Hi, i have been using Duolingo for two years (ish) and have found that I have progressed fantastically - especially with reading and writing.
However I now need to progress further with listening - would it be possible to tailor lessons so that they are geared towards the needs of the learner.
personally I find talking to a machine of limited value so have turned off the microphone. but greater practice in listening would be a massive benefit.
Actually, I think that repeating the word you hear using the mike is terrific. In areas where you have to type the answers instead of just using multiple choice with touch screen (on the app), if you don't pronounce the word correctly it will print out the wrong thing you said. Immediately you'll know that you didn't hear it right and/or say it right.
I used to teach French and German in a high school in the U.S. The county where I worked was quite progressive at the time, in the days before all this required testing. We had absolutely no reading and writing in the first year - just listening and speaking. For example the French class was called, "Ecouter et Parler." I walked in the first day and didn't say a word of English during class the whole year. We used pictures and pointing, learning to understand the sounds the way a baby and toddler does.
We also had a lab where each student spent about ten minutes a day listening to tapes with earphones and speaking into a mike to record responses. It was really good.
Fair point. perhaps I am missing a trick turning off the mike. I also like the idea of "Ecouter et parler". that said the main point of my initial post is that after 2 years of Duolingo I can read and write with some proficiency (simple books, emails to people etc) but listening to TV / music / people talking normally is a no go. thus I was looking at how Duolingo can help me in this area - as it has done with reading / writing.
Reading and writing is a crutch. If you want to speak you have to comprehend what the other person is saying. Look for French radio and TV without subtitles. Do you know that Haitian speakers talk quite slowly? It is very easy to understand Haitian even though there is some pidgin in the language. You will see that in a few months you will be understanding a lot if not everything. And you have to be brave and try to talk with someone without worrying about making mistakes.
All babies learn to talk, even the most complicated languages!
I don't know if you've tried this yet, but Duolingo has a section under "Labs" with stories that you can listen to and read, with intermittent questions to check for comprehension. I have found this valuable particularly when I only listen and don't follow along on the screen.