Oh, you want to learn a new langauge?
As I reflect on one complete year of using Duolingo, I can not stress it enough: Consistency is everything.
Sticking to your goals, (even a measly 1xp per day) will bring you closer than just winging it without a plan. Personally, I dont find it effective learning something new in chunks : as in whenever I have time or whenever I feel like it. I did a little bit of french per day and this has given me outstanding positive results.
Top three benefits I've gained: improved vocabulary, improved pronounciation, and confidence to speak to natives.
Consistency, thou art a jewel.
I just lost my 610 days streak because I forgot duolingo. But I have to say, in the end I came only back to duolingo to not lose the streak and to revise. I find it rather difficult to concentrate on more than one learning source and therefore think now might a good time to change to speaking french. I did have some (infrequent) contact in verbal french and I must say, I suck in it. My biggest problem is to understand sentences that are longer than two or three words. It is mostly much to fast - my working memory stops and I only understand "bla bla bla".
It is brutally hard. I am using the Anki 16000 sentence deck and it seems to be helping. They say a sentance and then you flip the card to see if you understood it. There are a couple French songs that I listened to so many times that I can mostly understand them; Zaz - Je Voux and Louane Emera - Maman. Both have a variety of words and are sung clearly. Follow along with written lyrics at first.