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

Perfect Example of Why the "Health" System is Extremely Ineffective

Foolishly and naively, I am hoping for someone from Duolingo to respond to this thread, but I'll settle for a good response from anyone who believes in the "health" system. I'm perfectly willing to change my mind if I hear a good argument.

Yesterday I got to the "Idioms" section of Spanish. This is difficult, as it's about long sentences that work together and not word pairs, matching pictures, or translating very short phrases. Because I wasn't just looking at each underlined word and typing in the English, but rather actually trying to learn each idiom in total, I made five mistakes pretty quickly and lost my health.

Duolingo stopped my lesson immediately. I had time, so I went to the practice section through the health meter, and did five practice sessions. NOT A SINGLE WORD of those five practice sessions related to anything in the idioms section or any of the mistakes I had made.

How is this helpful? How is this going to help me learn Spanish? What effect is this system meant to have other than to increase anxiety and get me to buy gems? I already pay $9.99 a month for the premium version, so am I not doing enough for the monetization of Duolingo? Can we at least not pretend that this is about anything but money?

Someone--from Duolingo, ideally, though I'm not holding my breath--please explain to me how I'm wrong and what benefits to my learning Spanish this experience is meant to have.

June 21, 2017

26 Comments


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

yes, I definitely agree with you. For school we do french, and every few days we do duolingo. However, we are often lets with no, or little health. That means all I can do is bots or strengthen, but i dont want to strenghtn, because i dont need revuew. if dont want to waste my class time doing reviews! Please, duolingo, get rid of halth

June 21, 2017

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

The idea that Duolingo for Schools has Health is really bad for a supposedly effective language learning service.

June 22, 2017

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

I believe Duolingo for Schools features are web only - so no health.

If, however, students are using iOS mobile devices, that is their choice I guess. Unless the school is making them use the mobile devices.

June 22, 2017

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

Cancel your subscription. I recently found out that someone I know who used to have Health no longer has it, so they might be starting to remove it.

June 22, 2017

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

That is GLORIOUS news. Thank you!

June 22, 2017

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

This entire health procedure was clearly not thought through well. It is an impediment to progress in learning. Personally, I would not buy health.

June 22, 2017

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

Use the web version of DL instead of the app. The health feature only exists in the apps.

June 22, 2017

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

It's only on the iOS app.

June 22, 2017

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

That is true. However, why should there be such radical differences between the mobile versions and the web version? Absurd!

July 13, 2017

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

Holly, I get it. I was an educator for 36 years, and the entire health system is counterproductive and destroys motivation.

July 13, 2017

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

Yeah. Two homeschooler mom friends of mine have given up on Duolingo after their kids got frozen in the middle of lessons. It really sucks.

July 13, 2017

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

Yeah, it does suck! And even more so when someone is virtually at the end of a lesson, only to be shut out. Furthermore, the user leaves discouraged. For example, I am retired and sit at Starbucks ever morning JUST completing review lessons. Because of the foolish consequences, I will not attempt a new lesson until I'm in front of my computer. Again, that makes no logical sense. Holly, there are TEN MILLION users at least. So on the low end, charge $5.00 per year and that is 50 million dollars gross income. However, Luis has represented operating costs of $60,000 per day. Okay, I'll account for that overhead. That equates to 2.2 million in overhead. Thus subtract the overhead from the gross. The results are obvious! Someone is not being forthcoming.

July 13, 2017

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

When a phrase doesn't mean the same as the words alone, or its meaning can't be inferred from the words or from previously taught grammar rules, then contributors should add that meaning as a phrase hint, and you are alowed to report it, although it's true that many courses are quite abandoned becouse they already reached beta.

June 22, 2017

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

I don't think the idioms section is part of the main course. That could be why they don't turn up in practice. I must say I don't have the same health system (on Android and not updated), but my fluency sits at 1% all the time. I just ignore it, the lessons still work :)

I will probably be buying the subscription. I like the idea that duolingo allows so many people to use it for free. I don't see anything looking like a cash grab in what they do, quite the opposite, in fact.

June 21, 2017

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

I completely understand that they have to make money; I just wish they wouldn't do it in ways that actively prevent learning. Wait until the first time you have to completely stop studying because you're doing what all learners do and making mistakes. Very demoralizing.

June 21, 2017

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

Holly . . . the number of users is staggering. By charging each person ONLY $5.00 PER YEAR and deducting the daily operational costs, the profit margin would be in the billions of dollars. I have done the math.

July 13, 2017

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

BTW, the experience of using the Premium version vs. not is basically identical, but I pay it because I appreciate and benefit from Duolingo. Just don't expect to see fewer ads, to be allowed to make mistakes and keep learning, or anything else you may be used to from learning apps.

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jenny06162007

There's no such thing as premium version. It's just a no-ads subscription. If it were a premium version, why can I access all of Duolingo without the "premium" version?

June 21, 2017

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

I don't know what else to call it. I pay money and I still see ads. What word would you suggest?

June 21, 2017

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

It's called duolingo plus. You get no ads, and you can download lessons for offline use.

If either of these do not work for you, I'd suggest contacting support and reporting it.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chordata96

You said this right after she told you that she DOES get ads. Seriously?

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jenny06162007

An optional subscription.

June 22, 2017

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

Thank you; that's a good way to put it.

June 22, 2017

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

I have to disagree with you, the shortcuts are for those who already know the words. Those who do not know those words, use the normal setup. For I see why you want the shortcut to be easier, it makes it to fast and your learning won't be as effective. If you disagree with my statement, then thats fine. I hope to see you again.

June 22, 2017

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

No short cuts are being promoted so you have little or no grasp of a reward system. The concept, now don't get lost, is to reward people for successful attempts. The reward enhances motivation and, therefore, promotes learning through a reward system. Why would anyone embark on a new section, when their chances are virtually impossible to complete it without fully depleting health? By the way, that is a rhetorical question.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nelly294135

Dear reader, I'm also very pleased with the DuoLingo way of learning a language, but could you please give me some guidance to get rid of the health feature which is blocking my goal to learn as much Spanish as I want, same as my husband who's using an older version, still gets the updates but not the health feature which is really annoying to have enabled. He als ostil has the Lingots versus the gems? And it works brilliantly. Can you please help me get a version that will allow me to practise as much as I want without being timed out all the time? please make is possible to choose or get rid of it in the android version altogether? How can you update your account to be in either the A or B catagory if that is what's driving it altogether? please help?

August 13, 2019
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.