Feeling reinvigorated by Timed Practice
I finished the Japanese tree somewhere around 50 days ago and have been reviewing since. I'm mostly taking Japanese for a fun challenging experience on Duolingo rather than fluency. Even though I haven't learned everything the Tree has to teach me, I've started feeling bored. Doing lessons each day has started to feel like a chore than entertainment. I wondered how much longer I would keep going with it.
Since the course moved from limited to full beta and arrived on the website, I've been thrilled with Timed Practice. I've found that I have to go back to earlier skills because it became aparent that I'm a much slower reader than I thought when it comes to kana and kanji. No wake up call quite like racing the clock.
The layout isn't as smooth as more mature courses like Spanish, which are out of beta and are Tree 5.0 (I think?). I wasn't expecting it to be at such a green age. I'm finding it adds to the challenge and really is forcing me to increase my reading speed if I want to meet my daily goal.
Anyone else finding Timed Practice reinvigorating?
*Tree 5.0 means it is the fifth version of the Tree (not counting Alpha or Beta).
Hey 兎. What type of device do you use for doing Duolingo on web? Are you using a non-touchscreen device with a physical mouse and keyboard?
I don't know why I'm struggling so much with these nefarious tiles which have replaced the text input box. I can read them all flawlessly and effortlessly. It just feels more like I'm clicking on a dull wordsearch puzzle rather than actually composing a sentence.
Timed Practice used to be so fun in this course. I keep seeing this thread in the discussion listings and keep being reminded of what has been lost. Makes me feel slightly sad.
I'm glad to hear that some people can find enjoyment in Timed Practice even in the state the course on web is in now though. ^^
I'm using a basic, full sized keyboard and mouse. The challenge I appreciate the tile exercise for is having to juggle quickly and randomly back and forth between English and Japanese. Translating sentences is a smoother transition between the two languages for me. The tile exercise, on the other hand, is more rapid fire and I'm not immediately sure which language I'm searching for. I could see a tile marked で and suddenly my brain is scanning for three different things: 出, デ, and de. I've noticed sometimes a slight lag between seeing one of those, and recognizing it as the answer. I see that lag as an area where I could improve. And, also, it comes with a bit of a game-feeling thrill when I'm tight on time.
I didn't expect to enjoy Timed Practice when I first tried it, because of what I'd been reading in the forums. To my surprise, I did. I will say that it took me forever to meet my personal goal of 30XP yesterday using Timed Practice. (Hence the picture at the top of the OP of the gold miner xD). If I had less time available for my goal, I would have gone with regular lessons.
Yes, timed practice is great!
However, I wish the timer paused between after you've submitted your answer and before you clicked to proceed to the next question. This way, you wouldn't be penalized if you want to think about why your answer was right or wrong, or click the discussion link.
I'm against making it possible to freeze timed practice for the following reasons.
Mainly, it's value: Timed Practice keeps our brains moving quickly to pull up what we're learning as fast as possible. It's the whole point of having a clock for pressure. Being able to pause the clock to report something removes us from the pressure zone and negates the value of Timed Practice.
Reporting errors: With 200,000,000 users on Duolingo, errors will get reported by someone, so no emergency there.
Reviewing answers: At the end of the practice, there is the option to review. So, it is possible for someone to go back and think about what happened with their answer.
Sentence discussions: During the review section, a person can copy the sentence, go to the language forum's Sentences tab, and paste the sentence into the search bar. It will bring up the sentence discussion.
Have you visited the Lingot store and gotten a Timed Practice from there?
Visual instructions for what's written below: https://i.imgur.com/Fa3esKz.png
If you click the home tab in the blue bar at the top of the screen (Desktop version of Duolingo), the Lingot store should be on the right side of the page. Inside, you can use Lingots (or gems if you're in the gem group) to pick up a Timed Practice. The Timed Practice then stays equipped to your current and future courses. To use it on Desktop, click the "Strengthen skills" button. For a random assortment of lesson material, it should be on the right side under your golden Daily Goal circle and graph. If you've never used Timed Practice, I recommend clicking on an easy skill first. Inside of the skill, there is a blue bar above the lesson. In that blue bar is the name of the skill. For instance "Hiragana 4". In that same bar and to the right is the button named "Strengthen". Click it. You'll be given the option to used Untimed and Timed practice.
From there, you should be all set. :)
Too bad: this is not going to work for me in my current set-up (Safari / Chrome, iOS 9.2.1): for some reason, I keep having to scroll upwards because the touchtype keyboard takes up too much space, and I cannot see the question unless I scroll, or toggle away the keyboard. So I lose precious seconds.
Does anyone else experience this? It's worse in landscape mode (which I prefer because the keyboard keys are bigger that way) but upright mode doesn't display the question fully either.
Hm. I wonder what the equivalent for iOS would be - there are no Command keys on my keyboard.
If the spirit moves me, I might try out a Blue Tooth keyboard we still have bouncing around - that might do the trick (though I don't know how compatible with the Japanese keyboard it would be).
@Usagiboy: No, no CMD key either, unfortunately (I used to have a Windows PC - I know them). I've been trying to create my own timed practice by answering as fast as I can, plus making one deliberate mistake and then quitting the exercise at the last question (so I can do it over). Kind of works!
@Arachnje: I tried what the article you linked to suggested but that seems to only make things bigger - whereas I need something to make things smaller, so that I don't have to keep scrolling.
Also I wish they'd reinstate the "followed discussion" button - it took me forever to find this thread again.
This article explains how to zoom in/out on iPad, MacBook, and Chromebook. Hope it helps.
P.S. The Chinese course is not available yet, but the honor of Alpha testing has been bestowed upon me (my hands were shaking with excitement when I opened the email with subject line Chinese Feedback. And yes, as you said, Japanese is one jealous God ;)). But, if you ever decide to study it, you'll find that Chinese easier is to learn after studying Japanese, because it has very simple grammar, and you'll have already had the kanji up your sleeve.
I hear you. We need to remember to manually subscribe to discussions we want to follow now.
Pinching the screen with two fingers seems to zoom out in my iPad 4 (10.3.3), but it doesn't stay that way, and the screen goes back to original size after I let go, so this will waste even more of your time. But I do get a clear view of the whole lesson even while using the touch keyboard, if I keep the the screen in portrait mode.
Yes, portrait is better, if not perfect.
Re manually following discussions: it shows that I am following this discussion; I just don't know how to display the discussions that I am following. How do you do that?
Also, I used to get alerts if someone had contributed to a thread I was following. These seem very hit-or-miss these days, too.
To see discussions you are following, either click on the Followed tab on the discussion stream page:
or bookmark its URL on your browser, which is basically the same. It updates its content as you subscribe to more discussions.
The forum is still unstable, but in general, I get notifications from all discussions I remember to manually subscribe to, and from the ones I was automatically subscribed to before the maintenance as well.