https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cazort

Course Feedback on Content and Material Focus: Too Many Numbers, Not Enough Words / Vocabulary

I want to start off by saying that I really appreciate the launch of the Chinese course; it happened a lot faster than I thought it wouuld and I'm really grateful for it, and for all the work people have put in to make it happen. And I've been getting a lot out of the course.

I also have already posted a lot of small details on how I think the course could be improved in terms of the backend programming, and better hover-over hints.

But I have also noticed that there are some big differences in the course content between the Chinese course and the other, more established courses, ones that I find very effective, including both Western Indo-European languages like Spanish and German, and other languages like Turkish.

The Chinese course seems VERY numbers-focused and very focused on things like dates and numbers in the payment section...and it's not just these sections, lots of exercises with lots of numbers come up in many of the other sections as well.

I also feel like I have a huge deficiency in basic vocabulary...I have gone pretty deep into the course and I still don't have much in the way of basic vocab. Contrast with the other courses, which much earlier on, have sections like "Animals", "Clothing", "Food", and a basic "Adjectives" section, "Occupations", stuff like this.

I feel like I'm getting into moderately hard grammar before I have much of a vocabulary and sometimes I wish I were given more simple sentences too. I like how the course dives into the grammar quickly, I don't want this to change. I just want a lot more variation in vocabulary. The vocabulary seems very limited and this makes the course seem kinda repetitive.

It also seems like it would be pretty easy to introduce more vocab early on...like because you can have pretty simple sentences to introduce these things. I don't care if I'm translating dumb sentences like "the elephants eat noodles" or "the green bear is invisible". It's kinda silly and fun and broadens my vocabulary and often makes me laugh.

The Chinese course has started to feel very dry and rote to me, and this is bad because it makes me lose motivation.

What do others think?

November 24, 2017

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