I'm loving the app. and website ^^ However I have several questions regarding the end of the course for those who have progressed that far. How many words do you possess in your vocabulary? How confident are you with speaking/reading the language? What did you do (and find useful) to continue your learning? Obrigarda! x
By the end of the course you'll have learned about 2 thousand words. If you use only Duolingo, your reading comprehension will depend largely upon the amount of your work on translations - the more the better. Your writing skills will be quite moderate and speaking skills even less, but there is no surprise because Duolingo does not teach you to produce your own content in the target language.
However, if you care to do some writing or speaking practice in addition to Duolingo exercises, you'll be able to write and speak a little, too. My advice is to be open to new opportunities and try to get as much practice as possible of the skills you need most. Want to read? Try to start reading as soon as you feel confident enough and can understand a sentence without struggling for ages. Want to speak? Find a language partner and start speaking. And so on.
Duolingo worked as a perfect motivator, word trainer and reading trainer for my French. However, I used it in combination with other resources such as Michel Thomas audio course and Busuu course. The latter gave me a good writing practice. In about 2 months I was able to talk about grammar in French or have text chats with native speakers. After 3 months of studying I finished the Duo course and shortly after that enjoyed reading "The Planet of the Apes" in French (using dictionary, but still it was fun). I continued my studies on Busuu, added a good textbook and in about 4 or 5 months from the beginning of learning I scored a upper B2 level on a training session of TCF.
to me, the best practice after you learn the first 1500 words is to watch a lot, i mean a lot of TV with subtitles in the same language as the audio. not only you learn to associate sound>written word, but ultimately you learn the tone, and the circumstances/context of those sentences; this is something in Duolingo is totally missing because of the robotic audio.
Most of us can't do the obvious thing to beef up our ability to speak a language -- go live in a country where the language is spoken.
But what might be useful is if various DL users would post (here) concrete, explicit suggestions for increasing our vocabulary skills (or other skills) in one specific language.
My suggestions for increasing real-world Spanish reading vocabulary:
http://axxon.com.ar/cuentos.php [science fiction short stories];
http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/region/news [links to many online Latin American newspapers];
http://www.wordreference.com [Spanish-English dictionary].
The new words I don't think I'll easily remember I write down in a 4x6 inch spiral notebook, which I review at random.
Thank you, cbjj. These both look interesting. For a flashcard with a Spanish word on one side, I would want (typically) to have several translations for it on the other side, with one translation per line for readability. Do you know if such multiline answers are easy to create with either one of these?
I have to disagree. Pimsleur courses aren't worth their exorbitant price tag at all, and anyone would be hard-pressed to argue they're even worth the 90-120 hours you put into them.
I'd only suggest people use Pimsleur if they want to improve their speaking ability AND can get it for free (Arrrrrhh). Otherwise, look for free resources or purchase Assimil - much greater return on investment.
With the chrome browser you can set Google Translate to convert randomly selected words displayed on web pages to any language you choose. You can select the category of words that they convert from easy on up to difficult. If you are familiar with the content of the pages that you are looking at, quite quickly you just start automatically translating the words without thinking about it.
Any given can be translated back to the original language by using a mouseover. Unfortunately it relies on Google Translate.
If the content of the web page is difficult and having words from another language is distracting then you just hit the toggle button in the browser and it turns everything back into English (if that's your native language).