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Pupil gets A in Italian without attending a class (Irish Times Article)

September 14, 2017



It's really nothing surprising. Few people have enough motivation to drive themselves for a language where it isn't spoken around them, but as it only leaves the motivated the success rate is high, unlike those who merely do for exams. The internet is full of resources, you can change all your devices to that language, so if you really have no luck for teachers, self-teaching with internet access is far from impossible. I learned better French in a few months with no classes or tutors than many students who have learned at school for 5+ years.


I had two semesters of college French in order to graduate, 30 year ago, barely passing both times. I remembered "Je suis etudient", and a few other words. Duolingo has taken me far beyond what I did back then. They say Duolingo is equivalent to two college semesters; I would say at least two semesters getting "A" grades.


I recently took the Swedish SWEDEX certificate examination, level A2, after learning Swedish exclusively on Duolingo (plus watching two TV shows). I had never written anything in Swedish before, and the oral exam was the first time I had a Swedish conversation with anyone. I was mainly curious to see how well Duolingo could prepare you for an "official" language certificate examination. To my surprise, I aced it - got top marks in writing, speaking, grammar, reading and listening. So thanks Duo, you're amazing! I plan to keep my tree golden and branch out to reading some books and watching some films and try for the B1 certificate next year.


What a great experiment; thanks for sharing your experience! How much of the TV shows could you understand?


Fairly little, to be honest. But the English subtitles helped a lot - not just to understand the plot (obviously), but also to understand some words and phrases I would otherwise have missed.


Duolingo is actually equivalent to one college semester, not two...


I don't think there are any general equivalencies. How could there be when the trees differ so greatly in length? The Romance language trees cover grammar (well) beyond what I experienced in a third-semester college Spanish class.


Ah, interesting. Thanks for the correction!


No way, I disagree completely. Duolingo is multiple semesters I would say. Italian 1 in college for me only covered the present tense. I'm not even halfway done with the tree and I aced that class, it was so basic. The hardest thing we did was possessives and some irregular verbs, which I already knew for the most part anyway. I don't see Italian 2 covering the rest of Duolingo (I'm taking it right now), MAYBE Italian 3. The one thing that you may be right about is that you learn how to write better in one semester of college than what all of Duolingo can teach you about writing, but as far as the material itself goes, Duolingo covers way more than a level 1 class.


Oh. How interesting. Because their advertised video is as follows.



That video says 34 hours of Duolingo is equivalent to one college semester. In short, it's about how fast Duolingo yields results, not the overall extent of possible results.


Anybody can advertise anything. I'm telling you my experience that actually happened, because my level 1 class was like barely over a quarter of the tree. You're going to believe an ad over something that actually happened?


I know that you're telling me your experience. I'm just telling you what it says in the video. Thanks for your correction!


Not true. I took two semesters of Japanese in college and Duolingo tree has covered everything.


The Japanese course on here is not as intensive as the easier languages. I read that on one of the stickies the other day (I forget which one). SO maybe the Japanese course is two semesters. But for easier languages like Spanish, Italian and French, Duolingo covers probably 3-4 semesters.


Yep, for now at least Japanese happens to be one of the very shortest trees on Duolingo.


The Japanese course apparently has 1090 basic word forms (of which 100 are likely just the two syllabaries). Most courses have around 2000.


That's really awesome! Too bad they don't have Swahili at my school XD


Very impresive indeed :) thanks for sharing the article!


I was wondering if the pupil’s situation were closer to the one shown here. ;*)

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