Feedback on the Cloze-Reading content at the bottom of the screen


#1

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.


#2

Hi,

I also love Clozemaster and I think the Cloze-Reading exercises could be very useful.

My feedback is that it would be great to have more exercises available at different levels. The vast majority of reading exercises in my chosen language (Polish) are for advanced learners. It would be great to have more exercises available at intermediate and beginners’ level.

I also agree that it would be nice to see more reading exercises related to the history and culture of my chosen language’s country.


#3

I should say I find the grammar exercises at the bottom to be quite helpful. They are definitely stretching my capacity to find the right word at the right time, and to get it agreeing with the number and gender of the noun or verb subject.


#4

Agreed I also use them too. As well as agreeing words to number and gender, is there a noun case system in Romanian, like Polish? In Polish you have to agree nouns and adjectives to number, gender and also apply the case system.

Conjugation of verbs in Polish must also be done according to gender in the past and future tense but not the present tense.


#5

Yes, there’s a case system in Romanian. And the adjectives have to agree with number and gender of the nouns (and there are three genders, like in Latin).

I read this review by a language pro of Clozemaster, who said that the Clozemaster system, forcing people to get the endings of the words right in context makes it particularly useful for inflected languages like Russian. And Romanian. And Polish…


#6

@Romanophile @AlexG71 thanks for all the great feedback and apologies for the slow reply! Your comments are spot on. We got the Cloze-Reading feature launched as a proof-of-concept, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

  • Better content .
    • More relevant to the history and culture of the target language.
    • More relevant and useful vocab.
    • A wider range of difficulty levels.
  • Better exercises/gamficiation - multiple choice is too easy.

All the above is on the to-do list. If anything else comes to mind please don’t hesitate to let me know. Thanks again!


#7

I should say that I find these useful despite their eccentricities. I suspect that the sorting of the exercises (between verb and nouns and adjectives and prepositions, etc.) is done by machine, and some of the examples end up in the wrong category. That’s isn’t a huge problem. A bigger issue is that the 'hints" that float up in little black boxes are often confused – as in Romanian a two-letter verb can look a lot like a preposition or an auxiliary verb. Verb exercises should ideally have the infinitive in the black box, but sometimes we end up with past participles, or adjectives, or the related noun.

I’m still learning from these exercises, but I suspect the miscategorizations and misfired clues might be offputting to some.