Getting a fully golden tree
Is there a trick for strengthening skills and keeping them strengthened for a while? I'm trying to review everything I've learned and completing a golden tree seems like the easiest way to do that but it's proving to be rather impractical...
I'll get a unit to be golden but then 2 days later it'll tell me to strengthen it so I've been stuck at the same point in my tree for the past month.
I guess I'll just review the units one by one and not worry about them being golden. Would have been nice if they stayed golden longer than 2 days, though.
Well, practice makes perfect (obviously) , in my case I don't worry too much and just strengthen them, or leave them like that for a while just to get new content for my brain to assimilate.
You could either leave them like that or start a timed practice which forces you to think faster and strengthens the skills regardless of you completing the review or not.
I try to start each session with a timed practice of the general "Strengthen Skills". This had been working pretty well at keeping everything golden, but recently I have been making such slow progress at new skills, that as soon as I complete a section I am having to re-gild it. I think I am still going to persevere with keeping everything golden though. I don't have much time each day to devote to this. I think better slow and steady than rushing through the tree without taking it all in. I'm hoping this is just a temporary "lull" in my progress.
No special trick that I know of: just keep on doing them and after a while the words associated to the skill will be considered so strong that the skill will remain golden for a longer time.
When doing the tree it is not necessary to keep everything golden as you progress: it is good to review what you have learned but it is good to make some progress too.
After you have completed the tree, regilding is then just a matter of repetition. I am currently making three-four lessons per day and regilding my Swedish tree faster than it deteriorates.
One small step at a time - don't look at the whole tree and panic, do it in chunks.
If you have particular skills that just don't seem to want to stay gold, try redoing all the lessons within the skill, which will really refresh your memory and make them stay gold longer.
As you go on reviewing, the lessons will become stronger and stay gold longer. The first tree I finished with a significant number of skills that had started to decay, I'm not exaggerating when I say it took longer to have a solid good tree than it did simply just finishing the thing!
Haha, oh lord; I'm not sure I'm ready for that commitment lol. Took me 6 months to finish the tree as it is... :P I just wish Duo would take my word for it when I say I know how to tell time lol. I've had to strengthen that one back to gold at least 10 times now.
There's way more difficult vocab further down the tree that I'll never remember if I don't review it, so I guess I'm going to throw in the towel and just focus my energy on vocab that I know I've already forgotten.
To be honest, I think that's wise ;) Having a nice gold tree is fine, but it isn't (or shouldn't need) the be all and end all. My comment is a response to 'how do I get a gold tree?' more than to 'what is the best use of my time?' ;)
(Me, I have OCD and way too much free time, so challenging myself to have an entire tree gold... well, it's kind of a given, in that scenario ;p)
(ETA: though if Duo has made you strengthen a skill ten times, going back and redoing the lessons within the skill might actually be less time consuming than having it consistently decay. Just a thought ;))
You may find that reviewing later skills strengthens earlier ones anyway, which makes sense - after all, the vocab Duolingo assumes you've been exposed to at least once in an earlier skill is pretty small, whereas further down the tree, you're using words included in lots of earlier lessons.
Duolingo's spaced repetition algorithms are helpful and not a bad guide if you don't know where to start, but they are only maths. Revise what you feel you need to, and if at a later date you feel like you want to more generally practise/strengthen your overall skills, then maybe that's the time to think about 'gilding' your tree ;)
Personally I tend to do a general 'strengthen weak skills' practice here and there anyway, because having something thrown at me without knowing in advance what it will be is good practice, and also I find that sometimes I don't know some things or know what I'm in danger of forgetting as well as I think I do.
But in general, Duolingo is a tool for language learning, not an end in itself, and if 'having a gold tree' gets in the way of 'practising stuff you know you don't know', then not worrying about a decayed tree is probably the way forwards!
You make a lot of really good points. I made this thread in a bit of OCD-rage lol. My current dilemma is that the Swedish government has a really interesting course with more natural audio samples and I want to work my way (more like blast my way) through it to see if I learn anything new, but if I start it, all my current progress on "gold-treeing" would start decaying... hahah.
It's funny though; I don't really need to do it. Duolingo really equips you with a high amount of vocab that comes up again and again in daily life. It's likely that I think I don't need to review a given word because I feel like it's so familiar, when in reality the algorithm has only shown me the word 5 or so times and the other 20 times I heard it was in real life or something.
In my experience it is more important to finish the tree first, than trying to have everything golden before you move on. The words you have learned already are also used in the new lessons, so taking a new lesson also strengthens the words from an old one. To reguild the trees I prefer time practices per lesson over "strengthen skills" at top level. Going through the tree top-down or bottom-up does not really matter much. Over time the lessons automatically will stay golden for a longer period, when DL understands that these words have been moved to your long term memory. By this time it is hard to predict which tree will require most attention in a particular day or week. When a tree is golden I move on to the next.
There is a bit of a trick to it, yes. Basically, use hints the least amount possible and practice specific skills that need strengthening over doing general tree strengthening. See here for full details: