The Best Things about Duolingo
Whenever I am reading the discussions surrounding the activities I realise that we often criticize duolingo. The audio, the translation and the fact that we cannot do this or that. After a while of this I realised that we need to appreciate the good things about duolingo more; as it is one of the most helpful language teachers out there, so this is my post on the best things about duolingo.
To start off my favourite thing about duolingo is that I never feel that I am alone in my learning, there is always at least one other person out there facing the same hardships, difficulties and annoyances as me. I love the fact that I can ask other people questions and help other people out too.
The best thing I like about Duolingo is actually what I see most complaints about : The fact that we're not really taught any kind of theory.
In my opinion there are plenty of good resources out there that can help us with the theory, so providing exercises and a space to discuss between us about these exercises is the best way to approach foreign languages. Of course Duolingo could provide more theory, but it should be very short and condensed lessons, which present concepts but let us explore them in more details by ourselves. A bit like www.khanacademy.org does it for maths.
Learning by experience seems a lot more efficient to me than learning with lectures and theories, and I find it especially true for learning new languages.
Not shoving the grammar down your throat is a really cool design choice. Everyone knows that it exists, but because you are led by example instead of put on the spot all the time, you find yourself actually thinking to yourself about the grammar, and looking it up yourself, at moments where you will actually be able to make sense of it.
I think people complaining about the lack of theory on Duolingo seem to think that they are cheating by avoiding it. But imagine you were building a jigsaw puzzle, and someone was standing behind you saying "Put that bit there. No there! Now put that bit there. No they're all blue, that must be part of the house. Why aren't you doing the edges first?!". That's what the grammar theory model is to language study. Basically, the other person would be solving the puzzle for you, you wouldn't be using your brain for anything, and you'd want them to just bugger off and leave you alone to figure it out.
You need to be able to make mistakes to learn anything, just like you need to learn to ride a bike without training wheels. You'll fall off, it will hurt a lot, and then you won't fall off again.
I can think of two best things:
1) As we've heard Luis say, it represents a fair business model of education, where the students' efforts are used to accomplish meaningful work (translating stuff). This is kind of like a gym full of exercise machines that generate electricity when used - people are willing to expend the energy either way, so it just makes sense to harness that energy to do good things. And since that allows us to use this great service for totally free, I think everyone truly wins
2) The owl is glorious
I like the privacy of it and the take your own pace aspects are the best parts. This also includes different languages not given at schools
Duolingo is awesome. It gives us the opportunity of learning a language without expensive books, classes and other things. It also give's us the chance to learn a language at our own pace and you don't even have to leave your house to learn. I also love the fact you never feel alone when you are learning and you can also post questions about the language. It keeps you motivated too. Duolingo is the best language learning site out there.
Great suggestion for a thread and I thank you for posting. Duolingo is a great way to spend time. I enjoy my circle of worldwide Duo friends. I like working on an immersion article and the comradship I feel when we collaborate to make a quality translation. I like to be learning something and I definitely learn with Duolingo. I like that it is free, but that I can do my part to help keep it free by working in the immersion section.
In comparison to the App and Site of past, there have been major strides in the development of the concept and implementation. A host of new features have been added, and exciting developements. There-in after there is a long list of wonder features to behold. The sight has a friendly appearance, easy interface and inviting graphics. The community surrounding the site, made up of developers and users, are generous and passionate. The approach to teaching is multifaceted incorporating speech, text and imagery and is fun incentivising perseverance and practice though mild gamification - and ligotss. The platform uses various techniques to aid learning, like spaced spaced repetition, to aid the acquisition of language. The content is well set out and easy to navigate, provides endless goals and challenges. There is great social aspect with social media integration and discussion boards to connect with others and immersion to expand your horizons. New languages are under-development. The concept behind the platform, that is, crowd sourced web translation makes it a meaningful pursuit by the personal ambition of learning a language. Oh and its free.
Duolingo is the best way of learning languages. OK the audio is sometimes bad, but so are some peoples voices a bit off perfect (in fact always) but Duolingo helps you understand these things. Duolingo is also good for keeping you focused on learning for long periods of time, once a day, by doing streaks and encouraging you by giving lingots to buy "cool stuff" in the store. Plus you can actually discuss things about the languages.
I love Duolingo because I am free to learn at my own pace! I'm able to reinforce what I have already learned in school and beyond! I also love DL because I know right where to go when I have a problem. The DL staff rocks; there is no end to the list of things they've done to make this site a fun learning center for people world wide:D
The only critique I've had is how limited the number of languages you can learn is, I have others I want to learn. Back to topic, I can say so many great things about Duo that if I were to, it wouldn't mean as much as if I said it very little only when I have something really good to say about it. Then it really hits hard how much I mean 'this is a great thing and everyone should use it, screw monolinguality.'