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Do you find it better to run through the tree quite fast, or keeping it gold at each step?

I prefer to run reasonably fast forward, and then do the bulk of reviews at the tree completion.
While doing the tree I would of course do some reviews, but I will not fuss over, that everything stay gold all the time, and even let quite a few skills reach zero and stay there.

Did someone here compare the effectiveness of the two approaches?

April 29, 2017



I think if your goal with duolingo is to complete the tree then move on to the next Spanish learning method on your list going slow & repeating lessons till you really understand them is best. But if your goal is to finish the tree but stick around and continue to strengthen skills/repeat lessons it's okay to to zip through the tree fast to give yourself that sense of mission accomplished sooner.


Part of the reason that I'm doing this, is that I think the duo review cycle is quite flawed, so I actually feel it is doing the opposite then helping me, as the progress will be way too slow and ineffective.
I'll maybe learn a few words really well but the time spent is not worth it.
I also feel like I retain most of the knowledge even after only seeing it once, and what I forget still remains dormant in my subconscious.
You will encounter most of the words anyway in other contexts so it is a natural review in itself.


I never think if the lesson is gold or not. If the words are difficult to remember i will do it again and again.


I've found it works well when I go through the course slowly, keeping everything gold. Even then, I've found that if I'm not careful the lessons start getting too difficult and too frustrating because there's too much that I don't know. I do quite a lot of the strengthen skills lessons as well. The two trees I finished, I finished on level 16. With both I found I needed to keep the tree gold for ages to get the new language skills secure enough, and to get my recall fast enough, to actually use.


In my opinion, slow and steady wins the race. I prefer to take time to ensure I really understood everything in one lesson before moving on to the next (I should note that I only use this method with Russian because it's the only language I'm learning from scratch on Duolingo).


Keep it gold and not just that but do more reviews than Duo expects. The reasons for this are

  • you get more translation exercises into your target language
  • spaced repetition doesn't work without spaced repetition
  • you won't make so many spelling mistakes/other mistakes in basic stuff in later sentences, so you'll be able to finish lessons with less work
  • there won't be so much need to repeat stuff afterwards.

I did a system of learning one new skill+reviewing three old skills in the beginning of the Russian tree, but then after the mid point I just wanted to get to the finish line and I rushed, and then went back. But it's actually taken me longer to learn the stuff than it would have if I'd just continued with my original plan.


I think taking it slow works way better because although it takes a while, it will stay in your long term memory. Going fast, you likely haven't seen all the tree because some of the words you don't see until you practice over and over. Taking it slow helps you remember the more difficult words.


I usually do it slowly so i can remember words, particles then i review it and gold the whole tree.


In my opinion, I think that if I rush through the end of a course without minding the reviews, I will in turn have much more to forget than to remember. Practice makes perfect. To give an example, the past time when I tried to learn Russian I did it in a rush, and I understood everything at the time, only to then notice I had forgotten almost everything when I tried to resume lessons after a month of holiday. Today I only know how to say "hello", and "man".

With German I'm trying the other way, and it's working. Human memories are not perfect, so I try to refresh every new memory after certain periods of time according to the forgetting curve proposed by Hermann Ebbinghaus, which is a representation of how the human brain works when it comes to selecting new information to be kept over time. It's true, Duolingo's scripts aren't as accurate as one might expect, but ignoring them altogether graduates the status of learning a language here to "pointless".


Maybe for reviewing you can do the Memrise duolingo course as a review replacment? Better SRS algorithm.
What about watching one Easy Russian video every day instead?
Did you notice how many words are covered in each such short video? What better way to review?
I had a period of 1 month where I didn't study anything, and I didn't have much problem picking up were I left off.
The first few days were a bit rough, but after that I was about where I was before.
I actually did a quiz soon after to compare the results, and the score was only slightly lower then the previous test, which was taken a month before my break.
I probably could have done even a better score, but I wasn't very concentrated at the time, and there were even some errors that I can attribute to "technical issues".


For me it depends on the language. In Spanish I go fast, in German a bit slower, but this is because I use other resources as well, in Danish slow (now I've got the basics of the grammar), and in Greek quite slow. At Memrise I also do Japanese, and I review it often, almost daily.


I like to keep everything gold as much as I can, but I find myself getting discourage and tired of DuoLingo at some points and getting away from it because I get tired of having to do review on Basics 1 and 2. I've been learning French for years. I don't need to redo these lessons, but I'm very anal about keeping everything gold, so I do. And while I'm fully aware I'm bringing this upon myself, I would like to see a more accurate review system for Duo maybe similar to Babbel. I LOVE Babbel's review system.

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