The Importance of a *Community*
Hey guys :)
I wanted to ask you how the community has impacted your learning, and your opinions on the importance of a community such as ours :D
I unfortunately have to go to bed, so I will edit my answer in when I arise from my beauty sleep ;)
Any answer is appreciated as long as it is relevant.
I'll tell you that this community didn't just impacted my learning...When I first joined duolingo a year ago I had no friends and I was terribly bullied(still am bullied but I have friends both offline and online now) ...I felt alone. I thought no one cared. I actually started having some suicidal thoughts.When I saw I could comment on discussions I made a post saying that I was new and asked if there was any tips on learning a language or if there was anything I needed to know about duolingo.I didn't expect anyone to comment nor did I expect anyone to help.Imagine my surprise when one of the users posted on my stream saying 'Welcome to duolingo!Have any questions just ask!' Eventually I felt happy.Duolingo was the first place I felt welcomed.That I felt okay. That I had friends.I still have suicidal thoughts but they are a lot calmer now.Not as often.I believe that might have been because of duolingo.They are planning on taking away the activity streams now.I am not happy about that.I'll leave if they do.
I've met dear people here who've convinced me to go to the doctor when I was so low that I couldn't come any to healthy or rational decisions on my own. And people that I barely know here who took the time to alert my friends, "Jo needs help. Do something!" I've met people who listen when I'm hurting, who give me good advice when I've got a foolish idea stuck in my head. I've met people who have willingly sacrificed hours and hours of their time, just because I had an impossible idea worth acting on. And you know what? All that support makes it possible for me to be the supportive one when necessary. Duolingo's low-key approach to creating community works. It's there, but not forced on anyone like on some other sites. I can't imagine Duo without its beautiful, vibrant community.
Jo I second every word you have said. The Duolingo community is one of mutual support, encouragement and motivation in all areas. We learn better because of our friends help and knowledge, we not only care about languages but about the people and cultures behind those languages.
Like you I have made some very good friends here, friends in all parts of the globe and through them have a much greater insight into previously unknown or alien cultures.
At some of the worst times in my life total strangers have stepped in and helped me, I owe a lot of people including you a great debt of gratitude and I too have tried to repay this by helping others.
All of us who care about this community, care because of the good it can do in the lives of others, as Hope says, the kindness of strangers has provided a lifeline for many. It is a wonderful learning resource and motivator but also so much more than that.
Finally, if it doesn't sound like too much of an exaggeration, I also think that it is a small drop in the ocean of cross-cultural understanding and that, in the long term, is itself a small step on the road to world peace.
A dictionary is cold an impersonal. A great source of information. However, you must first have an idea about what you are looking for. I have learned so many things by reading the activity streams that I didn't even know that I wanted to know. The United Nations is an organization of people from (how many nations? google would be good for that) who represent the interests of their individual countries. Thereby giving insight to other countries about how their lives are in their own country and listening to other points of view of the representatives of the other countries. They work together to promote each others common good. If you truly need me to explain how the activity stream is similar to the United Nations I will be happy to continue. Would you like me to continue?
I think I see what you mean, but Duolingo still wasn't intended to be a dictionary, nor has it never been anything like what you describe. The "United Nations" part as phrased a bit weirdly, but I understand what you mean.
Nothing you've talked about has changed recently. Why do you bring this up?
I'm pretty sure the forum holds that honour. The activity stream is used by fewer people than Immersion was, and it's probably going to be replaced by something else.
Duolingo is a learning website, not a social medium.
Though if you'd like something like you're talking about, there are lots of places on Reddit intended for that sort of thing.
I have been here for longer than 3 years and I must say that my favourite thing is still this community :) (I feel old now bahaha)
I've watched everyone conquer their languages (and even re-conquer!), rise in XP and levels and I've seen the awesomeness that is this community from day 1. The people I've met over the course of these 3+ years.... Each and every one of them have inspired me to be a greater person.
This amazing community has not only impacted my learning of languages, but even more so the learning of life. We're all here to learn a language or 6 :P and that itself is a very big obstacle. I've watched people lose their streaks but continue to try again. I've watched people get stuck on a skill but continue to fight. I've watched people fall but manage to fly again. That is what inspires me and I'm sure inspires many other people.
Learning a language is hard, but learning a language together makes it that much more fun. The fact that we can teach each other and learn from each other is one of the key things that makes this community awesome :)