Thoughts on conversational component of Duolingo.
I thought I would put this out there - there is a podcast I like listening to called Coffee Break French. The lessons follow a pattern where they teach basic phrases and then there is a lesson where all of those words and phrases come together in a discussion between two people in French.
From a learner's perspective it was super cool to listen to a conversation and be able to understand the exchange of words that you had just learned.
If there was a way to build in conversations into the learning tree that utilizes vocabulary we have learned up to that point I think that would be awesome.
I think you would like the Easy Languages project on YouTube. They go around and have simple conversations with people on the streets (what do you do, where are you from, what if you had superpowers...), and they add subtitles so you can follow along when people speak fast or slurred.
The French series is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb4zvZdrMz4&list=PLA5UIoabheFMYWWnGFFxl8_nvVZWZSykc . It only started a couple weeks ago, but the German one has over 40 videos so I expect the French one will grow too.
Thanks!! I'm a newbie in German so the You Tube project sounds great!! My Spanish isn't half bad; I learn a lot by watching the telenovelas (soaps) made in Mexico. I also read the closed-captioning in Spanish.