Quickly complete tree, then strengthen, or go slowly?
Hi everyone! I've been tackling my tree and skills fairly slowly. I've been putting effort into not just ensuring my tree is "golden", but that I remember the material, whether it's vocabulary or grammar concepts. Which method works better for you - the slow method that I've been doing, or a quicker method, where you complete skills and the tree fairly quickly, and then strengthen everything?
I have about 70 skills left for German, and while I really want to finish it before Christmas, I feel like I would be rushing the process if I did almost 10 skills per week. I'd like to hear from people who did their tree quickly - do you have problems remembering the skills?
It depends on the language, how easily it settles in your brain and how closely it relates to something you already know. For example, if you already have some knowledge of Swedish/Norwegian or Spanish/Portuguese, doing the other course in each instance is unlikely to require so much repetition to achieve recall because so much of the vocabulary and grammar is very similar. Japanese, on the other hand, really isn't like anything I know, so I'm still grinding my way through the course at a snail's pace and keeping skills gold.
I'd furthermore point out that, whilst vocabulary only requires repetition, grammar also requires understanding (of course, one can learn grammar from immersion alone, but this is a less effective use of time for languages with complicated grammars), so I'd always spend more time on the latter lessons than the former.
Also, if you want to know whether you're moving too quickly, use timed practice. If you can't get a decent score (particularly in exercises typing in your target language), slow down a bit.
I found that when I tried to rush through my skills I wouldn't normally really learn them. I'd run into them later and not have any clue what they meant. So I'd highly recommend the slow and steady approach! (I also ended up doing maybe one or two new skills a week, and it took me exactly a year to finish my spanish tree the first time!)
Definitely RUSH through the tree so you can LOOK good with your friends/audience!-) Seriously, it depends on you and your goals and the amount of time you spend on each skill. If quantity without quality is your goal then go for speed... If you are interested in quality, I suggest you take some independent tests (you should find on-line free tests for German) to check your level. That said, I have rushed several trees because I wanted to have a 'feel' for the language which allowed me to do translation work within 1-2 weeks. The grammar became firmer as I used the language (in my case translation work)... So there are good reasons for rushing some trees! HTH, Daniel.
I used Duolingo to learn Turkish, a language that was completely new to me. For me the slow method was not particularly useful since there are only a limited number of sentences and my memory is quite good. After a while I found that I knew the answers but didn't understand the material. What worked best for me was to learn the vocabulary outside Duolingo and to use Duolingo to focus on learning the grammar. I then used Lang8 to practice writing using the grammar I had learned on Duolingo. By using a variety of learning methods, I was able to move through the tree at a faster pace than if I had just depended on Duolingo. I think that if you are just using Duolingo to learn, you should go through the tree slowly. Otherwise you are going to get confused. If you have a variety of learning sources, you can go through the tree quickly.
It doesn't really matter whether you go slowly or quickly. What matters is that you learn the language. You will know what works best for you.