Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/gwhn

Suggestions to improve timed practice

gwhn
  • 25
  • 11
  • 5

I've been learning spanish and have just reached level 20 after 71 days. I only began using the timed practice feature once I'd reached level 15, by which time I'd been through the tree a few times. I found it really frustrating up until very recently when, all of a sudden, it started to click. It seemed to be more of a typing test than a memory recall challenge. I thought I'd throw in some suggestions on how I think it could be improved.

At first, I thought it would be better to stop the clock after a wrong answer so you could review your mistakes, but having read some discussions about this, I believe this would remove the pressure the timer forces on you. Instead, I think you should be able to review your mistakes at the end of a practice as others have suggested.

I'm a touch typist and pretty quick in my native english, but was significantly slower at typing in spanish. I found it frustrating that all correctly answered questions incremented the timer by 7 seconds. If you had a sequence that began with long phrases, it was tempting to skip them in search of shorter ones which could be done in time. I also found myself checking the answer to a long phrase before the clock ran down, once I realised I couldn't enter it in time, so that I could spend those seconds reviewing the answer. I'd like to see the time allocated to each question weighted proportional to length and complexity. Also, I think it would be good to factor the users experience into it, similar to immersion mode where you get more lingots for your translations depending on your tier.

While not specifically relating to timed practice, it would be great to have some variety in the spoken voices (male as well as female at the very least). While I appreciate that the voices are synthesised, I'm sure that with such an active and enthusiastic community, it wouldn't be too hard to find users prepared to upload their own recordings (in their native language) and allow others to rate them so that the best ones are kept.

As encouragement for those frustrated by timed practice; firstly, your typing will improve a lot ;-) but more importantly, if you persevere, it will really improve your recall and get you translating in near real time.

4 years ago

1 Comment


https://www.duolingo.com/gwhn
gwhn
  • 25
  • 11
  • 5

I have just noticed that it appears not all correct answers add 7 seconds to the clock. It appears the time allocated does depend on the length and/or complexity of the question. This must have been a recent addition. Thanks DL.

4 years ago