https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ecarter2019

Does Duolingo really teach languages effectively?

I have just started using Duolingo, and I am already starting to wonder if it is worth my time. I am currently in a French 2 class at my high school ,and I have noticed that in the class we learn definitions as well as verb conjugations and imperatives, etc. So far in Duolingo,I am simply memorizing definitions, but it doesn't take much to move on to the next activity. What has your experience been in Duolingo? Have you found it really helpful in learning a language, or not so much? Would you recommend it to someone who is trying to learn French fluently?

November 1, 2016

24 Comments


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

I think it does work differently and think it is great to review and practice skills you have learned elsewhere. (And I think it is even better if you have at least a small foundation in learning the language.) The early lessons will probably be pretty easy for you, but you may hit some different vocabulary, and working on the skills without memorizing entire conjugations will start to have those things come to you in a more natural way.

It isn't ever going to get you anywhere near fluent, but it gives you the tools to use other tools, and I think as far as supporting your study in school, it can't hurt and will probably help.

(My high school French was eleven million years ago, and Duolingo definitely helped me review and make me able to move forward.)

November 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Here is a link to studies that have analyzed Duolingo's effectiveness.

According to your user-data, you are working on the Skill called "Food". This is still pretty early on in the course. So, it makes sense that you are still accumulating vocabulary before breaking into the verb conjugations. If you look ahead in your tree (course), you should see skills with various titles related to verbs. That's where you'll find lessons that build your skill in conjugation. :)

November 1, 2016

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

Yes, Duolingo is superficial, it tries to cover all things as quickly as possible, but that's not necessarily bad. You get quickly familiarized with the language you are studying, and from there you can further study yourself.

So yes, I would recommend it to others, I think Duolingo is very good for beginners, because they can get in touch with the language they study without being overwhelmed.

As a downside, I believe Duolingo is lacking a homework feature, the "strengthen skill" is not very motivating.

November 1, 2016

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

No.

November 1, 2016

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

no

November 1, 2016

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

At the end of the day, whatever method you use the only way to learn another language is by time invested and repetition. One day we'll be able to learn a language like the matrix, but for now we're stuck just doing things over and over until they stick, learning a little more each time.

I believe the French track has something like 2500 words in it, so by using duo regularly that's about the amount of words you'll become fluent in at best. So no, duo lingo won't make you a fluent French speaker all by itself. But then neither will your fre ch class. For me the real effectiveness of duo lingo lies in it being fun and also this community!

I've been at this 10 days now and it's really really helped me! I learn duo in conjunction with podcasts and am amazed how much I've picked up in two weeks! It's important to keep practicing and using what you've learned as well as keep punching yourself. Duo will be a brilliant aid to you while it's still challenging. Once you've finished the tree and practice has become easy, it'll be time to move on ... But up to that point it's a fun and easy way to learn and practice a lot! :D

November 1, 2016

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

It's quite effective at making the grammar it presents seem natural (after a while, the wrong answer just doesn't "feel" right). Of course, in order for this to work you need to strengthen skills as they decay, since the key to learning a language well, particularly at the beginning, is repetition, making mistakes and correcting them, and more repetition. This method is much more effective than sitting in front of a book memorizing conjugations for the test.

Since you're taking a French II course, the earlier skills may be a little too easy, so I'd suggest going to the next checkpoint and taking the "test" there, Lather, rinse and repeat if the lessons after that checkpoint are too easy. Do continue to strengthen skills as well, and start the reverse tree once you're about 3/4 of the way down the English to French tree.

November 1, 2016

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

You have to combine it with other methods, but then it's really efficient.

November 1, 2016

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

Duolingo is never going to be more than one piece of a puzzle. Yes, the early levels are easy but it does teach more complex ideas as you move up the tree. I look at Duolingo as a way to help you learn the skeleton of a language and because it's easy to practice every day, it will help you keep that skeleton in place. If you intend to use the language seriously, you're going to need to put flesh and bones on that skeleton so to speak. Watch movies and TV in your target language. Read newspapers from the countries where your language is used. If you're lucky and you've got some friends who speak the language, ask them to refuse to use English (or whatever your native tongue is) with you. But all of those other things will be easier because you've got the Duolingo skeleton learned in the first place.

November 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phb2013

Duolingo provides us with the skeleton of a language. What a great way to describe it!

November 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorel90

It has helped me a lot. I think it is very effective, but you have to add other resources including a grammar book.

November 1, 2016

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

Good Question! i've been here for a while but i haven't really memorized anything yet.

November 1, 2016

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

so i just go around on the discussion. mainly to help people on the troubleshooting.

November 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

I often wonder how anyone could understand without having learned at least avoir and etre first. I had French in school and I do find the Duolingo French tree fairly easy but it has also taught me things that I totally forgot from school and it is teaching me new vocabulary. I enjoy the French tree here. Now I am doing the Irish tree as well and did not have a lot of Irish beforehand and I find it terribly difficult. I just got an Irish grammar book and am so thankful to finally understand some things. Even after being almost halfway through the Irish tree I cannot make sentences on my own or pronounce words. I also had no idea which verbs were irregular and I can't really conjugate even the regular ones. The grammar book is going to be a great help there. I think Duolingo is great for refreshing a language you already learned but if you are learning a new language I think you should add as many other aides to learning as possible...books, shows etc. anything that will help.

November 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/becky3086

Just took the exams on both Irish and French. I suggest you don't do that. Totally depressing. Not really sure what my score is because it is out of 5.0 but I didn't even make it to 1.0 on either of them.

November 2, 2016

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

I have just started duolingo four days ago and I am really liking it. I am planning to visit Quebec in a year or two, so I am teaching myself French from here in my free time. I think it is working well for me as a student so far, but maybe just because I have had language background in Spanish. I dropped out of Spanish 3 last year and I already planned my next schedule so I cannot fit a new language course in. ^^'

tl;dr: I'm also a high school student and I think this is a good tool.

November 2, 2016

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

It helps a lot with learning languages I too am learning french and I can form sentences now Bounjour je suis Daemonthehero J'aime gaufres

November 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iris.666

It helps me a lot.

November 2, 2016

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

This is probably unique to my situation, but I have a teacher who is very hard to understand. I've found using duolingo helps a lot, because I know (like mentioned before in this thread.) the skeleton of the language. It makes learning what we do in class a lot easier.

November 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellary1230

It works well for me.

November 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raven7117

it has worked for me and i can talk to people who didnt learn on this site or time as me

November 4, 2016

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

I think duolingo is for people who already know a the language and is just a website where you can keep up with that language .For example;I already am fluent in Hungarian but, I still use duolingo to keep up with my Hungarian.

November 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChaseHill6

Duolingo has really helped me with my Spanish and i think it is a very good site. The site gives you rewards and makes people want to learn more. It has worked for me so that i can talk to people with Spanish also.

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JessicaRam358742

My own sense is that duolingo is great for vocabulary drill. Since a huge part of language learning is acquiring vocabulary, duolingo serves a useful purpose. This site has also helped me to learn common phrases through repetition. I, however, also need a more structured grammar book.

August 2, 2018
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