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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniela0231

Strengthen skills

I just wanted to check if this is normal. I get that skills degrade and that I have to strengthen vocab but it's impossible to keep the trees gold for me. I spent over three hours today just getting the Spanish tree to be gold again after a short break for xmas and I just checked and there's already 3 more that need strengthening. I can't dedicate that much time daily and they degrade hourly. How do you keep on top of it? At this rate I can't spend any time learning something new. How do you all deal with it? Is gold just an illusion? Am I better off just working on new skills and strengthen when I have spare time. Makes me laugh that the coach thinks 10 min is a good daily amount. It's not even close.

December 26, 2013

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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  • 2255

It might be that you have been going through the tree to quickly. I personally learn a lesson and repeat it a couple of times in the days that follow to make sure I really get it. For me, even if I earn only 1 or 2 points a day for 2 weeks (I did that before Christmas), nothing at all decays. So DL is trying to have a compromise between 'casual learners' who work on DL more for fun and maybe do not put as much time into practicing 'old' skills and people who are taking this more seriously (not to suggest you are not taking this seriously, but I hope you get the gist of what I mean ;) ) and devote quiet some time to strengthening old skills every day.

Personally I am doing hardly any new lessons at the moment because I feel that I need to practice the old ones more - this is probably why I have the opposite effect: nothing decays for me ever - even things that I think should decay much faster.

If you read the discussions you will see that there have been many posts about that: on the one hand there are people like me who will 'complain' that things don't decay fast enough. We would likeDL to be more conservative in assuming what we know and what we don't know so we can practice more easily. Then there are people like you you who 'complain' about stuff decaying too quickly. At the moment the compromise seems to be that skills are decaying relatively slowly (even though you think it is the opposite), but we can practice skills independently when ever we think we need to.

Also I am noting you are doing 3 languages at once, which makes me think it is going to be harder to devote enough time to the single languages - I am doing 2 but I had learned French at school and used to be pretty good at it. Maybe the way to go would be to focus on 1 or 2 languages first, and also to try to keep a streak (you said you took a break fro christmas, so I don't know what your streaks were like before, but generally streaks really help keeping a tree golden ;) )

December 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniela0231

Hmm interesting, thanks for your comment. I'm pretty new and did placement tests for both Spanish and Portuguese which I've studied before. I guess with skipping a bunch of lessons, duolingo went into high drive with the strengthening of lessons as I had basically completed a whole bunch of them. French I just dabble in on the side, not very serious about it at all, but I'd really like to keep going with the other two. Can I the assume if I put in the time to strengthen and not advance for a while that it will become more manageable?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
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  • 2255

yes it definitely should. By the way, try to comment on a users previous comment by using reply - I just by change checked this discussion again, otherwise I would not have seen you post here :)

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniela0231

Thanks for your help. I'll focus on strengthening for now. Btw I mostly use the iPad app for duolingo and it doesn't seem to register the streaks on here. Is that normal?

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
Mod
  • 2255

Normally it should. I think there is/was a difference between which streak is displayed where: I think the webpage shows the overall streak (i.e., your streak continues when you practice any language for a day) will the iphone/ipad shows the language specific streak (the streak continues when you practice that language every day) if I am correct. Could that be?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pleiadian_

My tree has never decayed - but I do spend more time practicing than learning new skills.

And if you can't spend about an hour a day learning a new language, regardless if you use Duolingo or not, you're probably not going to become proficient at it anytime soon. For someone who speaks English, it takes about 600 class hours to become proficient in French, Spanish, or Portuguese (the languages that it appears you are learning), so you do the math with respect to how much time you spend each day learning.

http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniela0231

Thanks. I studied them all before so I know that it takes a lot of time and I'm willing to put in the time, but 3h in one day just to maintain the Spanish tree seems a bit excessive.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pleiadian_

If your entire tree decayed then it might take 3 hours to make it gold again but it definitely doesn't take 3 hours a day every day to maintain it. Plus, what's important is what you learn and are able to use IMO, and not color-coding created by some computer algorithm.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniela0231

True, I'm a bit OCD when it comes to the colours, I admit. I'm fairly new, I guess I was just concerned. I did the placement test and added a couple of skills and then maintained every day for about 10 days with maybe 15min and then all of a sudden I lost a skill every hour or so and spent most of the day before xmas strengthening the weak words. Then I flew to Europe and missed 2 full days and it took me about 3h to get it back. I was just concerned if this is the way it goes, but I think I've figured it out now. Thanks for your input

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/queendeeny

I was having that problem, feeling like I could not learn anything new, trying to keep up with degraded skills. This is how I solved it: Go to vocabulary daily and practice the weakest words anyway you want, individually, or timed or untimed practice. Practice all the words that have two bars empty. If you do it daily there are usually only a few words. This way it will be very rare for your tree not to stay golden. By the time the skills on the tree show you need to practice, there's usually a lot of words on the vocabulary list that show up as weak.

December 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniela0231

Thanks for the reply. I usually use the app, but maybe I'm better off at the computer then and focus on the vocab. I suppose that if I keep maintaining for a while without adding anything new, it will eventually become more manageable. It's spaced repetition, right? As in it takes longer for a word to reappear each time you strengthen it?

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/queendeeny

I think so. Doing it daily is really the answer. once in awhile there's no weak words and there's usually only few.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CecilieO.

it's going to fix itself eventually, but now you have a lot of words to strengthen all at the same time since you skipped ahead on the tree.

Go trough a few "strengthen lesson" a day and slowly work on new skills,and you should be ok.

Everything on your trees decayed at the same time since everything was added simultaniously. The more correct repititions you have in the "memory bank" for that word, the longer it would take to decay again.

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniela0231

Thanks, I think that was exactly what was happening. It already seems more manageable after a few days, I'm sure it'll be a nice balance between new and old skills soon

December 28, 2013
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