I think that the management of Clozemaster is encouraging us to comment on how useful we find various aspects of the site… so here goes. And let me say that I find the main word drill using clozes to be quite useful, and i keep coming back for more…
But as i was encouraged to round out my visits now to include the Cloze-Reading exercises at the bottom of the screen, let me share the empty feeling after doing a dozen or more.
First off, I find the content chosen for these exercises very sterile and in no way related to the language I am studying. Sterile? Much of the content is straight from wikipedia, the initial section, so we are getting something close to a dictionary definition. “Capitals” in the geography section sounded like it could be interesting, and instead i get a picky definition about the seat of government and how capitals can move seasonally. The content feels to me like something written another language, and translated into Romanian. Not related to the language i am studying? Well, the list in the “People” section is very American- and showbiz-centric list, which even in the Romanian board includes not one individual who is Romanian. Wouldn’t there be an opportunity to learn something about the Romanian history and culture, if one were taking the time to learn Romanian? Wouldn’t it be useful to learn some of the important vocabulary or cultural references? We don’t have to get obscure here, but i’m sure there’s some material about former dictator Ceaucescu that is available and that everyone would find useful. Or perhaps some romanian literature that would use the language in a less sterile way.
And then the exercises mechanically seem to be available only in multiple choice, and there seems to be a bit of a flaw in their set-up. There are only so many options, so by the bottom of the page, the answers to previous questions reappear (and are never reselected). So if an option has never been previously used, then it is almost certainly the one to pick. The human brain tends to ‘cheat’ to get the correct answer the quickest way, rather than actually learning the word through trial and error.
All-in all, i love the Clozemaster concept, but don’t find the reading examples as being quite helpful or interesting enough to keep me going.