I like the new Crown system. Am I alone?
I'm so surprised that there are so many complaints about the new Crown system.
I was just updated to the new crown system today. Starting over isn't a problem. I finished my tree ages ago (I'm on a 265 day streak) so I was getting a bit bored repeating all of those same lessons over and over. Thankfully, I discovered duolingo Stories and started doing lessons in combination with one new story everyday. I'm very happy they've added so many new lessons. My worry is running out of Stories, so I hope they keep adding to them as well.
So, THANK YOU to everyone at Duolingo for all the hard work you do to keep us motivated and learning!
I don't get why people on the negative threads keep commenting that they're bored with doing the same exercises over and over just to move up a crown level. Simple answer: don't, then. The switchover to crowns put all my Russian skills except one to level 2 or level 3 - because I've already repeated them more times than Duolingo reminded me too, to get the vocab in my head. Now I can see which ones I have actually worked on most, and which I might want to try again sometime soon. I couldn't see this when they were all gold. I feel no need to do the same ones over and over just to make them move up a level, but I can see which ones might need more work. If people want to move on more quickly, they can. Level 1 is all it takes. Or have I missed something?
I think most people miss this point. Also, I think that if someone is aiming for an all gold tree again, they can spread it out over time instead of trying to achieve it all in one go. Doing the basic greetings close to 50 times in one sitting is really, really annoying.
I was never that keen on the old strengthening system, so the crown system seems like an improvement. However, I think there are few changes that could be made to help advanced users that had already completed the tree in the old system.
1) A way to test out a skill. Advanced users don't want to keep repeating lessons on the beginner skills
2) Something to indicate or jump to the lowest level skill. Having the choice of over 100 skills to level up can be overwhelming.
A test out option would be nice, especially for the lower level modules that are getting the most complaints (side-eye Hiragana) because they really don't contain enough content to get harder through the crown levels and it really does just become repeating the same extremely easy exercise 100 times. I also have one language that I already learned through college study and in country immersion that I wouldn't mind showing my actual capability - I am at level 5 in my head, but not on my tree. I use Duo to practice rather than to learn this language, and it hurts my ego to be assessed at level 2. However, while I can't make all the modules gold and just use the practice button by testing out, I can just as easily use leveling up in the modules as practice, and maybe it will be more satisfying.
I think it is important to be able to go back later and revisit these things. I don't think it is helpful to grind from 1 to 5 on a module all at once, but I think it will be hugely beneficial to come back to that module after a few weeks and practice it again, getting it to level 5 slowly and really cementing those pathways for the duration and not just for short term retention.
It was a bit of a shock at first, but I like it. Give it a go and see how it works. Some people will moan that they can't get to level 5 in a year, the same way they moaned about skills decaying even though they were not forced to keep them gold. I'm thinking of ways that I can work with the system rather than try to fight it.
I like it because I think that I am better in French than I am in reality, I think 'the first exercise is sooooo easy'but than now I'm trying to make the first one gold I am running out of health! I know some are errors in writing but I also make errors in thinking! So I pressume if you pracitise it to gold it really gets stuck in long term memory. I've had one or two years French in school (can't remember) fourty years ago, some words come easily back but I still write after a break sleeping 'tu est'. lol
I totally agree. I sometimes like to do it as a challenge, but I mostly just find it to be a roadblock. I think the only benefit is that it is an indicator of when you need to go back and review... If you can't make it through a module, then you know you need to practice, otherwise, just keep doing new stuff. However, with some languages I just make more typos or spelling mistakes when I'm learning, and that leads to more health loss than I think is really warranted. I have the luxury of having both an iPad and an Android phone, so I can easily switch to the way I prefer. The Android app doesn't have tips and notes, so I also sometimes have to go to the computer to access the website. I do wish everything were equally available on the different platforms.
I was just updated to crowns this morning and I think I'm going to like it. I like that the crowns don't disappear, because I'm not very consistent with using Duolingo, so I've done the first few French lessons a TON cause I wanted them to stay gold but the gold kept disappearing. Now I can just work up to the 5 crowns which shouldn't take too long cause I know the material so well at this point, and be done with them and move on.
My only not even complaint but uncertainty is where to start now. Like I said, I'm not consistent with Duolingo, or at least haven't been in the past, so not quite half of the French tree is showing 2 crowns for me, a few lessons at the end show 1 crown, and then of course all the lessons in the bottom half of the tree that I haven't done at al. So now I can't decide if it's more important to work the other lessons up to 3-5 crowns, or just do new lessons. But I'll figure something out!
"I've done the first few French lessons a TON cause I wanted them to stay gold but the gold kept disappearing."
This helps me too. As a beginner-intermediate learner of Japanese, doing the earlier "alphabet" exercises repeated because they kept decaying was really annoying. Now, at least I can take them to gold and they'll stay that way.
I'm still fairly new to Duolingo and I actually didn't like the strengthen system because if I did not practice every day I found that I had to just repeat what I had done over and over and made little progress as a result.
I like the idea that once I've done something it's done and then I can choose whether to go back and practice more or not, rather than feeling somewhat forced by the lowering strength bars.
I'd not really done a whole lot before I got the new tree and now I have the crowns so it feels a little like a new start but as others have said, it has definitely renewed my interest so it's a thumbs up from me :-)
Stories all the way! Almost no one I talk to on Duolingo has heard of them. Good for you. May I ask which is your favourite?
Seeing that you have only been studying one language, this may be a useful feature, but its implementation is poorly thought out, imho.
I have been studying five languages, and now I "have to" redo five language courses, translating into hundreds of exercises per course, ie. THOUSANDS of exercises in total. It does not help that they recently updated the French course, so even though I finished the French course more than a year ago (iirc), there are now units where I am at level zero because I had not regilded them before the implementation of the crown system, meaning I have to start completely from the scratch and do EVERYTHING all over again.
There is however no way I am going to bother doing dozens of exercises on starter level units (for every single unit), so the end result will be that I will be ignoring 40-60% of the courses so I can get something useful out of DL, and I am not sure why DL thinks it is a good idea to incentivize people to ignore and skip vast amounts of their language courses
I agree, the new crown system isn't bad, and actually there are some good new materials. If you have completed your tree you can work where ever you want, so I spend most of my time on the later units to focus on more advanced points that I don't understand adequately. I don't need to spend time on getting the Basics 1 level to gold--the point is not to get levels to gold but to learn French. (I think for some people, the goal does become keeping things gold, and in that case I can see why they are frustrated with the new crowns.) Overall, it seems to be an improvement.
If you have gotten bored with the French tree, as I had a while ago, I recommend doing the English tree for French speakers. It is similar content, but you spend more time translating English to French in that tree, so it is more challenging than the French to English tree. Or, if you want to try another free online course, I recommend the Carnegie Mellon French 1 and 2 courses. Here is their website home page-- http://oli.cmu.edu/learn-with-oli/see-all-oli-courses/ The good thing about this course is that they have videos of French people speaking that you have to understand. Understanding French in the real world is much harder than understanding the voices on Duolingo.
And definitely spend time at the 1jour1actu website.
https://www.1jour1actu.com/ There is a huge treasure trove of articles and videos for French adolescents. So they are generally understandable, and you can actually learn interesting things about life in France.
I also like it. I've been kind of static on a tree that I'd completed, but I just found out that I'm moving to that country in a few months, and though I don't expect to actually be able to speak the language, the motivation to go through the tree again to boost my vocab is really well timed.
I love the crown system! I was getting bored after years with a system that only underwent minor changes along the way and this is a refreshing change of pace.
Also, I'm SO GLAD they got rid of the decaying skills. It wasn't helpful to me at all and it was giving me a lot of anxiety (and guilt when I wouldn't have time to practice much.) I LOVE being able to decide what I want to practice without any external pressure; it makes the process much more enjoyable.
You're definitely not alone! I only recently started up on Duolingo again, but I find the crown system much more appealing. Especially, since the lessons are longer. I feel like I get more out of the practice now instead of just trying to keep my tree gold. It's much more motivating, imo.
Thank you, Duolingo!
Absolutely agree. I am way more motivated and see myself practising a lot more now. I had a period of not using Duolingo after completing my tree and I can see my ability has decreased as a result. I am now using Duolingo every day again and the crown levels are very motivating to add a lot of XP.
Spaced repetition is SO important to language-learning, especially with as much vocabulary as Duolingo teaches. I can't believe they pushed out a new system without a spaced-repetition algorithm. Actually, I can believe it. In the last couple years they've seemed more interested in keeping people on the website/app for longer and generating more revenue through ads. Revenue > Learning.
Technically, no one has to "restart" a tree. it's just the skill levels below level 5 are not gold and I think that's what annoys people the most. So, in order to get them back to gold, they just repeat the same thing over 50 times and it can get boring really fast. But then as so many people have mentioned, it's an option not a necessity.
I thinks it will help me retain more of the lanaguage without having to study seperately. So although I've only had the Crown system for two days, I think it will aid my learning of the language(Spainish), which has to be an improvement.
But, I'll let you know how I feel about the system in another months time.
Thank you Duolingo staff for creating this new format! I have been at it for over 18 months and spend 1-2 hours each day. With this new version, I feel I am learning faster. The increased demand to move to level 5 crowns has allowed me to really see how far I have come and to focus on more challenging material. I feel so energized to continue on this journey.
No, you're not alone. I like the crown idea and it tells you if you're doing better. People complain because they have to keep doing the same thing over and over, yet they lack to realise that you learn stuff by doing it continually. People who dislike the crown system's arguments are that they have to keep doing Basics 1, etc, yet that is how you learn to get better and more fluent.
I love the crowns and new tree. It is always good to refresh your language skills so I have no problem with it. Repetition is key to learning. Babies don't hear mama one time and instantly repeat it perfectly! They hear probably hundreds of times! so yea, I am ok with repetition :))
I love the new system -- and it arrived just in time for me to re-ignite my French practice, which I'd "finished" long ago and had started to avoid in favor of my newer languages (Spanish, German). I'm still figuring out how to make it work best for me, but the new and improved depth alone is entirely worth it to me. Thanks Duo!
Would you believe that the last two sets were only rolled out a in the past two months? I am also learning Spanish, the only language that has podcasts.( I recommend Lucas and Sofía stand up comics on Netflix)
The only problem I can see moving forward with the crown system, is the time it does take to advance a level (Lesson Level, not Language Level). I myself stuck with advancing to level three on each lesson, but I do still make common mistakes with grammar, so I might go to five with each lesson. Once I am comfortable with the skills first though.
The switch was certainly a bit jarring for me. There was no heads up that it was coming, and I suspect that's what irritates most people about it. I had literally finished a session in the pre-crown system and went to select a new one when it changed to the crowns system and threw me for a loop. Suddenly, all my golden apples were gone. More aggravating was that I was switched to the new tree just a couple days prior and was slowly reworking on getting the apples golden again from the top down; that switch at least provided a notification and a link to the message of the switch.
Do I find the new crown system to be bad? That's difficult for me to say at the moment. I have to change my previous strategy of only learning new material after making sure all my previous lessons were golden, because that approach is now way too tedious given how far I am in the current tree. I'd have to restart for the second time within two weeks and put in probably 10x the amount of work to get the first lessons golden for a third time.
But I can adapt.
On a side note, I see that they removed the achievement to get all the lessons golden. Given the switch to the crowns system, I do agree with at least that decision.
I like it. Last week I finished my Spanish tree. It felt like quite an accomplishment. But I was struggling to understand what comes next. Randomly doing practice sessions was not very motivating and yet that appeared to be how you get to level 25. Now I have a much clearer path. I have spent 3 days bringing my skills up to the first checkpoint to Level 3. That may be as far as I go with those skills because, as people have mentioned, it's boring. But it does go relatively quickly. The next group are twos and, after that, a mixture of ones and twos to the end. I have a path and goals again!
I don't get many of the negative comments but it could be because I've only been here three months. It would be upsetting if in the transition the highest level assigned was a 3. I do think there should be a way to test out of skills.
I too love the stories and podcasts. I am very happy to have found Duolingo.
I just got upgraded to Crowns a couple of days ago, and I'm liking it so far. I finished my French tree years ago and have been re-gilding it occasionally for review. Was hoping to get the new French tree but... grumbles... I'm not in that part of the AB testing.
Crowns involve a lot of repetition which gets boring if you try to rush up to level 5. I'm going to get them all up to level 3, then 4, etc, and spend more time on Stories and other sources. The sentences get much harder towards the bottom of the tree, even at level 3 Crowns, and I think it will improve my understanding.
My German tree converted to some skills with three crowns and a lot of skills with two crowns. I'm planning to go through it to get them all to three crowns (to start with). To do this, I'll do one lesson on each skill and them move on until I'm through the tree. Then I'll take another go, doing lesson two for each skill. As I continue with this, some skills will get the third crown before others (since they have different sizes). Then I'll just skip those skills the next time, until all skills have three crowns. This way, I don't have to grind the same skill lots of times but instead get to reherse lots of different things each day.
I was a bit uncertain to start with but I like it now. It doesn't work as well for the lower level stuff as the early lessons don't introduce enough content to have very much variety (I think I have the hang of "Je suis un homme, tu es une femme" by now) but I think a mistake people are making is trying to gain the next crown level in just one go. I am mainly focusing on the newer stuff in the expanded French tree but then I make sure I do a couple of lessons from the early parts of the tree and after just a few days I level up without much pain or boredom.
Another thing I would say is that I was really struggling with the Japanese tree and even after having completed the tree the words were just not sinking in well enough but under the crown system I am finding that the lessons seem to be better focused on specific words/grammar/etc. and I am getting a much better feel for the language.
I love the new system. I got halfway through my tree and began trying to read the stories but found that I wasn't really retaining as much as I could be. I was swapped over today onto the new system and I chose to completely erase my tree and start again with the new system.
The crowns are repetitive but it's made my avoir, étre, lire and écrire conjugation flawless and it's making me excited to see how this repetition will change my comprehension as I progress through the tree again.
It seems to me that a great many of the complainers are more interested in beating the system than learning the language. Seriously, who cares if all my gold turned to red, blue and green? Nobody else but me, but actually learning the language is the important thing. I have clobbered the system so many times that I am very happy to see new stuff. And I'm with you on the Stories - I only have about 6 left.
I agree with you there which is why I like this new system. Because I know that by the time I have a gold tree, I'll be really good at the language I'm learning. Also, the "translate into target language" exercises. For me, that alone overshadows any faults the new system might have.
I've done Duolingo with this new system for a few days and was waiting to make up my mind as to whether or not I like it, and I've decided: I do. It's fine. I'm realizing that now I can skip around to learn anything I want – I can do a lesson on numbers or animals or something easy, and then skip ahead to something more challenging if I feel like it. And while I could have also done all that before, I usually felt beholden to only redo the un-gold lessons, often not having the energy to move ahead to brand new ones. Now I feel like I have a little more freedom to do what I want.
I've also realized that I care less about "making it all gold" and more about "learning stuff." So that's my measly two cents.
Here is another LIKE for the new Crown system. I was going to leave when I got to Level 25, but now there is so much more for me to learn. It has really given me new enthusiasm. It was too easy for me to do the minimum amount of work get the Golden Tree; it looked pretty, but as a method of learning French, well, not so good. Agreed, the repetition can be difficult, but by leap-frogging and keeping about 5 clustered sections on the go, I can get round this. I have noticed a distinct improvement already. The French words pop into my head, and I am beginning to think in French, not translating it as I go. It can get a bit tricky though as I am not even aware that I am typing sometimes in French and sometimes in English, but I put it down to my 'ancient' brain cell. Bravo Duolingo. it isn't perfect yet, but teething problems can be addressed.
I’m so pleased to see you start a positive thread after all this negative stuff on the forum. I got the new French tree and then 10 days later I got the Crowns, so it’s all change for me and I think it’s great. I’ve had a golden French tree for 10 months now and, to be honest, I was sometimes just doing 10XP a day for the streak rather than to learn.
For anyone who hasn’t got Crowns yet, please ignore all the “I have to go back to basics before I can progress” moans on this forum – it is simply not true. All of the skills on my tree were open for me to start wherever I wanted.
The only reason for redoing a Basics skill is if you want to work through it enough to get all 5 crowns and turn the skill gold. Even then, all the moans about this are a bit over the top. I tried it out while I was half watching the TV evening news and alternated it with the Basics skill on the reverse tree for variety (the English version has more words). By the time the news was over, I’d got gold. OK, a bit repetitive, but it really cemented the “c’est” vs “il est” rule, and the use of “de”. Once you’ve got it done and out the way, you won’t have to do it again, so end of problem.
But there’s no need to do this if your focus is learning rather than turning things gold. My new tree appeared with a mixture of skills with 3 crowns, 2 crowns or no crowns at all. Far from putting me off, that rekindled my interest. There have been good suggestions on this forum on how to tackle it and keep variety in your learning and practice. I like the one for working down the tree in stages so that at any one time you’ll have an upper row of skills on 3-4 crowns, the one below on 2-3 crowns, and the one below that on 1-2 crowns. Or another good suggestion was to get the whole tree on 1 crown and then go back and get 2 crowns and so on – I think you get the owl faster that way but I’m not certain.
I think this benefits new learners and those focused on a single language, but old timers, fast learners and people studying several languages got kind of screwed.
The fact that once you max out a unit, it will forever stay "maxed", is a bad thing too, imho - revisiting old lessons was a good way of refreshing memories, and now you will have to make active efforts of remembering that which you can't remember well, and visit those units - creating more effort for users. (Not to mention it is kind of funny that people will be expected to remember what they don't remember.)
Personally, this change means I will probably max out the intermediate/more advanced grammar units and then move onto learning the languages through some other means, as grinding out exercises for the sake of grinding out exercises gets really tiresome really fast.
(I pushed the first French unit from level 3 to level 4 and damn near uninstalled the app right there and then because of how awfully tedious and absolutely useless it was.)
Why it would be considered good that people are incentivized to ignore large parts of Duolingo, I don't know.
This is something I've read somewhere: skills still decay, it's just now not displayed in the UI, the practice button still takes you to the skills that need to be reviewed. You can see what skills need to be reviewed in this page (scroll to the bottom): https://duolingo.eu/Agonisti/progress/ (it displays the language you've selected to practice on Duolingo).
The problem is that there appears to be no 'in game benefit' to reviewing your skills. When I went to use Duo today, I just ignored the crowns and do what I always do: Hit the practice button. After 50 xp today, however, nothing was improved. No button was made gold, nothing leveled up. It was like I was spinning my wheels, and I got zero benefit.
Granted, the way that I benefited was that I strengthened my language skills. I understand that. But I could do that with flash cards program. I come to Duolingo for a graphical representation of my progress. That's been shot.
That is not really any different than before the change. Once you had your tree gold, the only change was a higher XP total. I too use the practice button but I also work on individual crowns to bring them to gold. There is so much more depth now that I feel like I am working at a whole new level and am learning new material everyday. Yes, it will take awhile to bring the tree back to gold as learning a language takes a tremendous amount of time.
Not of all of had a maxed out tree. For those of us making progress, we have gone from a system where we could hit the practice button a few times a day and it would level up skills sequentially, while covering the old skills we've forgotten, while showing us our progress to gilding a tree. Instead now we have all these random levels. There is no indication of when your skills are declining, because it doesn't even track that anymore. Going in practice mode doesn't aid your tree whatsoever.
So how am I supposed to know what to practice? Before the Practice button algorithm decided that, now it doesn't contribute to progress anymore. Am I supposed to just have a blank tree and rely on practice mode to guess where I'm up to? Do I have to track the words to see when a few skills would have ungilded in the spaced repetition system and I need to have a day of extra work? Should I tabulate it all in excel? It's dumb as hell, it's fine for you, but it is about the worst possible update they could've ever implemented for the rest of us.
It neither tracks what I forget, nor effectively tracks my progression anymore. It is effectively useless now, seriously, it is pretty much completely useless. I think I'm done with this site. I already let my streak die because I lost motivation after a year of doing this.
I don't really understand what the new system is or how it's different, so can someone explain it in brief?
I'm glad you mentioned the 'il est' vs 'c'est' thing: my main complaint about duo is that it doesn't make me repeat that constantly to get it, and similar basic phrases, into my head. It can only be learned by repetition, so if the new system makes me learn that more, then that's good. The only other complaint I have about duo is that by the time you learn the good grammar, there isn't much vocab or many new sentences to practice it on, and, again, you can only learn my repetition and practice. I hope the new system fixes this. If I made duo, I'd put all the grammar into the first 60% of the course, or less, and then have the rest of it for practising that grammar, while slowly learning new vocab.
I agree with you - I'd rather start with a small number of verbs with associated vocab that are used work on learning tenses and other grammar. Then once that is in place begin working on new verbs in their various tenses, and associated vocab. Traditional language learning - including Duo - spends a long time working with the present tense learning lots of vocab and grammar, then other tenses are added much later on. In conversation you are often speaking about the past and the future so it is hard to practice conversation if you are stuck in the present tense. Even once you have started learning other tenses under the traditional approach, you are not used to switching between tenses and your default and comfort zone is still the present tense. I would love to see a restructure of how the course material is presented to include the tenses in the early part of the course.
I agree. They seem most preoccupied with having a perfect golden tree that is static rather than learning.
Two lingots for you. This post makes my day. I was so excited to see the new crowns. Yes, it is very repetitive. However, most people didn't seem to realise it is OPTIONAL to repeat the exercises. I was repeating long before the crowns. My Spanish and Italian grammar is getting stronger.
I don't understand why everyone is so obsessed with keeping a tree gold. Are we here to learn and practice and polish a new language or polish our egos? I may be alone but I like the new format, it gives me even more opportunities to practice everything. All this anger over a wonderful FREE resource
New system works great for me - lots of new things to learn. That said it is better on computer than in mobile app. On computer using keyboard it is quick and easy to interact with each lesson so the repetition does not become a drag - only complaint is that there does not seem to be a way to move to the next lesson without using the mouse - could be i am missing something.
No, I actually think it's pretty cool and could potentially be very informative and help me learn a lot. Currently though, I believe trying to golden and polish the first few skills which teach a few basic words can be repetitive if all the lessons are the same. The short lessons are good for earning XP quickly though. However, you can't do timed practice UNTIL you get to Level 5, and there is no way to see all the lessons. I must say I do like the graphic design though.
I repeat the stories over and over. It helps me become very familiar with sentence structure and learn useful ones by heart.