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What is the best use of DUOLINGO?

I started learning French since last February and started DUOLINGO since last May. Thanks to working hard, I reached level 21 and fluency 56%, but I don't know how to efficiently use DUOLINGO other than challenging to level 25. I have earned many scores of lingot, but how I should use it? DUOLINGO gives me motivation for challenging to higher level, so I'll continue. But after that is there still more challenging? What about improving Listening and Speaking? Are there those courses in DUOLINGO? I am a retiree, so I can spend relatively much time for practicing and I do hope to improve my French ability (including listening and speaking) within a short period, if possible within 1 to 2 years. I would appreciate any comments or advices from you. Toshi

August 6, 2017



Duolingo is good for those territrades said + to refresh and recall language if somebody has learnt it before (like in school or on course) and would like to be better.

Tips for you: Surround yourself with this language. Like music, films, podcasts, books etc.

Speaking: The best thing to begin with is watching videos with everyday French - find your theme and look for youtubers if you want and listen, watch them. After some time you could start using the language - speak to yourself in mind or out loud about everything. Everyday you are thinking so why you cannot try to think in French? (It worked for me in other language)

Reading: Read articles, simple books - whatever you like. I cannot choose for you.

Writing: I find out that translating ex. songs can improve your writing. At first you can start with translating already translated song and compare. My one friend go with that method and it is person in whole class that write the best essays.

You could go with tips you like or test yours. There are also many sites for improving language like where you write something and natives check it. Or where you can talk with natives and teach them something instead. Or maybe you have some French at your place? Or could visit French-speaking country.


I think that this comment is going to help me so much ;o


Thank you for your advices. I'll take your recommendations soon after I reach level 25. I will increase my surrounding with reading articles, podcast, TV and people (if possible) related to French.


At the moment I see two principal use cases of Duolingo:

1.) Getting started in a new language.

2.) Getting a bit of daily exercise so that languages don't fade from memory.

Everything more advanced has to happen outside of Duolingo.


Bien, commençons donc la pratique, cher Toshil. Ma méthode pour rester motivée dans l'apprentissage d'une langue est la suivante :

1- Regarder des films en VO avec si possible le sous-titrage en langue originale pour tester mon niveau de compréhension globale et améliorer mon orthographe. Tu as de la chance, en français il y a beaucoup de choses disponibles.

2- Se faire des amis, les écouter parler et leur répondre du mieux que tu sais. Avec la pratique, tout devient chaque jour plus facile et les mots viennent tous seuls. De nos jours, avec les réseaux sociaux, c'est relativement simple de trouver des gens avec qui communiquer en ligne.

3- Ecouter des chansons avec les paroles sous les yeux et les apprendre si possible. Apprendre des poèmes donne également une grande satisfaction. Les textes de Jacques Prévert par exemple sont simples, souvent droles et font leur effet dans une conversation entre amis.

Je suis certaine que tu as tout compris, maintenant COURAGE et continue. ;))


Thanks for such specific comment! (Even if I don't understand everything) I will go with that after knowing more French.


In some ways, this is what keeps motivation alive.... the feeling that you have to learn more.... Courage, avec de la pacience et un travail quotidien, on arrive à tout.


J'aime beaucoup vos conseils. Et, en effet, il est facile de trouver des personnes pour communiquer dans n'importe quelle langue, aujourd'hui. Il suffit de trouver un forum dans la langue en question traitant d'un sujet qui nous passionne, puis de se lancer (après avoir acquis de bonnes bases, cependant, comme en terminant son arbre sur Duolingo). On peut commencer par lire, puis intervenir petit à petit. On apprend déjà beaucoup en lisant. Pour ce qui est de l'écriture, ce n'est pas grave si on fait des fautes. L'important est de pratiquer. On finit par être à l'aise avec la langue, et on peut ajuster les petits détails dans un second temps.


Thank you for your advices. It is easy to select French movies and chansons if they are helpful. so I'll take them into practice. At the moment, I don't have people who use French around myself but i am thinking to go and study in France (some day).


I've completed the course of German in English about a month ago. It took me something like 5 month. I've actually did it just to see hgow helpful duolingo could be. What i personally observe: i'm able to read relatively simple texts in German and also catch a bit when i hear Germans speaking. When I'm in Germany by an occasion I have enough courage to try my German skills in day-to-day life. I believe that it is an asset. In addition, it gave me a good motivation to continue learning the language by reading, listening and practicing on occasion.

NB. Suprisingly, I discovered that in case I can't find my words in German than it is not the English vocabulary which pops up to help but the French ( my second foreign language) one. I wonder how it is like for others how know or learn more than one foreign language


Your comments is helpful especially as i feel that I am in similar stage of learning French (German for you). I need to be more brave for practicing my French whenever i find such chances.


I'm happy to see that it is helpful. As regards French (at least) i would probably add one remarque: I would not rely on Dulingo much in terms of prononciation since it is done by a machine. As a general rule French people are very much sensitive to correct articulation. To my point of view the best would be to try listen French speaking rather than Duolingo robot


Thank you you very much again for your comment. I will take this into my consideration for learning French pronunciation.


Beside of learning on Duolingo, you can find some partners to improve your listening and speaking skill.


To improve listening and speaking, I've found the following to be helpful for me;

  • As Nathalie has suggested, listen and read at the same time. You can watch a movie or TV series in French and turn on close-captioning or French subtitles. Watch a music video in French with the lyrics in French. Read a story or book and listen to the unabridged audio at the same time. Listen to a podcast with a transcript in French. There is also content designed for language learners.

  • Find someone with whom you can have a conversation. There are meetup groups, conversation classes, tutors available in person and online, language exchanges, and many other possibilities.

  • If you are interested in any other languages, you can try laddering. Choose Duolingo courses designed for French speakers. Then you will need to answer in French more often. Plus, all discussion will be in French.


Your suggestion is helpful and I saw similar comments by others. So, Practice is important.


maybe you should start to write in french here ;-)


D'accord, je essayerai bientôt.


Wonderful... As I'm learning english, I try writing in english. Did you want to say that you will try soon or would you like to say that you do it now ? But it's better to write "D'accord, j'essayerai bientôt" Who mean (if mu english is good) ok, i will try soon....


One other thing I would recommend is an app called HelloTalk where you are able to text, call, and video chat people from other countries around the world it helps apply what you learn on Duolingo, and other resources, in conversation which is one of the most important things to practice while learning French or any other language.


Thank you. I'll check HelloTalk and I want to practice it if it is really helpful for me.


Maybe its now time, to book a trip to France


Thank you and Yes, I am looking into schools in France where i may want to practice living French.

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