese, Portuguese and Chinese speakers can get instructions, tips and translations in their native language. For languages such as Italian, Hebrew and Japanese where it says “Pedagogy in English,” only tips are offered in the learner’s native language whereas instructions and the meanings of English words are given only in English.
Even if you can access aspects of the course in your native language, I still recommend this course for intermediate learners: the level of English used in the readings and videos is quite advanced, and the grammar is technical.
Intermediate learners will likely find Gymglish most useful and some advanced learners might also use this to review their language skills.
How Does Gymglish Work?
What makes Gymglish unique among other English learning programs is that lessons are emailed to you every day. Simply click on the link in your email inbox and you’re brought into the Gymglish daily lesson. This link will work in any desktop or mobile internet browser, or you can download the Gymglish app from the Play Store or the Apple Store.
A typical Gymglish lesson will involve you first reading an illustrated story and answering some comprehension questions about it. The illustrations that accompany each lesson are beautiful and fun, and each Gymglish lesson is quite visually appealing and stylish.
Next, you get an audio clip that continues the story, followed by a grammar quiz. After you complete a lesson, you receive detailed feedback on your performance, along with corrections and explanations.
The lessons conclude with a video or music clip, usually from an English film, in a section called “Today’s Dessert.” This part of the lesson is extra to the original lesson, and it’s not available to all lessons. “Today’s Dessert” is played along with a quote and/or a cool fact related to the video, so that you can improve your general English knowledge and pick up cultural references.
All of the lesson’s stories focus on the Delavigne Corporation. This is a fictional San Francisco-based perfume company founded by the famous cosmetics guru Bruno Delavigne, who learned Kung Fu in China and loves to tango and play with his dog Stink.
An entire mythology has been created around Delavigne Corporation for the purpose of the Gymglish lessons, complete with a business website where you can read about each employee’s life and experiences. You’re bound to be drawn into the story, thanks to the cast of colorful characters as well as the funny situations they find themselves in at work.
In addition to the interesting story that the lessons follow, Gymglish also sends you daily reminders to continue with your learning and keep you motivated.
As stated before, Gymglish uses an adaptive learning approach. That means that after 10 lessons, Gymglish will learn your strengths and weaknesses, and the lessons will be customized for your skill level. If you have trouble answering difficult questions, the program will adjust itself and give you easier questions and exercises to solve.
How Much Does Gymglish Cost?
After you sign up and complete your free trial, you can opt for a paid subscription plan based on your budget. The minimum plan is a very reasonable monthly subscription, followed by more expensive Premium and Pro plans.
The good thing is, all the plans have the same learning content—the higher-priced ones just offer more customer support and educational support, as well as additional certifications and personalization options. The Pro plan also offers a certified Diploma which is recognized throughout Europe.
Pros of Using Gymglish to Learn English
Gymglish provides a very unique learning experience and many of its features aren’t available anywhere else. To find out if it’s the best platform for your needs, let’s see what makes this program great.
The Adaptive Learning Method Makes Every Lesson Count
A common problem with language schools and courses is that they assume everyone is at the same level, or has equal capabilities.
By contrast, Gymglish’s adaptive learning method makes sure that every lesson matches your individual needs. You won’t waste time on material that’s too hard or too easy—therefore your skills will grow more quickly and efficiently.
From the very first lesson, I had the feeling that Gymglish was trying to learn more about me as a learner. After reading the first chapter of Delavigne Corporation during lesson one, I was given the opportunity to choose words in the transcript that I didn’t understand or found difficult.
By selecting these words, I got a detailed look at them in my correction email complete with explanations of what the chosen words meant as well as example sentences and audio recordings. Not only is this a good way for Gymglish to learn my level of English, but it also allows me to grow my own comprehension and vocabulary skills.
Gymglish’s adaptive learning method is like having a private tutor who offers you personalized lessons and feedback.
Short Lessons in Your Inbox Make It Easy to Study
Many of us have very busy schedules and can’t dedicate long hours to English learning every day.
With Gymglish, all you need is a decent internet connection to practice English and a quarter of an hour!
Gymglish’s daily lessons are pretty short and usually won’t take more than 15 minutes to complete. It’s perfect for your commute, your lunch break or any other “downtime” in your day. Better yet, because lessons are emailed to you, it’s easy to access them anywhere—on a phone, tablet or computer.
This is a great way to keep learners motivated because it remains a constant reminder to work on their English. Further, Gymglish’s personalized review materials ensure you don’t even need a notepad to take down notes.
If you miss a day, don’t worry! Your lesson will roll over to the next day. In fact, each day’s lesson is still active in your lesson dashboard, and you can follow the link sent to your email even if you click it on a different day from when it was sent.
Find yourself with extra time one day and want to work ahead? Once you’ve completed a lesson and received its correction, I found that I could simply click the “I want to receive my next lesson now” and get a new lesson by email immediately. As far as I can tell, there is no limit on how many lessons you can do in a day, and even if you complete more than one, a new lesson will be sent to your email the next day.
It does appear that this is only available to users in the trial period, so it may not be possible for paying subscribers to work ahead of schedule, which might be a bit of a letdown for eager learners.
Lots of Opportunities to Improve English Comprehension Skills
With Gymglish, you can be sure that your listening and reading comprehension skills will grow.
I found that Gymglish’s audio dialogues are perfect for improving English listening skills, since I wasn’t just listening but also getting quizzed on what I understood.
The audio dialogues use slow, clear spoken English, and there’s a useful subtitle under the dialogue that let me know what dialogue of English I was listening to. This is perfect for learners who perhaps want to practice a specific dialect of English, whether American, British, Australian or some other accent.
As mentioned earlier, there are also some videos and clips from English movies that’ll help you learn a bit about English-speaking cultures and get some experience listening to actual native English audio instead of learning material.
Similarly, by reading the stories in the lessons, you’ll naturally build your reading skills while you learn English. Since the stories are humorous and interesting, it’s a lot more fun and easy than reading an English textbook.
Instead of Yes/No Corrections, It Provides Detailed Feedback
A lot of English apps and online quizzes simply tell you if you’ve answered a question correctly or not. So if you answered correctly by guessing, you wouldn’t be sure why you were right—and if you answered incorrectly, you’d never know where you went wrong.
But one of the things I love about Gymglish is that they don’t just tell you where you went wrong, they will ensure that you won’t get into such trouble ever again.
Upon opening my email, I was surprised at the level of detail that Gymglish had included in correcting my work. Each question was broken down, letting me know what I had gotten right and what I had gotten wrong. For both types of corrections, Gymglish explained why each answer was right or wrong, complete with grammatical examples, audio recordings and plenty of example sentences.
Moreover, if you’ve made a mistake on a question, you’ll notice it reappear in subsequent (following) lessons so that you can practice not making the same mistake in the future. Plus, you can mark out vocabulary and idioms that interest you in the corrections email as well, and they’ll be added to a personalized review list.
Lots of Free Features
Finally, Gymglish has a host of free features that you can take advantage of before or after you subscribe, if you choose to.
- Free trial: Gymglish offers a free trial which you can immediately sign up for and get access to up to 10 lessons and then decide if you’d like to continue.
- Free level assessment: If you’re unsure about which level you’re at, you can complete their free level assessment to find out.
- Free certificate: Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll get a free certificate that you can even add to your CV.
Areas That Gymglish Could Improve
While there are many positives to the program, there are some areas where Gymglish needs more work. Later in this article, we’ll give you some options to supplement your Gymglish learning for a complete, well-rounded English program.
It Isn’t Suitable for All Learners
If you’re a beginner, this Gymglish course isn’t for you, since you need to have basic English reading and listening skills in order to complete the lessons.
I noticed almost immediately that the language level needed to complete the lessons was quite high: the vocabulary used in Gymglish is pretty difficult, and the grammatical explanations use technical language that may be hard to understand for absolute beginners.
Also, since English is the language of instruction, it would be useful if Gymglish had a tool that offered translations into another language. For example, if I were a native French speaker using Gymglish, I’d need to use an external translation tool such as Google Translate or a dictionary to get the meanings of words in my native language.
But don’t worry! Gymglish has a separate program just for English beginners called Rich Morning.
Essentially, Rich Morning teaches English to absolute beginners in the following languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Chinese or Greek. In other words, if you speak these languages, you can learn beginner English and your native language will be used to give lesson instructions, tips and translations of English words.
Rich Morning follows the same method as the Gymglish English course: daily lessons are emailed to learners who complete them and get emailed corrections. Even the format is the same. Learners start by watching a video that follows Rich, an ostrich, and then they complete various skill-building activities such as repeating English sentences, answering comprehension questions, filling in the blanks and practicing easy English grammar.
It Doesn’t Focus Much on Speaking and Writing Skills
While Gymglish has fantastic audio, video and written content that will definitely engage learners to improve their English, the design of the course is such is that there isn’t much room for speaking and writing practice.
Since you’re mostly learning by reading, listening and completing exercises, I found that Gymglish lessons focus mostly on input. This means that I did a lot of understanding the language in written or audio form.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there was little room for me to do output exercises where I actually got to use the language actively on my own. In the lessons’ comprehension and grammar questions, I was only able to choose the correct answer from a multiple-choice menu or write a word or two into a blank. This didn’t give me the opportunity to practice writing sentences, and it definitely didn’t allow me to write longer texts like paragraphs.
When it comes to speaking, that practice is completely missing from Gymglish lessons. There are no chances to practice speaking the language, whether recording sentences for Voice Recognition technology or actually using the language in real conversations with English native speakers.
This is a problem because output is a major part of English, especially speaking. Chances are, you’ll be speaking English in spontaneous (unplanned) conversations with native speakers. If you haven’t practiced using English in such conversations before, it’ll be very difficult for you.
Gymglish could definitely benefit from having exercises that allow learners to write longer texts in English and actually speak the language. For example, learners could answer a comprehension question that requires the learner to write a couple of sentences or they could practice repeating after a native speaker or record an answer to a comprehension question orally.
It Could Have a More Appealing Delivery
While the Gymglish illustrations that accompany each lesson are amazing and fun, the lesson flow can be a little tedious and overwhelming. Gymglish’s lesson format is pretty straightforward: read something, answer questions, watch something, answer questions, done. Over time, I imagine this will get a little boring.
Furthermore, I found some of the readings to be quite long, and the way they were formatted was intimidating. Reading long paragraphs of text on a computer and being quizzed on it may not be fun after a while, and long blocks of text would definitely scare some learners.
Shorter texts, with more videos or animated clips might have made it more friendly and engaging, as well as immediate feedback (instead of having feedback delivered at the end of the lesson).
Further, it would be nice if the feedback received was written by a real person. While the Gymglish automated feedback is detailed, having a real native speaker correct my work would allow for longer writing and even speaking exercises.
What Gymglish Alternatives Are Out There?
Whether you want to replace or supplement Gymglish, it’s important to know what other options you have for learning English online.
One immersive tool to be aware of is FluentU. Like Gymglish, FluentU provides personalized lessons that teach you English with engaging content. But there are other benefits you’ll get, too:
- Authentic videos teach real-world English: While stories written for English learners can be great, they won’t immerse you in authentic English and culture. FluentU bridges that gap with clips from movies and TV shows, news segments and inspirational talks.
Every video comes with interactive subtitles to bring authentic content within reach. Just click any word for an instant definition, grammar info and useful examples.
- Personalized exercises give immediate feedback: FluentU isn’t just a video player. There are quizzes built into every video and flashcard deck so you can test and reinforce your learning. You’ll get immediate feedback on your answers so you know exactly where you stand.
Plus, quizzes will adapt to your learning and present you with questions suited to your level.
- It’s suitable for all learners: FluentU is suitable for learners at all levels. In fact, the videos are conveniently organized by level (Beginner 1, Beginner 2, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, Advanced 1, Advanced 2) so you can easily find the ones that are right for you.
- You can try FluentU for free: Give it a try and see if you like it—for free. You’ll get access to FluentU English as well as eight other languages and can use FluentU on your computer, iOS or Android device.
Final Gymglish Verdict: 7/10
Gymglish is a pretty solid learning platform for general learners who are in the intermediate or advanced stages of learning and enjoy short, daily lessons. It’s best suited for revision or as a supplement to another language course. The detailed feedback, the adaptive learning approach and the personalized revision kit make it stand out from many other educational apps and courses.
However, it’s not ideal for those who are just starting out or who need speaking and writing practice.
You can always sign up for a free trial and give it a go!
While Gymglish is a pretty strong and unique tool, make sure that you’re using other programs such as FluentU to get the most balanced, effective English learning possible!
Archita Mittra is a freelance writer, journalist, editor and educator. Feel free to check out her blog or contact her for freelancing/educational inquiries.