Will Duolingo's new "Skill levels" allow the Japanese course to implement more Kanji?
Firstly, I just want to say that the Duo team is fantastic, including the team who tackled the challenge of bringing Japanese in.
As many have pointed out, I think right now the next step for this course likely has to be implementing more Kanji, as one doesn't really see written Japanese with this little Kanji.
I wonder if the skill level feature could allow this? Like, increasing a skill's level could perhaps unlock some of the Kanji?
I'm not sure if Skill Levels will apply for beta-phase languages... but it would be a good idea, as someone strenghtens a particular skill enough, hiragana would be gradually exchanged by kanji. I think it could be a natural way of introducing a more complex writing system, not just throwing lots of kanji at people who still may have trouble with kana. That said, I'm still rooting for furigana, which would be even more helpful, since beginners could decide whether to read the kanji or hiragana, and at the same time allow more advanced learners to read in a more convenient for them way.
In the Skill Level introduction, karint makes an interesting point: "Whenever we tried to add harder content in order to teach better, our engagement metrics would go down. Learners would get discouraged and leave the app."
This is exactly why I don't want to join the chorus of "This course needs more kanji." As I have said before, a person new to Japanese is faced with so many unfamiliar words and concepts that the addition of the real-life load of kanji would be overwhelming - I know it would have been for me.
I'm all for the option of purchasing additional kanji (finally, a use for all those lingots), and it'll be interesting to see the skill-level approach play out, if and when it comes to Japanese. But for now, I'm very happy with the amount of kanji in the course.