We are looking for a new course contributor =)
We invited two new contributors and stopped searching for new applicants. That does not mean that you should not apply in the future - please do that! If you haven't heard from us until now, we either keep your application in our system in order to maybe invite you in the future or we will reject your application in case it doesn't meet our expectations. Thanks a lot for every application :-)
our team (christian, sommerlied, sarefo, Kai_E. and me) is currently searching for a new course contributor for our DE<->EN courses, especially for the new German for English speakers course. This is your chance to help contribute to two courses which more than 16 million people use in order to learn a free language =)
Your main tasks will be:
- Dealing with reports. That means that users report errors, missing translations or other issues and we solve these problems.
- Searching for ideas how we could revamp our courses. It is possible that we will start working on a new tree version for the English for German speakers course soon and you could be part of revamping a new tree version.
- Moderating our specific language forums, if you want to.
- Bringing in own ideas, improvements, thinking about translation guidelines.
- We use the Duolingo incubator, Slack and Trello in order to organize our work. We will show you how everything works.
This is crucial:
- You are a native English speaker, preferably an American.
- You have to be fluent in English and German. Tell us a bit about your skills and background, for example: Do you have any professional experience (being a translator, an interpreter, a teacher)? Have you ever lived abroad? What is your current skill level? Do you use German and English daily at work?
- You can afford approx. 5 hours a week for contributing to our courses.
- Please be genuine and write an interesting, bespoke and faultless application.
- Please tell us why you want to be part of our team.
This is nice to have:
- You actually use Duolingo: You either learn another language here or you are active in the forums.
- You know how Duolingo works and what lingots, XP etc. are.
- Do you want to be a forum moderator of our courses in order to answer questions, delete spam etc.? No problem ;-)
If you want to apply, please do so here and do not flood our streams. We will also definitely read all applications.
Good luck! We are looking forward to meeting you soon =)
I hope that you will find a new suitable member for the DE-EN team.
I think that this thread is a good opportunity to send a wish list to your team from a typical language learner. I have been learning German a little over a year by now and DL is one of my main "teachers". It is a very good system but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I was a total beginner a year ago and by now I can understand over a half of the written German text but only a fraction of the spoken language. I can't say that I can express myself in German, that is something which still takes time and additional effort. I can still remember the pain of learning the basics of German grammar and I can point out what are the limits of Duolingo from the perspective of a language learner.
So here comes the wish list :)
First of all - no single word exercises. All of the exercises should be full and clear and meaningful phrases, a word without context is nothing. For example instead of translating “die Galerie” there should be translation exercises like “Kunsthaus Dresden ist eine Städtische Galerie für Gegenwartskunst“.
Second, no grammar exercises for the different forms of verbs without the necessary timely or conditional context. Instead of “Ich habe gelernt” there should be exercises like “Heute habe ich etwas Neues dazugelernt”. Instead of "Er hätte euch beraten" there should be exercises like "Er hätte euch beraten, wenn er nur kommen konnte".
Third, the immersion. There should be a possibility for German learners to change the user interface into German and also the option to get the support on the discussion board only in German. For the beginners it is vital to get the support in the language which they master. But at some level of your learning curve you should be able to switch fully over to the new language.
Fourth, the human voice and the dialects. I can understand that “Hochdeutsch” is the official version of German which should be promoted by all means. But leider, when foreigners learn only “Hochdeutsch” while listening to the computer generated voice on Duolingo then they will initially totally fail with their first attempts in the normal everyday communication in German. I strongly suggest adding an option to listen to every translation exercise as read at normal (=fast) speed by native Germans of different regions of Germany. The worst the pronunciation, the better is the learning effect. EDIT: a special group of listening exercises for German dialects would also do fine.
Last but not least – there should be only positive emotions for the learners. The discontinuing of the original heart-based system with the test failing possibility was a very-very right decision. The next little move which I can suggest is to stop using the current message “Stop the clutter...” with the red background. There should be a more pleasing message “only relevant and positive questions, please” with a green background.
As a native German speaker I totally agree to points 1, 2, 3 and 5, not only for the German tree but also for other language trees. But I can't recommend listening to German sentences spoken from people from different regions in Germany because of two reasons: First the sound to the sentences is not only for practising listening comprehension but also for hearing the right pronunciation in order to be able to imitate it. Listening to many different versions would confuse the learner. Second there are just too many too different dialects in Germany. Even a native German doesn't understand people from other parts of the country if they have a strong dialect. As an (even advanced - and that's not the target group for Duolingo) learner you'll never understand them. But if you have learned to understand a bit of Hochdeutsch most Germans will try their best to switch to Hochdeutsch (they need to do this also when speaking to people from other parts of Germany) and to speak clearly and slowly and after Duolingo you should be able to understand that. If you have learned words in dialects instead of Hochdeutsch it would be harder for you to understand Germans who try to be understandable for you. And it's not just that it's also the other way round - if you speak a dialect (or rather a mixture of dialects you have encountered in Duolingo) the Germans would also have a hard time to understand you. But if you pronounce everything like it's pronounced in Hochdeutsch everyone in Germany will understand.