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5 ways to improve Duolingo

Hey all,

I first completed the German tree in Duolingo about 6 months ago, and recently I started using the app again for French.

I think we all love using the app and website, but after getting my teeth into my second language tree, I've started to think about what could be improved.

I run a channel on YouTube about language learning, so I made a quick video about my thoughts here:


The five ideas are:

  1. Add formal grammar lessons with video or animations to help people understand why an answer is correct, not just learning by rote

  2. Increase the number of "life-relevant" sentences such as asking friends what they want for dinner, or their opinion of a film

  3. Add colour-coding for noun genders. I.e. the first time you see a feminine word, it always comes up in orange (for example)

  4. Increase the number of unlockable modules, enabling people to take more of an active choice in their learning path

  5. Record audio comprehension exercises (radio interview, news bulletins..) so that we have a way to test our listening skill after perhaps every 4-5 rows of skills.

For me, it's number 3 and 5 that I am really excited about.

I'm very much a visual learner, and so I think I would find it so much easier to remember the gender of a noun as "ah, Wissenschaft - that's a green word" than just simply remembering it without a cue. I mention in the video that perhaps having words come up like this could be a filter you turn on or off.

For the audio exercises - we already the "type what you hear" tests, but I would love to see multiple-choice responses to a more natural discussion between two characters. ("Did Jacques say he is planning on going to the cinema, restaurant or bowling tonight?") This is probably the most difficult to implement, but I think if each tree was limited to ~4 exercises like this, it could work.

I'd love to hear what the community thinks of my ideas!

September 17, 2017



I love Duolingo, but I feel that something's missing, do you know? Like, okay you've concluded the language's tree, but and then? Do we do again and again the tasks? Yeah, but it's not... fun.

Look, some days after I've concluded the English's Tree, a bug, a system's fail, I don't know what happened, but I lost all my more than 90 days of streak. I've stopped use Duolingo after that. See my point: I kind of lost my incentive, then I was upset because I had to do everything again.

If Duoligo had something more exciting about, like some kind of 'chat' with other learners, what you've said about "life-relevant" stuff. You know, Duolingo helps you to learn the basic of a specific language, but why don't expand it to some more? I've learned almost all what I know now thanks to Duolingo. But I need to know some more. I'm a self learner, I need a base. A guide. What do I have to do? Stop in the intermediary level? Being stuck in a middle knowledge? No, I want to learn more and more and I want Duolingo with me in my journey. I don't want to put Duolingo aside in my studies.

Duolingo needs improve. Duolingo needs more recognition. Needs more attention. It helps no dozens neither hundreds and nor thousands. Duolingo helps millions of people. And a good amount of them has already passed the basic level of understanding. We all need improve.

Well, it's what I think. I'm grateful to everything Duo has given to me. I have no regret of none of the hundreds of hours I've spend here. I want to spend some more of my hours here. But I want something new, exciting about. Something that will give me incentive to continue.

The Duo Stories is a good tool. Duo Labs too. But it needs to be open to the rest of the learners that the first language is not English.

I thought that other tools were already available. If they do want us to evaluate the new tools, they need give us new tools. Duo Stories should be already available to other languages and out of the beta stage. And another tool should be on the Stories' place to be evaluated too.

Okay, I hope new good things come to us. I'm a English learner from Brazil. Tell me if I did some mistake in my text, please. It will help me more than you can think. Thank you for read until here.


Buenas ideas, también sería interesante lecciones para cada tipo de trabajo por ejemplo inglés para ingenieros, alemán para médicos y así con todos los idiomas.


¡Estoy de acuerdo! (Lo siento si mi español está desactivado, estoy usando google translate para esto.)


they also need to add immersion back, it was the only reason i came here


Immersion is probably never going to come back, but I did find that resource extremely beneficial to my studies.


i saw on reddit that the founder of the site removed immersion because "it was making the site slower", like seriously i don't mind waiting an extra 1/5 second every time i click something


Only "0.01%" of users used it. You couldn't use it in the EU and only 2 companies were paying Duolingo for Immersion.


Very good suggestions all around. Thanks for sharing.


Great suggestions - I hope Duolingo implements them to some degree!


Hi Tom, as a fellow Brit. I love your ideas, especially nos. 3 & 5. I'm sure Duolingo will take note of your learning experiences as they will always want to improve and make every language accessible and pleasurable for all of their students. Bon chance ! :) p.s. I'm a Duo 'addict' not far off level 25 now but only half way through the 'tree'!


When I started the trees were not locked to the extent they are now. Duolingo must have determined that it was better to control the locking to a greater extent, probably by A/B testing. However I agree with you.


good ideas! also make like a listening and responding conversation platform similar to anchor so people can listen to each other and respond!


What's really annoying is that there is still no Arabic, and it's been two years since the last post promising it's coming soon. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9968130/Brace-yourselves-Arabic-is-coming


I love all 5 ideas that you mentioned. I have a Polish neighbor who helps me (I'm getting ready for a trip to Poland - hence these lessons). #3 would be especially helpful especially since I'm still trying to figure out when Ciasteczka (cookies, plural) but dziewczynka (girl, singular) both end in "a".

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