Crown levels NOT an improvement
I clicked on upgrading to "crown" levels because I like the idea of being challenged more and learning more. I did not expect all of my progress in all my languages to be wiped out. I've been using Duolingo for over a year every day trying to get all my circles gold in different languages and now at the click of a button that's all gone and I'm having to start from scratch. This is NOT - absolutely NOT!!! - an improvement. There is also no "level out" option (or whatever it used to be called) so the only way to get a circle gold is to go through ALL of the exercise again. Please, please, please Duolingo do something to change this and restore my progress. This is EXTREMELY demotivating.
I didn't even click on anything; Crown just appeared and I hate it. The skills are so basic they are totally useless. I had finished the tree ages ago and had gotten to level 67 or 69 and will probably stop Duolingo rather than waste time on this. It is a shame because it was so enjoyable.
There are too many good alternatives for DL to still be feasible. If they don't negate this update, that is. This is even worse than getting rid of immersion, which was completely insane.
Knowing how unreliable and stubborn the DL staff are, it looks like LingQ will be seeing some more money soon. They're better than the 'fixed' version of this website anyway
I've not looked into LingQ, except in a YouTube vid with Steve Kaufman who appears to learn in a dymetrically opposed way to me so I had little interest in trying his system. For Language Exchange I'm using HelloTalk & Italki. Everyone seems to know of DuoLingo, but they've really blown this mindshare advantage with this update, as all the serious learners who are motivated and end up influencing others will find new toys.
I didn't click on anything either and suddenly find all my gold is just a memory........but I see no point in whining on about like a child. I will just relearn all the basics LIKE A CHILD. I am curious to find you how you reached level 67 or 69. I was led to believe level 25 was the highest you can reach.......Your Profile shows German to be you highest level at 23.???????
So do I. This is really not motivating me to continue learning. Although I felt that i could learn more! I found that with level 20 in Italian, I understood most people, provided they spoke slowly, but when I had to speak!!! Well that was another story. However, what does this crown mean? How many crows do I need to have to be proficient? Who understands the new system?
I like the idea generally, but the fact that you can't test out of things you already know is incredibly boring for any advanced learner. Please, return the "test out" option (it can be just for the current crown level, so you ahve to test out for the next one), and it will be incredibly better.
The same happened to me and I am not impressed. I worked really hard to conquer the French course only to have all my hard work obliterated over night. What on earth is the point in improving something which seemed to be perfectly fine to begin with. Yes very demotivating. Reinstating a level up would go some way to helping this situation. Please do something before we all go out of our minds!!!!!
That's such a shame, I at least had finished the tree and was ready for other challenges like Clozemaster. I had for many months left vocab learning to Memrise & Clozemaster, with DL being used for exercise drills. You might enjoy Busuu, which features marking by native speakers and you mark in your native language. It has lessons which end with public exercises, so you get a sense of achievement and progress. They email you, for reviews and I found a topic on Spanish possessive pronoun use that I had not seen covered anywhere else.
Definitely not an improvement. The old way really suited my way of learning and kept me motivated to practice every day (which was always the biggest hurdle). Now I am demotivated and am not learning as effectively. I see elsewhere on the forum that some people like the new system - that's fine, why not make it an option whether people have crowns or bars? If this doesn't change back I can't see myself sticking with Duolingo, which is a real shame, as I was really starting to make progress. It wasn't broken, what were you trying to fix Duo?
What you're missing is that you could redo the lessons before, it's giving me nothing new at all, I did not do before; but I lose a lot. Furthermore as someone with high fluency and learning fast, they have turned DL into an attritional slog of endless repetition, with lessons dumbed down and made more boring without challenge. I finished the Spanish tree in just under 90 days, whilst also getting half way through the larger German tree (a language I was revising). In totally aiming this change at increasing app time of learners, put off by difficulty and who vocally objected to decay of skills and spaced repetition; they have destroyed the time efficiency of DuoLingo for me. I paid good money to support DL, 1/3 way into the year they have totally blown it. There's no reason, they can't dynamically adjust and challenge, more fluent learners; but no it's one size all slog and mega-boredom.
I think that getting gold levels on the old system worked well for motivation. I do not see that the new system will give the users the same level of motivation. It takes too much time to achieve gold. Could one idea rather be that after you get gold in everything, you are promoted to the crown leve (optimal that is)? I can see the point of going deeper than the old system, but so far the new one seems a bit complicated for a beginner.
I think that the crowns are a huge improvement. I have been using Duo for years and have been coasting along keeping my trees golden each day, so it was a bit of a surprise to find that this is no longer possible.
The old system let me keep my tree golden without actually improving my language skills. Now I am going to be set new challenges to really make sure that I know how each language works, and am really familiar with the vocabulary.
I will not bother getting to higher levels on the easier units at the top of the tree. That would drive me crazy. Instead I am beginning at the bottom of the tree with the harder units and am finding that going over and over again really helps.
I do not like the idea that there is no decay built in. I know that revision of material already covered is essential, so I will have to use the "practice" button every day as well. If they ever link the practice exercises to the crowns then that will be welcome.
YES! This is exactly what bothers me. Right now it doesn't feel like "practicing" brings much to completion of the language.
I agree that having the practice button linked to the crowns, would restate the feeling of achievement.
Of course decay of lessons over time was a great feature, as you could rely on DL to let you know you're getting sloppy on some stuff or you started forgetting it.
This crowns system, makes me slog through pointless repetition I do not need, just to make some semblance of progress and emulate spaced repetition of what I had learned before. There's no deeper learning, it's just rehashed exercises in both the trees, I have completed or near completion in. Before I would repeat skills to drill and a re-run through of most of my trees, to regain the fluency scores I had, when I finished the Spanish tree (65% & 67%)
My app finally updated a few days ago to this system. I (personally) really hate it. I seem to be repeating really really easy exercises such as the boy eats the apples etc.. rather than the more complex (for me) sentence construction and verbs I have been using. I can't make head or tail of it - why would I want to go back to very basic sentences when I am really keen to advance my spanish. For me, it's not about the lingots or percentage of Spanish known....but about challenging my Spanish levels every day in a different way. This is really frustrating to wake up and do another round of Manzanas, bread, boy and girl.....am I missing something?
Agree with many of the comments here - the conversion of all lessons to new 'Level 3' max seems a bit silly for the lower/early ones.
For me - as a plodder in my learning - main loss is the decay function.
By keeping the whole tree gold you were forced to go back and redo/revise lessons.
New system does not highlight lessons that have not been done for a while - if they could put back the 'dial' around the lesson to keep track of what not done recently that would be great.
I totally agree that the change to the Crown system is both demoralising and demotivating. I get to go to Germany just once a year, and felt that under the old system I was improving my vocabulary and getting into a position where I could join in conversations more. Now, trying to establish 'gold' levels requires so much repetition that I switch off, I am not learning new things and am getting bored with the process very quickly. Nearly time to switch off Duolingo!!!!!!!!!
I haven't been using Duolingo in a while, but the new crown system doesn't do it for me. I guess I will stick to other sites and learning material, guys. So long, and thanks for all the fish... However, I like Duolingo stories for French and Spanish and I hope they will have these stories for Turkish one day.
I don't think it's a bad idea -at least not yet ;-) . As someone who is learning different languages (like you do) it was never possible to keep all circles in all languages golden. Now you could target your efforts on lifting all skills on the same crown level. In the end it seems to be better if you can learn new things than just doing the same things over and over again just for beauty. Remember, they did not scrap your achievements, they offered you room for improvement. They try to drag you out of your comfort zone so at least give it a try. And if you don't want to repeat basics 1 over and over again it won't be a coloured spot on your golden vest - never again.
But you obviously have not tried it out.. when you do, you'll find getting a level 5 gold skill involves exactly that repetition over and over. What they've taken away is the ability to redo level lessons or know what skills are weakening and see what words are introduced in the lesson
I agree with Chris52496. This is a step backwards for Duolingo. I have been working with Duolingo for over 2 years and it has helped me greatly to improve my German, but this latest update is poor and demotivating. In addition there is now much more repetition which, after a while, becomes boring. Please delete all the repetition and return the the previous version. Thanks - Roy
I complete agree! I had completed all skills in three languages: French, Ukrainian, and Turkish, and now that is all gone, and I am back to doing the most basic skills over and over again for no apparent reason. How is this improving on my advanced skills? What was duolingo thinking? Was the idea to discourage us? Well, if so, it certainly has. My children are so discouraged, they do not want to do it any more. Please change it back.
Yes, this is not an improvement. Apart from my gold that is gone I have been testing the new look with the crowns since the weekend. I did not find new and more difficult translations but have to struggle to endless repetitions to get to the level I was before. Worst is that I am even on level 3 on the starter's level and have to repat "Hello", "Goodbye" etc again. I always tried to keep my tree on a golden level. Why could the crown sytem not take thoses golden circles as a Level 5, keep them golden, and put the crows up from this level? I really would like to get an answers. This kind of learning is really not motivating - I am not sure I will go on another 1275 days (so far I got today).
I agree wholeheartedly! I am bummed out about losing my hard-earned levels in Spanish and Chinese -- and what happened to that nifty "fluency" estimate? Also, I don't remember opting into this new system. Feels like it just happened one day. Can I get out of it? If so, someone please tell me how... Maybe this is the nudge I needed to "get a life," and stop being so diligent about Duolingo? Hate to sound like an ingrate, but I have certainly paid my dues by helping out with the new Chinese language app. I've sent and received thanks for at least 250 corrections of errors in the English translations. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, Duolingo. Please return to the levels and fluency estimates.
Here's an idea: downvote the announcement for crowns. The staff had to pay attention the last time it happened when they were proposing a new avatar ring for Plus users and they were more or less forced to fix that issue.
"we want to be super transparent about this": Why can't they be transparent about implementing Health and Gems, huh?
Press the down arrow button next to someone's comment. Apparently DL disabled this ability for some users to curb trolling, so I don't know if it would work for you.
I personally don't care about the aesthetics of having all gold skills, but I still hate the new crown system for changing this feature. Previously, I would re-do any skills which had decayed from their golden status before learning new content. This allowed me to target my time towards words I had not practiced in a while. Now, I cannot see which lessons I have not practiced recently because they no longer "decay". I like the Crown idea in principle (making the lessons more difficult the more you do them is a great idea) but I think it has been implemented really badly.
In the old system/UI, it was superbly easy to tell which units you might benefit from repeating. I would progress through a language, regild everything, start a new language, maintain the old one, finish the new language, regild, rinse and repeat.
I'm a bit of a completionist, and the old UI made it really easy to track progress and maintain tabs on older languages (Got ungilded units? Time for practise!).
Right now I feel like there's little point in bothering with many, if not most of the units. There is no equivalent of being "gilded", completing a unit fully essentially only locks it out for you and I have done many of earlier/easier units so many times I can't be bothered to level them up to five.
For French, I'm trying to keep everything at at least 75% strength as a baseline. For anything at 50% or lower, I do a session. Sessions accessed by clicking on the skill at duome.eu are lessons that contribute to your crown-level progress, so this way I get the best of both worlds.
Then, as long as everything's at 75% or greater, I do lessons in the skills with the lowest crown levels, accessing them directly from Duolingo, which also has the effect of increasing their strength.
I do at least an eighth of a level per skill at a time. Currently I'm working through all my level-2 skills, an eighth or so at a time, before going back through them again, so eight times through all of these skills will bump them up to level 3. (At lower levels it could be less, as there are fewer lessons, but this is what's currently working for French from crown level 2 to 3.)
For now I find this method to be a good balance between spaced repetition and making progress through the crown levels.
I think it's a good enough system for beginners (probably even an improvement) but the implementation for people who are already a good way into the tree is completely puzzling to me.
When I switched to crowns, Duolingo suddenly estimated I was a level 3 on the first skill, meaning that I needed 24 (15+9) exercices to make sure I really knew how to say "I'm a boy" and "the bread". Granted, I could simply leave the lesson as it is and concentrate on more advanced stuff, but I didn't have to make those decisions in the old system: it was well-designed enough that I found myself mostly practising words I hadn't seen a million times already, with the immediate visual feedback of keeping my tree gold. Now, I can either concentrate on the anaemic word strength system, which no longer interacts in any way with the rest of the site, or just kind of guess which lessons I should prioritise. That's really not what I want out of an online course.
Of course my ultimate goal is to learn a language rather than get intangible rewards from a Skinner box, but knowing that properly completing the course under the new system would take a frankly unreasonable amount of completely rote and useless work on skills I've already mastered has killed pretty much all of my motivation re: Duolingo specifically.
At this point I think I'll get more mileage out of a proper series of language books and a flashcard app.
Edit: I would have loved to post this rant in the proper thread, but its length makes so sluggish it's unusable, in my browser at least!
If DL are claiming that something as fundamental as their most basic lessons requires that many repetitions, then the burden of proof on them lies entirely on their shoulders and they should feel morally obligated to justify themselves. Nobody has claimed such an absurd figure since Hermann Ebbinghaus and been taken seriously, nobody.
Which is to say, there is way more supporting the idea that they are wasting everybody's time than the idea that their crowns have meaning / value.
Why is the crown system fundamentally/conceptually faulty?
My answer is: as it is based on the concept "übungen-übungen-übungen" (repetitive exercise solving).
Meanwhile: this is a Prussian model of learning. Which I hate, and I do not believe that solving 30 similar tests allows you mastering or at least surviving in a real-life situation. I personally, feel this model absolutely counter-productive.
There is always a stage of learning of a new language when one has to leave the übungen model. However, the change over to the new crown system makes us practising useless little tests for another 10 years.
Do you feel like serving a 10 years sentence by Duolingo? ;)
I hope not. And you are absolutely right!
As there are several others ways of improving your language skills, knowledge and ability to communicate.
The need (or perceived need) to gild/golden/engolden/whatever every skill does make doing the basic stuff over and over just to get it gold a big drag. Overall, I'm really pleased with the new system, and think it does do a lot of good, but it's a waste of my time to go back and do Basics 1 and 2, etc. over and over just to see them gold like they were before. I think a good compromise would be to test up to level 5. If they add new content and harder sentences, they all HAVE to not be golden because there's new stuff, but it's a pain to have to go through the drudgery for more advanced learners in beginner skills, in particular.
I found that I did not like the new system for Italian, where I had a 20 level and had worked a lot to keep golden. I also do not like the new system for German, which I speak very well but had no time on lessons. However, I just love it for French, where my skill is the weakest!!
Thanks for your input. Maybe you are right. Repetition is the key to ge things into long-term memory. If you start from the very beginning it may be a help for the learner to have the crowns system which shows progress instead of decaying gold of the tree before.
But if do feel that a brush up language was not really at home with the old system. If you can test free a tree in one go during one afternoon, you lost your gold rapidly. And this has become even worse with the new system. The crown system lost a vital chance. It added a different reward system instead of an increase of content and skills when going into the crowns levels. I would prefer the tree being the vertical progress, the crowns being the in-depths progress within an special topic. And repetion should be automatically put in by the system. A test lets say every two months or 5000 XP could trigger the amount of repetition the systems creates.
Repetion is vital, but it should have nothing to do with vertical and horizontal progress. Indeed I have the same phenomena as you do. My French shows level 25 and it is my weakest language.
I agree it is too easy to loose all of your health because of a not perfect answer and the amount of practice from basics is off putting, Not happy. In the language I am learning I am sure the instructor mispronounces some words and that Error is repeated everywhere it occurs and there is no real way to get it corrected.
An additional annoyance - it used to be possible to see how much of the tree remained to be completed, as each circle said how many lessons it had. I'm close to the end of German, and I found it quite motivating to know how close I was to the end; losing that info costs me that additional spur to keep going.
This is absolutely awful. I can no longer tell where the program thinks I'm up to, as colour versus gold was a nice, neat way of checking at a glance, and I seem to have random numbers of crowns on each lesson now. It also claims I have zero lessons completed in every coloured circle. This means I have to spend health when I mess up. Health has always been worthless, as I'm here to learn a language, not play a stupid game. But it's worse than ever now. Also, the bots. The bots were great. Why get rid of them and make the program less language-learning and more hoop-jumping? Thoroughly unimpressed, particularly given the app updated itself without my say-so. I'll probably drop it and go back to the German For Dummies book and YouTube lessons. I can brush up my French the same way. Awful, awful update.
Thank you, Duolingo. I've spent many enjoyable hours this past winter learning, re-learning French. The timed practices were fun, though frustrating if there were only two seconds left and one only needed to type in a period! With the new system recently implemented, I have been bored to death. Typing as fast as I can, just to get through a level. I completed Level 5 in two Basics; and am up to Level 4 in one other "crown." Don't think I can go on; it has been so mind-numbingly repetitive recently and, with so little translating from English into French, I feel I'm not progressing. I am so sorry to write this, as I have loved being part of the Duolingo family -- so motivated, kind, grateful, interesting, and amusing.
I absolutely agree. I often disappear from the site to return in a couple of months and I desperatelly miss decaying levels and being able to skip a level. Also I miss the ability to walk through the individual steps of the skill again. The crowns make me want to restart my whole progress. This is just stupid and really demotivating. I am a type of person that needs to see the gold and now I am stuck on the basics and probably will be because of this system. Additionally, I miss the percentage. That tracked my progress really well.
Install Tampermonkey if you're using Chrome as your browser, and then install Duolingo Skill Strength from here:
You'll be able to see the strength of your skills individually as percentages, and I believe the "Overall Strength" percentage corresponds to the old fluency gauge.
And to gild your skills in the old-fashioned way, you can go to https://duome.eu/username/progress. (Substitute your own username into the URL.) You may not be able to retake a unit from scratch, but by clicking on the barbell icon you can practice and strengthen a particular skill without moving up the crown levels. Better still is to click on the name of the skill you want to strengthen, instead of the barbell, and then you get a lesson that both strengthens the skill and moves you toward the next crown level.
I confess to feeling the same. At 67% fluent in German and at level 25, I worked daily to maintain my standard. When I logged in today and discovered the "crowns" I was initially quite excited, because I assumed that this would be an "upgrade", a bigger test of my already substantial skill. What a disappointment! Most of my crowns are marked at level 3, some even as low as 2. I have had to complete 200+ xp today in order to get from level 3, to a level 4, repeating, over and over, the same basic sentences. Language learning should be fun whilst remaining a challenge. The Crowns have removed the fun and made it dull, boring and repetitive. Im not sure how, or even if, I will continue now.
Has anyone seen any instruction or advice on the how to optimize your learning process when working in the Crown system? The very short email you got from Duolingo said nothing at all. Taking each section up to level 5 before you start the next section cannot be optimal, but there is nothing in the Crown incentive system motivating you to continue with following sections before finishing the first one.
I have started a 3/1 working strategy. I do the sections in the following order: 1-new-2-new-3-new-1-4-new-2-5-new-3-6-new-1-4-7-new-2-5-8-new-3-6-9-new-1-4-7-10-new etc, until I have reached the section which I am just now doing for the first time. And if I have reached level five for a section, I just skip it and go to the next in my strategy plan. This way, I get a reasonable mix of new and old stuff and variation within the old stuff, moving both sideways and downwards in the tree.
But it would have been so much better to just click the Practice button and get rewarded for doing the section which Duolingo thinks most urgently needs practice.
The thing I dislike the most about the new crown levels, I used to be able to do reviews of old material on the phone, even if I was out of health, but now mistakes made reviewing old material costs you just like new. The second thing I dislike is that it now takes 4 times as long to finish each category. They went from having on average 4 lessons to 12. I'd rather have more categories with fewer lessons, so I feel like I'm making progress rather than days going no where.
I had gold on everything and also maintaining it religiously (still am) and now got muuuuuuch harder wit the crows, that’s why the placement. They added a ton of new words and it’s literally super hard. So I guess they kind of placed you where you should have been placed. I don’t mind to have to work again for gold. Learning is learning, and not about maintaining a gold tree with easy exercises. So yeah of course it’s s shock to loose the gold tree, but I also know that in one Year from today I’ll be speaking / reading much better than today.
What I care about as someone that has taken a break and now wants to get back to learning: I can not select a lesson I want to take. I can not redo the Hiragana as often as I need to leanr the 4 new signs. No I have to do the whole lesson set.
This doesnt help me progress it makes it harder and demotivational. Anyone know a good app for learning Japanese?
I have been trying to access practice to one of my level 5 crowns (family) but apparently it is locked. I didn't realize that could happen until I read it here. Just doing the practice button does not give me anything but current stuff, will it eventually give me words that I haven't used in a while? Just wondering. I am only going up to level 1 on each skill now, rather than trying to get to level 5. I still like Duolingo and work with it every day since I am fairly new to the concept, but the change a few weeks ago did kind of unsettle me for a bit. I resist change but am learning it is futile.
This is a comment from 5 months ago and they still have not fixed this. How can this be? I am wasting my time with Duolingo redoing exercises over and over that I already accomplished. Also there seems to be no difference between levels of testing out. One hour spent typing "the man eats the apple" for five levels. Ridiculous.
Personally I prefer more levels over strengthening.
I completed the German course over a year ago and the seeing more and more exercises require strengthening put me off using Duolingo. From time to time, I would come on to the app and use it for a few days before giving up. This, of course, did not help as I would then have more exercises to strengthen.
Levels persuade me to believe that there is more to learn rather than more to revise.
What about learners that come back to a language after a long hiatus? Instead of being allowed to attempt a tricky topic, like one of the subjunctive tenses, from the first lesson, the user is forced to resume from the most difficult level that he or she previously attained?