Time spent learning the language - proposition
Hey. I've recently read some articles about how we should rearrange thinking about time we spend on learning a language and not think about the learning process in years but rather in the total amount of time we spent in hours. There is also this site suggesting how many hours it takes to learn particular languages: https://www.boredpanda.com/language-learning-difficulty-map-europe/?utm_source=facebook_medium=link_campaign=BPFacebook And it got me thinking. Would it be possible to introduce some sort of a timer on duolingo, which would tell how many hours one spent learning the language? I think it could be more motivating and less frustrating at the same time. I'm doing the norwegian course and I wish there was such a thing.
I don't know where to post it but anyways, share your thoughts.
i think that would be great! On some languages I have spent months, but in reality just a few days, maybe. On some, like German, I have spent just three days, but several hours over those few.
Would be a great addition tbh.
That is exactly the point! Just knowing for yourself how far you've really made it.
The problem with those estimates is that they are used in the context of a disciplined, structured classroom layout. The numbers tend to be heavily weighted towards US Government estimates for diplomatic staff. If you look at the backing data to that map, what you'll find is a reasonable estimate is that '24 weeks' means '5 days a week, 6 hours a day of classroom study'. And that estimate is based on people who pick up languages easily.
Regrettably, an hour on Duo doesn't really equate to an hour of direct instruction.
Yes, I do realise that those numbers are stretched one way or another but anyways it would be nice to know how long I've already spent on this site learning particular thing or the whole course =) It's better to think about it that way rather than saying "I've been learning Norwegian since 2 years" because saying 2 years is not specific at all when it's about the language, imo.
But hours aren't any better than years, when the problem is still a matter of time and what that means? It's a reductive problem of what it means to study a language for a set amount of time. Is 'twelve months' better than 'one year'? Or 'over three hundred days' better than that? And at the same time, I'd argue that even with hours, there's no apples-to-apples comparison. Someone who only spends 7 hours on Saturday cramming is almost certainly worse off than someone who spends one hour a day consistently. But both people could say 'I've been at it for 7 hours'.
And that's all aside the problem of even tracking that sort of time. Is writing this (while on Duo) counting as time? Nei? Selv om jeg skriver på norsk? :)
Just be honest with yourself. You're on a streak right now, is that fifteen minutes a day? Or is that an hour? Only you know for sure. :)
Well, they say that to get good at something you need to spend at least 1000 hours on practicing it =) No, 1 year or 12 months is not different, but I think that when one sees how much they spend on the particular thing it can make a difference. When you compare two people, 1 studying every day an hour for a year and second studying every day for 5 minutes for a year, it definitely makes a difference. Therefore it's better to explain to the second one why his results are not anywhere near the first example. It's not an essential option, but I think it could change a lot. Starting with our own perception on our interest and abilities of learning the language(s).
And on top of that, direct instruction works like a charm for some people (see also: my best mate, who bombed out on Duolingo, but rapidly improved by taking French classes at her local Alliance Francaise), but doesn't work at all for others (see also: me, an autodidact with autism, who learns next to nothing in a structured classroom environment, but can whip through A1/A2/B1 levels in 3-6 months in Western European and East Asian languages when left alone to get on with it).
Some people have an ear for languages and need far less than the recommended time. Others require a lot more time, effort and dedication than the average, but still get there eventually. Unless someone comes up with an accurate method of measuring each individual's required time, counting hours is meaningless.
(Me from 5+ years ago would consider this blasphemy; I used to LIVE for stats and metrics. Nowadays I just go for consistent effort and lots of different input sources.)
I think there is a general problem is that we are measuring the effort instead of measuring the results. Why not count words learned and some kind of coverage of grammar rules learned instead of hours or days/years? Basic fluency in a language is a more finite thing than most people think. For instance, official language exams for Japanese give a specific target of a number of ideograms one is supposed to learn for a certain level. I wish the same could be done with Western languages?
That is an option too. I think both of the options would be good anyways.
The idea is mostly aimed on our own progress. As they say, it takes at least 1000 hours of practice to become good at something. As I wrote below, I think it would just change our perception on our own abilities when learning the language.
I agree a timer on Duo would be incredibly helpful – there's one on Memrise Pro, and I find it really helps with motivation, particularly as I have OCD and couldn't possibly end a session on – for example – 29 minutes!
For what it's worth, my French teacher told me that to make progress in a language, I need to put in at least 8h of study a week, and being able to keep easier tabs on that would be super useful.