Clugston's "German Volume Method"

Christophe Clugston is now hawking a PDF file for $50, in which he details some kind of method for learning languages. Does anyone know what this is all about? Has anyone tried it? Has anyone seen a review copy of it?

He is calling it the “German Volume Method”, and claims that he was told about it by some East Germans - although I strongly suspect it is something he has purely concocted himself. I know next to nothing about body-building, but I have heard that the is something called the “German Volume Method” in that world: 10 sets, 10 reps, 60% of max weight…or something like that. So maybe this is where he is drawing inspiration from?

According to one of the Clug’s videos, the method involves 10 university level textbooks which contain traditional grammar drills and other exercises - so maybe he is advocating a strict regimen of old-school drills, working right through 10 books, and repeating everything no less than 10 times over…!? :-0

(It may not be quite as dumb as it sounds - if one actually had the iron self-discipline and super-charged motivation to do it…!)

Looks like a scam.^^

… and not a single one will be sold.

Yes, it is probably a scam, and I personally would not pay Mr C fifty bucks! Still, I would be quite interested to see exactly what he is offering.

(If it is a scam, then it may be very much like those weight-loss scams which get people to pay right through the nose for a “secret method” for losing weight - a method which turns out to be: “eat no more than 1000 calories per day and run 10km every morning and every evening”…!! Likewise, the method cooked up by the Clug may be brutally effective in theory but a near impossibility in practical terms. This is what I suspect - however I would need to scrutinize it before passing final judgement.)

Iri, I believe he CLAIMS to know German - but I would want to see evidence.

I bought a copy. $60 was cheap enough for me to try it out. I’m currently on day 9.

Iri, it has nothing to do with German. It’s just a name

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Maybe you could give us a review of the system, Spatterson?

(Obviously, it would be unfair to the Clug to divulge too much detail, but I’d say a fair and normal kind of review would be in order, seeing that he is offering the method for sale…)


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What the what?^^

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Well okay. I’ll go into a bit more depth (I was actually in the middle of my punishment for today when I saw the new post email).

Some of the people on his channel were saying how “vast the vocabulary” is in the PDF and what not. Well… I’m no stranger to academic white papers. It’s well-written but it’s not (and not really meant to be) an academic paper. It does have some rather clever strategies in it. I think the weight-loss analogy is a good one though. If you were to do his scheme for 10 months straight there is no question you would have a very high level.

I was more interested in his right brain techniques. Time will tell if they work. So I’ll give them a shot for a few months. Like I said, $60 was cheap enough for me to check out what he has.

I was getting up and doing an hour on Memrise in the morning, an hour in the evening, and another hour with Duolingo. I’ve replaced that time with the volume method. So I’m pretty focused and motivated. I’m the type of learner that NEEDS to do something… I don’t really use LingQ so my German learning activities aren’t reflected in my word count or activity score. I hate reading, so that doesn’t help. Grammar drills for me

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Thanks for that, Spatterson. Very interesting.

You know, I would (almost as a matter of principle) really balk at paying Mr Clugston 50 bucks, or whatever. But I am always genuinely keen to see new strategies or methods for learning.

So if I understand correctly, it isn’t just a vague set of advice, rather he actually gives people a definite course of action? i.e. Do X on day 1, do Y on day 2, etc?

I can see that there are advantages to learning by having a definite set of things to do on each day. I guess time will tell whether Mr C succeeds in breeding a new generation of language supermen! :slight_smile:

It’s not a day to day plan. It’s a book by book plan I guess you could say. It tells you the type of books you should do, the order, and what you should be doing for each book.

So yeah, if you’re curious and have $50 to burn… go for it.

I hate learning German and I really would like “my life” back instead of having a life that’s consumed with learning German – which is really pointless in Zürich because everyone speaks English – so I’m willing to see what method is the fastest

@ spatterson - why do you learn German?

“I hate learning German and I really would like “my life” back instead of having a life that’s consumed with learning German”

Why don´t you live “your life” in German?
Play videogames…in German.
Listen to music…in German.
Watch TV…in German.
Learn even more about programming…in German.
Do whatever you do in “your life”…in German.


He lives in Switzerland.


@ Paule

…where apparently everyone knows English. Living in aninternational city in the German speaking world without knowing German is not as hard as one might think.

I live in an international city in the German speaking world (Berlin) and speaking German is a useful skill for me. ^^


I find my iPhone really useful too, but I remember when I didn’t have it, I still managed to get things done without many problems.

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Colin, because German is a useful skill. Reading the mail comes to mind. Conversing with my friends who rapidly switch from English, to german, to swiss german, and possibly french without realizing it also comes to mind.

And living “my life” in German really isn’t as simple as that Paule. I don’t watch TV and I don’t play video games and practically no technical books are in German (even my coworkers read books in English). I have other things on my list that don’t include German – so I need to double down and clear it off my list

Germany is (at least “was” a few years back when I lived there) absolutely awash with books of every kind! Is Switzerland really so different, Spatterson? Surely you can get interesting literature in German, if you look for it?

(In Bayern I bought quite a few German editions of books on architecture and history which were originally written in English, Italian and French. Indeed I still have most of them on my shelves now.)