Basic French learning techniques that should be added
Duolingo is, by far, the best online mode of French language teaching that I've seen.
However, there are several things that I've noticed aren't in this course that should be.
Noun gender Even in school, having taken core French for 10 years, we never spent a lot of time focusing on how to predict the gender of a noun (i.e., the ending).
Verb conjugation One thing that is quite necessary for learning French is learning the actual conjugation of the verbs - this goes for other languages on here. At the very least, there should be, within each lesson on verb tenses (like présent, passé composé, plus-que-parfait, etc) where the user must conjugate some verbs correctly within that tense. Also, the auxiliary and common irregular should be clearly shown to the user.
Don't get me wrong, Duolingo is great, just needs some improvements. If anyone would like to add anything, feel free! I'd love to hear it!
The tips & notes section under animals actually discusses how to predict noun gender.
Though I definitely agree that we should have more direct practice conjugating verbs.
I didn't know that, thank you. I still think there should be practice determining the gender, though.
I still think there should be practice determining the gender, though.
You have: each time you have a noun in a sentence, you have to choose the article in front of it thus you practice the gender (except for the once starting with a "vocal sound" with definite or partitive article but, in those cases, if the noun has an adjective then you practice also the gender).
Yeah, but there only appear to be general guidelines not a definite formula. I guess it would be cool if Duolingo added questions like 'Is such-and-such-a-noun more likely to be masculine or feminine? and (I don't know how they would do this) why?'
I guess it would be cool if Duolingo added questions like 'Is such-and-such-a-noun more likely to be masculine or feminine?
I disagree. Because a word is not "likely to be" one or the other, it is on or the other.
not a definite formula
Because there is no (magical) formula that works 100% of the time.
Gender has to be learn by heart when learning each noun, it's like 50% of learning a noun.
Yes, you're right, but according to Duolingo:
"First, the basic pattern is that nouns ending in -e are feminine. All others, especially nouns ending in consonants, are masculine. This is true for over 70% of all nouns."
So, you have already covered over 70% of nouns! And there are a few other general rules taught.
But, such questions would probably just create confusion, so I agree with you.
I would add a "most of" in "First, the basic pattern is most of that nouns ending in -e are feminine."
And I'm always reticent to give such "rule" because there are a lot of nouns (and basic ones) that don't follow this said-rule: père, frère, oncle, maire, tonnerre, cimetière, ...
This is true for over 70% of all nouns."
So, you have already covered over 70% of nouns!
Well, the problem is that you have 30% of chance to be wrong, it's not like 1% or 5%...
That's why I don't really consider it a rule.
And for me, AbigailTho3, that would turn me off. I am a middle-aged learner and have been at it for a while and genders are just starting to sound natural to me. I can now usually "hear" with my inner ear what gender a noun will be, even new ones. Whether it is memorization or sound or both I don't know.
Besides the tips & notes found under some lessons, just scroll down: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3135251 Learning Loom Ladder https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3078334 Le Premier Pas -The First Step (includes gender) https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1101225 Noun Genders in French by Remy
http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/francais-anglais/fille A good dictionary French-English-Frenchf I this dictionary nf is a feminine noun and nm is a masculine noun.
http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/livre/47531?q=livre#47459 French dictionary
http://french.about.com/od/grammar/fl/French-Verb-Conjugator-How-To-Conjugate-French-Verbs.htm http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/verbtranslations.htm Simple Tenses http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/verbtranslations_2.htm Compound Tenses
https://www.duolingo.com/topic/147 Popular French Discussions https://www.duolingo.com/topic/147/top Top All-Time French Discussions https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4013405 Overview of French Grammar and Vocabulary Explanations