Hello, I have just reached the second checkpoint and am starting to wonder about my progress. All in all, I thing I am doing all right. But I have read from others in the discussion forums about Doulingo that complain that they have to spend so much time keeping their tree golden. Now I am about a third through and so far I never got lower than full in every skill. I don't think I am overdoing the training, but maybe others just never do general strengthening. I think that would be a bad strategy, but who knows?
So far, this is how I go: I try to keep a pace of one lesson per day. Sometimes I miss one day, but I never do two per day. When I do a new lesson, I usually repeat it three times, then I continue by doing a couple of general strengthening. I usually do skill specific strengthening on weekends. I do new lessons on web only, strengthening about 60 percent on Android.
My daily goal is 20 XP, but my average is about 40 to 50. (I recently lost my streak because I was distracted in the evening by watching football)
Like I wrote earlier, in addition to Duoling, I import the vocabulary to Anki together with gender information. It works very well so far. I take care that my daily repetitions do not exceed 120 words per day. That still sounds like a lot but I learn in both directions and many are just grammatical variations. Whenever a skill offers too many similar words and becomes tiresome I add a couple of new and easy words manually.
I usually spend about 20 minutes a day on the Anki vocabulary and an unknown amount of time in Duolingo. I wish they kept a statistic there. Doing repetitions on the web takes almost always twice the amount of time than using the app. Doulingo should really adjust the XPs accordingly. After all, the learning effect is much bigger using the web.
I wonder if I can keep this pace until the end. I wonder because when I was learning Japanese, adding new entries to my vocabulary got worse and worse. But I believe that this was because of a peculiarity of the Japanese language and figuring out if this applies to other languages was part of the reasons why I started with Irish.
I am on a very similar schedule as yours for now. I repeat the lessons, I don't over do them, and I try to squeeze one practice in the morning before work, and do the more serious studying after dinner at home.
Regarding keeping skills golden, I've also read from a few others that some just did not bother so fanatically to keep them up, but instead sought practice in different directions, such as reading books, watching TV and listening to radio in Irish, etc. I also plan to go that route instead of obsessing about levels, although I truly find them good motivators right now in the beginning stages.
Re: your comment about vocabulary
From past experiences with Mandarin in university, we had a rate of about 40+ new words a week, which in the end, (after having 1hr a day for 2 semesters) became too much. It's difficult to integrate and remember to use so many new words into daily usage, and on top, the new characters as well. I've also studied Japanese for 5 years, and a similar thing happened with the vocabulary. Your observation regarding this is identical to mine.
I feel, from my experience, that new vocabulary becomes less of an issue once I get to the level of being able to read books without having to look every single word to understand the context. With Mandarin I had not reached that level, with Japanese, I was getting close, but not quite, due to the kanji.
I believe it will not be the same with Irish. I feel I will be able to jump to reading children books sooner than with Mandarin and Japanese :) Will see!
I don't think you are overdoing the training if it is still challenging and interesting. I think people spending time typing in things they know backwards and forwards is a complete waste of time. I think there are Firefox add-ons that count for you how much time you spend on various websites, if that would help you mark your progress.
Japanese and Irish are two languages that are very different from English, Japanese especially. If you go on to learn a Latin language in the future you will be taken aback at how incredibly easy and similar to English everything is, I was.
It sounds like you are doing well and I am sure you are going to be able to keep it up :)