Discussion on Practice Methods Using Crowns and Other Related Questions.

Hej everyone,

As I type this I am not sure what I am going to include in this post so apologies if it ends up quite lengthy, and thanks in advance for any responses.

I have recently been switched to the new crowns system and am struggling to come up with a good practice regime using it. My previous method was as follows:

If every skill is golden, start the next new skill. If I don't feel I'm ready to move on, just strengthen. Otherwise, strengthen until all skills are golden again and my daily xp goal has been achieved.

I have used this method for as long as I have been doing Swedish and have felt very happy and motivated with my progress.

Now with the new crowns system, there is no longer the visual indication of what needs to be strengthened, and thus no indication of when I should move on to new material.

Does anyone have a suggestion of how to implement something similar to my previous method in the new crowns environment? The best I have come up with thus far is some sort of alternating days method using the general practice button and learning new material every other day or every third day.

On to my other questions about the new system.

In the crowns FAQ it said that there would be new content added which would be on the higher levels of each skill. Is this the case for the Swedish tree? In other words, have the course creators been busily creating new sentences and adding new, more advanced words which will be learned in the higher levels of each skill? My guess based on the lack of announcement from the Swedish team is that this is not the case, as if it was I would expect such an exciting development to be proudly presented to us. My guess is that the 'new content' that duolingo talked about has always been in the system, and what they mean is that the new sentences which you are given while strengthening but not in the the lessons are now been rebranded and hidden behind these new levels. The other possibility is that there may well be new content and exercise types, but only for Spanish and the like, which get feature long before Swedish, looking at you Words tab...

Also what are people thoughts on when to go back and level up old skills now in this new system. If there is new content as mentioned previously, I would like to learn it, but again there is no clear path as to what to do next. While more choice is wonderful, I feel this new crowns system has just confused and demotivated me as a learner.

I went back and did some more 'lessons' in basics (actually level 5ing it) and I can tell you there is no new content there and it was a waste of my time. If this is going to be the case with say the first 10-15 skills which I have nailed on pretty well, what is the motivation to even try and earn these crowns, other than them being another form of imaginary internet points.

I will leave it there. Sorry this has been so long and got quite ranty towards the end, if anyone reads this far, thank you very much. The Swedish learning community is great and I hope we can have a useful discussion on some of these points.


Toran Sharma.

April 10, 2018


To be honest, I was quite disappointed with the crows system at first. I did it the same way you did and got all the way to the end of the tree. I had 6 topics left to be full gold.

However, I realized that if I would have gotten full gold on every topic, the main driver of my motivation would have been gone. Therefore I am now re-doing every skill, including the earlier ones. I realized as well that I forgot a few words or grammatical rules that I would not have repeated if it wasn't for the switch.

Now my goal is to get every skill on level 5. I do this the following way:

I believe too much repetition on one topic in a row will only train your short term memory. Practicing and repeating is important, but the key is consistency over a longer period of time to get the skills in your long term memory. Therefore, when I level up one skill, I jump to a totally other skill in another checkpoint group to train my brain to not only remember words from a certain topic, but to be able to switch between topics, grammatical rules, plural/singular etc.

Anyway, everyone is different, but this is my view. Good luck!

April 12, 2018

I used to use the same process as you describe, and I am also lost and unmotivated in the Crowns format. I have not found a good way back yet. I'm just reviewing vocabulary in Tinycards to at least keep my vocabulary fresh. Once I get through all my vocabulary, I'm going to learn new vocabulary and attempt a whole new "Crown" skill from start to see if it's more satisfying than the simplistic, boring practice sentences which are all I've seen so far in Crowns.

April 30, 2018

The way I have adapted now is to use (e.g. for you it would be and sort the skills by strength then you can see what needs strengthening just like before. This is essentially a work around and the strength info may not be available forever.

April 30, 2018

I have decided to level up to 1 or 2 on the new skills and then go back and bring everything up - for instance I have lots of only level 1 skills so I am bringing everything up to level 2.

And then I´ll proceed from there. Yes I don`t think there is much new content in the early part of the tree. Though the way I was tested on plurals really helped break me of the German ghost I had had, of thinking -en endings denoted plural!

April 10, 2018

The crown system is different in the sense that it's much more learner-directed than before. Like you mentioned, in the old system you could see which skills needed reinforcement, according to Duo's algorithms. Now it's up to you. The motivation to open and do a specific skill needs to come from the learner. Personally, I prefer it this way, though from the forums I understand I'm probably in the minority.

I think we all know what we need more practice with, whether it's those tricky prepositions or simply knowing how to tell time. My advice is to just be honest with your progress as a learner. Start from the top and work your way down, but don't get too caught up on making it all gold right away, especially if it's an earlier skill you already feel confident with. Move down and challenge yourself, because it's easy to lose interest if you do 15-20 lessons with only exercises like "Han äter ett äpple."

The crowns are just another way of game-ifying the learning process. The core of Duo is still the same: feeling like you're making progress and having fun while doing it with the help of an active community of learners like yourself.

April 11, 2018
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