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https://www.duolingo.com/Z-Pen

And then I hit the wall...

Z-Pen
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I thought I was doing pretty damned well! In fact I still think I WAS doing pretty well until yesterday.

The first 19 days went swimmingly and I was learning well - surprised myself in fact. I did 21 skills in 19 days but then I hit Spanish's 'Present 2' skill and I feel like nothing's sticking to my brain anymore... I did the skill and retained almost nothing an hour later.

Was I going too fast? I feel all the words I learned up until day 19 are still there but nothing new is taking root!

Instinct says that I've just being going too fast, a skill a day is too much and I should take a few days, perhaps the weekend off for nothing but revision, and then set a slower pace in future. Thoughts?

Or is this just a bad couple of days?

Those of you more experienced, should I be trying to learn new words every day? I thought two lessons a day, rather than one skill, but is that too many?

I'm doing about 150-200xp a day and I like that level, it's about 60-90 minutes each day and that feels about right to actually learn anything. I don't want to do less time/xp per day, but what I do with that time might change, less new words, even more revision.

2 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/EltonFreitas9
EltonFreitas9
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Hello Z-pen, I know how you feel to some extent. My native language is Portuguese, what makes Spanish a easy one to learn. What's your native language? The level of similarity between the languages you have and the ones you're learning makes a huge difference. I'm not very experienced in Duolingo, but I''ve been studying English and German by some time, and that's why I guess I know what's happening with you. There are 3 things i would like to cite:

1- First of all, you should SLOW DOWN the speed of your study a little bit. The brain doesn't work very well trying to memorize too many words in a single day. You have already notice that, and you're right. At the first day i made more than 2000xp in this site, and I noticed i was doing wrong. Today i spend more or less 30 minutes and do about 50xp, very slowly. The goal here is not just acquire points, but understand the patterns of the language being learned and memorize words and exceptions. I know you want to progress fast, me too, but that's not how the things work. You must be patient and assiduous studying Spanish;

2- Duolingo is not a site made for you just do an exercise once. Eventually, as you may already know, the golden icons will come back to its normal color again. It means you'll have to STRENGTHEN THEM AGAIN. Doing so, over and over again as the times passes will engrave the words in your head in a way you won't forget them anymore. I think it's your mainly problem;

3- What else do you do to learn Spanish? Have you the habit of read matters in Spanish, watch videos of people speaking this language, or even try to write some basic sentences in Spanish? No? So it's time to USE MORE THAN JUST THIS SITE to study Spanish. This surely is gonna speed up your learning, for you would be using the words you learned and not just storing them up in your head. Duolingo's aim is to teach the basis of some language; it doesn't do miracles. Besides that you must resort to more ways of improving your Spanish.

I'm not censoring you nor anything like that. You must be a very smart boy/girl to spend so much effort to learn something that most of people around you may don't mind. Keep it up, and may you know here you are not different. All of us want to learn new languages and improve. The first days are the worst ones, but in time you'll get used. Just focus on the goal: the fluency in a well-spoken language, which will open new doors of communication to you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Schwitzhofer

I have the same problem. I like to make flashcards when something doesn't stick. Quizlet seems to work well for me. Another thing is to maybe redo the lesson more often than others. For example everyday or every other day. I hope this helped!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buck72
buck72
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Congratulations on your first 21 days of learning Spanish on DL. Everyone learns at their own speed, making their own progress, but what worked for me was a slow and methodical approach to my language learning. Initially, I spent hours upon hours reviewing lessons until I felt ready to progress. By building a strong base at the beginning, I was able to move along faster later on in my German course. Have you considered breaking your study sessions into smaller units but doing them more frequently? My own suggestion, spend some time reviewing what you've already learned and see how you are doing after a few days of review. Good luck with your Spanish studies! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/onelonemadrone

I agree with a lot of what has already been said. As you can see by comparing our stats, I'm certainly moving at a slower pace with xp, and I'm happy with it.

I tend to be more of a big-picture thinker than a detail-oriented thinker, and I find that things tend to stick better for me the more I can put them in context. Drilling words and phrases gives me a good foundation to work with, but then I need to practice with things I really want to understand. I consider Duolingo to be sort of a middle ground as far as how much it helps me with this. For example, it gives more context than using flashcards to drill words, but not as much as trying to read an interesting book. Some other things I do to practice in context include watching shows intended for Spanish learners, listening to the Notes in Spanish podcast, and trying to write short journal entries about random things in my life.

I also wanted to say that I'm at a similar point to you on the tree (just finished "present 2" and "determiners"), and I've definitely noticed that I'm feeling more challenged all of a sudden. I think up to this point, it's been mostly about memorizing words. The sentences have been very simple, straightforward, and easy to translate more or less word for word from English. But once you start throwing conjunctions, prepositions, and determiners in there on a regular basis, the possibilities open up a lot and you need to go beyond memorization to start getting a feel for how the language works. For me, it feels harder and sometimes more frustrating, but also more rewarding.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandaUrso

This is completely normal, some people like to call it "Plateauing". There comes a point where learning isn't as easy as it was. It's when you hit this point that you have to remember why you're learning the language. Motivate yourself and push through it, you can start climbing again. Lots of review is no bad thing, I think you might remember me from a while back. Slow and steady yes? There's no hurry! You're likely young, you have plenty of time. Like me! God willing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NeridaPeters
NeridaPeters
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Did you know any Spanish before you started? If you were totally new to Spanish, then I think that 21 skills in 19 days is probably too much. If you already knew some Spanish, you've just reached a point where it's starting to get difficult, and you'll need to slow down a bit. You also need to spend some time consolidating what you have learned before you move on. Just review for a while. You will know when you are ready to learn something new.

You should look at using other resources for the same skills you've done to reinforce them. You won't be able to learn everything you need from Duolingo although it's a great start. Watch some TV to listen to the words you've learned. Read something to practice the grammar and vocabulary you've learned. Try writing something. Speaking to someone would be really good too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeJungleGirl

I have had the same issue happen - when it does, I do review lessons for a good while before going back to learning new info. I've already wondered a few times if I would be able to push through a plateau and I've only been on Duolingo about 2 months! It seems like it sometimes takes the brain a while to catch up to my interest level. Keep up the good work and do lots of reviews!

2 years ago