Why are there still no notes/actual teaching in French?
Now that the French section is out of beta, I was expecting notes/teaching on each topic as is the case in the other languages. Why has this still not happened? I am getting fed up of guessing my way through the 'lessons' and barely passing them after having been through them enough times to memorise the answers by rote.
I believe that until the notes/teaching you expect actually appear, you should search elsewhere for clarifications on the grammar, syntax, constructions, etc. So far, the best source of information I have found is certainly this one: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/adjectives_4.htm
The link leads you to a lesson about the position of adjectives in French, but you can use the "search" feature at the top right of the page and find whatever you would like to know about.
The about.com link that Sitesurf referred to is excellent, as is the entire french.about.com site, and I'd recommend it as a resource. I haven't tried any of the other languages that Duolingo offers yet, but I assumed from the get-go that this was going to be very much a self-directed way to learn French. A large part of learning something and thoroughly understanding it is doing the work involved to attain the knowledge. Picking up a grammar book, a phrase book, and a dictionary have helped me considerably in learning French.
Personally, I like that they don't overload you with grammatical rules and notes. While it would be nice to have quick access to them, I find that this is the best system I've encountered for approximating an experience in another country. Memorizing rules and grammar isn't the way children learn a language - they encounter thousands of examples, and piece it together over time. I've learned both Russian and Chinese while living in the respective countries, and this feels way closer to the way I picked those up than any collegiate class I ever took.
I can certainly commiserate with the frustration of having to redo lessons over and over, but I anticipate you'll find that it's way more effective when in an actual conversational situation than trying to remember whether the adjective goes before or after the noun, etc.
Totally agree with you here. I live in France now and I'm learning french with duolingo while taking extremely cheap conversation practice classes and it seems to be working very well for me. Learning "organically" is great and under-appreciated way to learn a language. :-D