https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg

Duolingo is leveling up - an opportunity to revisit the basics

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I recently started my German C1, and often find myself needing to go back to the basics, because so much time has passed, when I did those courses.

Duolingo in the meantime has lost much of its appeal, as I've completed the tree, seemingly very long ago.

Seeing the new leveling system made me smile, as this is exactly what I needed, a revamped tree system, that I can use to revisit the basics.

For the already completed tree people out there, join me in regolding from the top?

4/15/2018, 8:22:31 AM

54 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/markg76
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Come back again when you've done 36 lessons of "ich bin ein junge" without any change in difficulty :D

4/15/2018, 3:53:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ClarkeRuth

I'm at 203 Crowns. redoing my tree. I find the repetition is actually not repetition at all, it's taking you through the different definite and indefinite articles by person, and by case. its helping me memorise them.

4/15/2018, 5:22:28 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

You must be in denial. I did skills today and I had exactly the same question asked twice in a row and in the next lesson, I had the same question asked with 1 question in between.

Before I could repractice, simply by choosing a skill I wanted to re-do, whilst also maintaining strength and added new skills at a gradual rate. Crowns enforce a time wasting and very boring lesson regime on me that is inappropriate to my fluency level and ability.

4/15/2018, 6:21:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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>I had exactly the same question asked twice in a row and in the next lesson, I had the same question asked with 1 question in between.

Which happened in the old system too.

I get many of the complaints around the new crown system, but I simply can't wrap my head around comments like these, which state that the lessons are boring and repetitive. That's not different from before, right? If anything, the new system has added a new dimension by throwing more challenging sentences into the mix.

4/15/2018, 9:26:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Wobblz

I'm still not a big fan of the new system. Repetition is good when it's engaging and somewhat drawn out (instead of, say, writing "ich bin ein Junge" 20 times on the board). This new system encourages that form of mass repetition for a number which means equally little as fluency did before-hand. Perhaps more emphasis could be placed on the challenge between the levels of crowns, instead of just having to do more lessons each time you level a skill up.

4/16/2018, 7:05:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

I preferred the old system, when you completed a lesson and turned it gold and you had gone on to do other lessons, I noticed that that completed lesson changed from gold back to the original colour and you had to start again, which did refresh your memory. But with this new crown system if you complete to gold it does not go back to the original colour and unless you do a test you cannot refresh your old lessons. I also find that by doing the option choices to do you lesson, that you click on to complete the lesson, you can guess the outcome instead of learning, I much preferred to type it in rather than have a choice of words to click on, I also found that some of the words were not available and you had to put in words that fitted that were not available in the words to pick. You had to again then guess what word to pick, I had to then put any word in then submit it to find out what the real word was I should of clicked on, I found that really frustrating.

4/19/2018, 12:41:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson
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I've have been asked the exact same question at least four times in a row. But that was before crowns were even introduced.

4/16/2018, 10:22:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg
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Hahaha, true. Some of it feels tedious, but the review seems required in some blindspots :)

4/15/2018, 7:14:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/HerrArbo
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It is tedious, at the very least they need to add more sentences with subtle variations to make the new crown system more useful instead of being boring. Being tedious doesn't help anybody.

4/15/2018, 10:33:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson
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Are you trying to gild each lesson in turn? Don't.

I'm going down my tree (completed, a long time ago), doing one repetition of each lesson. I see lots of sentences I've nev er seen before and get to rehearse a lot of things I'm unsure of (some because I haven't done it for a long time and others because they are new and harder sentences). When I reach the bottom I'll start over again and repeat until all the skills have gone up to the next crown level. They are now a mix of level two and three. As I go down the tree now, I skip the ones which are already at level three. Once they're all at level three, I'll do the same this all over to get to level four, and so on. I'm looking forward to a lot of useful learning here!

4/16/2018, 10:26:48 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

I was completing each level until it was gold on the old system as back then you could not proceed to the next level till it was completed and gold, but now you can go to the next level on 1 and I managed to complete the tree by doing this, now I have completed the first checkpoint and turned them all to level 5 and I am working down the next levels to complete the next checkpoint to level 5 too, but with this new system they do not revert back to the original colour and I much prefer this. So when you get all checkpoints done what then?

4/19/2018, 1:07:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ViticellaV
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That's wonderful that it benefits you. I'd imagine that it might be a great thing for many other learners as well. But I, like others who have been here for many years, have the basics down by heart. Maybe Duo should keep the old version for users that have been here for a long time?

4/15/2018, 9:57:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

I thought "more lessons" sounded good, but then when I used the Crowns system I realised it was exactly the same material repackaged in a time-wasting inefficient format.

4/15/2018, 6:19:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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If anything, the new version is more beneficial for older users who had grown (too) familiar with the content and wanted more challenging exercises.

4/15/2018, 9:27:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesLawma

If by 'more challenging' you mean doing the same thing 15 times without variation, then sure it is more 'challenging'

4/16/2018, 9:35:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/ViticellaV
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I'm glad that you enjoy the new system, but I've been practicing German for 2+ years. It's so easy I sort of switched to robot mode, answering without actually thinking.

However, it does seem to be helping me with my newer languages. That's why allowing us to switch between versions seems like a good idea to me.

4/25/2018, 10:43:51 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveUrban
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I would definitely love to have the option to switch versions. I've been doing German on here for quite a while as well, and the new crowns have just made it more difficult to decide when to review what, and when I've reviewed everything enough to work some more through the next level of stories (on level 3 currently). I'm trying not to rush through all the stories, since only having the robot-like practice sessions lessons left would just be deadly boring and awful. (I've intentionally gone through a couple lessons completely to gold just so that I will never have to see them again: If I never see another German sentence about drinking Czech beer and eating pretzels, it will still be too soon.)

In my newer languages, crown levels are okay, but they still don't really seem to provide either anything new or any real measure of progress (though part of that may be that the newer ones I'm currently focusing on are Mandarin and Japanese, and so are still in beta.).

4/25/2018, 11:30:40 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

Same problem, what I do is open this page, click on sort by Strength to get weakest skills to top, work on them the minimum to get them to 100 or 75% If it tells you your tree is at 100% congrats you are all golden! https://duolingo.eu/DaveUrban/progress A neat thing is the tips is available with lightbulb icon, so can read these in Browser on Android, then switch to the app, to practice. Then I go and work in ClozeMaster.com or Bliubliu, reading real sentences and texts, or do some book study. It is far more fun and better use of my time https://bliubliu.com/en/ref/4655b5df7f777a350613d464e071776f/

4/26/2018, 8:22:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

I was completing the lessons on the old system and turning each one gold then going on to the next lesson and so on. This new system you only need to do one lesson for each subject and I managed to finish the complete tree, now I am going back to the start to complete all to level 5 or what ever level is needed to turn each one to gold. Also this new system I have noticed they do not change from gold back to the original colour again. The lingots do not allow you to do your acheivement to give 200 to complete that acheivement. I much prefer the old system, I also do not feel that I have learnt German at all.

4/19/2018, 12:48:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

Don't waste your time by worring about levels! Congrats on finishing the tree, unfortunately compared to pre-Crowns the harder translate freely into German type questions are omitted. Try Busuu for lessons with exercises marked by native speakers, you in return mark students studying your language. Clozemaster & Bliubliu are good to for assimilating vocab and gaining a feel for language by using it

4/26/2018, 8:29:00 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

Well said, I much prefer the old system.

4/19/2018, 12:49:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DonutEggRoll
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I completely agree. If it's one thing crowns got right it's the incentive to redo basic lessons you haven't done for a while. After finishing the tree I found gilding skills endlessly not such a worthwhile pursuit. At least now I can earn some crowns while flying through material that should take almost no time to review and also take a closer look at some of the later and middle lessons.

Repeating "Ich bin ein Mann" over and over can be a drag, which is a ubiquitous complaint nowadays, however some other early lessons such as accusative and plurals are good fundamental drills since that sort of thing should be instantly recalled anyway.

4/15/2018, 5:34:57 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

Before I just redid skills .. just before the update I had undertaken a campaign, to redo most topics. The incentive was I wanted to be fluent!! I have done 8 new skills in German today, getting 1 question wrong, that was clicking on a word which looked similar to the English word I thought I had chosen. So instead of "deep learning" the change means, I am just ticking boxes to finish the tree, as I choose DuoLingo's replacent .. the subs is cancelled.

The lessons were far denser, now I am being forced to do dumbed down stuff to make sham progress .. which makes me very angry, whilst higher levels explode the amount of lessons to do without any significant content, so it was endless repetition which bored me and makes me careless!

DuoLingo is a joke now .. just translating into English and multi-choice is a fake skill! There is NO way I am going to waste my time, on taking skills to higher levels, the number of lessons explodes, but the core content is exactly the same as was there before!

4/15/2018, 6:24:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DonutEggRoll
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Duolingo has always had a shoddy ratio between translating to English and the target language, but you still write in your target language. Even on level 2 skills after the first couple checkpoints I only occasionally get multiple choice questions, and they are often selecting correct conjugations. I wouldn't say that's a fake skill.

If a lesson is truly mind-numbingly easy then you can finish it in less than thirty seconds. It's a shame they haven't Incorporated timed practice for anything below level 5 yet, but completing these short practices quickly enough with ease is more or less the same idea only without a timer. Completing 10 lessons to get a crown for easy skills should not take very long anyway, and you are still reviewing everything in the skill which I personally think it will stick longer that way than receiving a smorgasbord of random unrelated sentences. If you want that sort of thing I prefer Clozemaster to Duolingo in that regard.

Keeping a skill golden wasn't working very well anyway, at least with German. I don't understand how it's a much bigger waste of time than the old system, it's all the same stuff. You don't have to practice something if you think it's too easy. Taking skills to a higher level is optional and honestly if you make it to level 5 in everything you probably won't see much more use out of Duolingo. I still think that's better than endlessly repeating skills simply to keep them gold.

You still can redo topics, but now you have to choose what you want, which is understandably frustrating now that Duolingo appears to have set aside the gilding properties of the Strengthen button.

I think saying that you are just translating to English and doing multiple choice questions is not an accurate statement. Perhaps it's yet another A/B and we see the lessons differently.

4/15/2018, 6:59:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

Firstly, I was able to try timed practice on the website, without doing Level 5 skill, it appears DuoLingo is functionaing very differently for you. Secondly on repetition Not my experience, doing level 3 stuff or higher, was still getting multi-choice questions. I also get asked "Nacht" der, das or die, followed by "die Nacht" to English, then told 3 times to write die Nacht via translate to English. This is trivial early beginner stuff that is being treated as if it were a new word, at level 2 & 3. The point is on old system, I could spend 10 minutes a day gilding the tree. Then if I wanted to practice perfect tense, I could simply re-do a block of examples with lessons with mixed questions, to test reinforce my learning. Now they have sabotaged targetted practice and doing skills, to fill in levels results in mindless repetition of 1 or 2 sentences in every lesson. I simply don't understand how this is NOT visible to Crown supporters, it is a frequent experience to have exactly the same question twice in a row, 2 in 3 or 3 in 4 questions. May be you are not building runs of 17-20 correct answers, so are being fed things you got wrong at the end of lessons.

4/26/2018, 8:38:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg
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I've also noticed the errors dropping with the repetition, which is exactly what I was looking for in my recent drill book purchases.

4/15/2018, 7:16:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveUrban
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I have had the exact opposite experience. My errors have skyrocketed because now I'm just trying to get through the pointless repetition faster. I have, in fact, started to intentionally make some errors—such as skipping umlauts in German—just to get through the pointless crown levels faster.

4/15/2018, 11:45:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

Dave I find opening a notepad and typing in the sentence first in German then add a - then the english translation, I then add more below that first sentence and build up a pattern. I learned the different variations better doing it this way, I found when in the first basic lesson they show you are drinking or eating or reading, the variations confused me. Then sie would turn from her to they to sind etc I found it easier to learn if I could compare in notepad the different ways they use different cominations. The same with die der das etc Looking at them in notepad you can see a pattern how to use them easier. This has helped me do my lessons.

4/19/2018, 1:16:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveUrban
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You've missed the point. I'm not confused about the patterns. I know the patterns. I don't need to practice them in that way. And the exercises don't even try to give you variations: they simply repeat the exact same sentences over and over and over and over. (And this is at the very end of tree where, in theory, they should be able to use anything at all from the course.)

It's just that when I have to re-type the exact same sentence multiple times even within the same individual practice session, it is actually more efficient to leave out or ignore elements that slow down my ability to get those sentences over with faster. So, in German for example, the new, even-more repetitious exercise format actually encourages me to ignore things like proper capitalization (which Duolinguo never bothered to teach or correct in the first place) and umlauts (which in most cases just results in a little note to pay attention to accents but doesn't mark you incorrect).

4/19/2018, 10:26:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

I'm coming to the conclusion, that endless repetition of the explanations, is NOT working on Crown supporters. They simply do not let verifiable facts sink in .. Crowns will not help them learn the language, they will find themselves repeating the same drills in 3 years time.

4/26/2018, 8:46:48 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

Or you could have simply looked at a table on a website or tips and seen the clear pattern, in a review after lesson 1. Unfortunately the learn purely by example approach is highly inefficient and confusing, 3 genders, 4 cases, singular/plural lots of different inflections.

4/26/2018, 8:45:18 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

What about people who were not error prone and usually got the maximum run bonus and who getting 1 thing wrong, was a bad lesson? Why are we, rather than being guided by SRS, or repeating blocks of lessons to practice say verb conjugations in tenses, being shoe horned into a boring unsuitable programme? Crowns have not brought you anything real that is new, you had the option to Redo skills entirely before, or merely strengthen them. It was your choice!

4/26/2018, 8:42:27 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

I feel the same the new click on words to complete the lesson is ridiculous and I found it was not helping me to learn. Alot of the time I find that words you should find to complete it are not available in the choices so you have to guess or press submit or skip to find out what the word is you should of input out of sheer frustration.

4/19/2018, 12:56:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson
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If you don't like the sort-the-words-exercises (I don't either), then just click the keyboard icon at the bottom of the screen when one appears and you won't get any more of them.

4/19/2018, 1:17:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

thank you, I have not used that function yet, so kind of you to let me know.

4/20/2018, 1:23:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

I agree repetition gets it into your brain alot more, I found this when at school doing my times tables, it drilled in and it stuck. I found the first basic alot easier to stick in my head, Adding too many new words at once I cannot seem to retain the new words. I know I am old but I need to go back to basic alot to keep my mind busy. I have to do the test now to do this because the new crown system I have completed basic to level 5 and I cannot start again like you could on the old system.

4/19/2018, 12:54:03 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/peterviuz
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I agree. For Russian, where I was having to get the grammar book out all the time at level 18, I am enjoying making some progress for a change, and still managing to make some mistakes!

4/15/2018, 11:24:32 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg
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Starting today at Crown level 145. Will update :)

4/15/2018, 8:29:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Casper_duo
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Strange that I have 149 crowns and I'm at a lower level than you.
Doesn't seem logical.

4/15/2018, 11:04:04 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Strickte
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It may have something to do with whether all the skills were gilded at the time of the switch. I had something like 250 crowns I think after I was switched and all but a few had been gilded when it happened.

4/16/2018, 3:52:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
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It is not that weird. Firstly, the crowns are new, so the preexisting exp is probably part of the difference.

Secondly, one crown can equal 20exp, if there are two lessons, or 80exp, if there are eight, or 300exp, if it is a level 5 with 30 practice lessons. So, there can be a difference based on what crowns has one got.

4/15/2018, 1:56:19 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Casper_duo
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We both completed our trees an thus the same skills.

4/15/2018, 8:27:18 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jakejanus
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one of you may have tested out of skills? or maybe different levels of practice (more xp) for earlier skills but you will have both ended up on crown level 3 for those? I'm on 236..

4/15/2018, 10:26:08 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg
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Have you completed your tree yet? I guess so, right?

4/15/2018, 7:15:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Casper_duo
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Yup, we both did.

4/15/2018, 8:24:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg
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I might have 1) completed the tree before more recent courses was added and 2) done more repetitions over time. I spent a fair amount of time in the translation section of the website, when that was still available.

Translating Wiki articles etc.

4/16/2018, 10:42:55 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesLawma

Come back when you have done 15 lessons on anything.

4/16/2018, 9:33:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Landsberg
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Ok. :)

4/16/2018, 10:43:15 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/stubroyles

I very much disagree. The new version has taken me to lowest more boring levels of learning. Maybe you like being quizzed on women and child eating apples and bread, and drinking water. For me, it turned the app into rubbish.

4/18/2018, 6:32:23 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/hanspersson
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You are choosing yourself which exercises to work on.

4/18/2018, 7:05:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/stubroyles

When Duo chooses , I get to learn about iron is a metal and metals are heavy.

4/18/2018, 7:22:04 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

I also learned the President has small hands der präsident hat kleine hände I guess this was someones idea of a joke, I presume it means Mr Trump, it did make me giggle I must admit, someone has a great sense of humour on here.

4/19/2018, 1:22:37 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/maz274031

Once you regold surely you cannot start again and redo old ones ie basic etc like you could in the old system, does it stay gold or revert back to the original colour like the old system? I have regolded mine to the first checkpoint so they are all level 5 I am only crown level 183 and I have completed all levels and got my golden owl. I feel frustrated I am doing this to help my memory but I feel that I am not doing this properly and it is frustrating me greatly, I feel like giving up.

4/19/2018, 1:30:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RobCrownsSuck

I'm afraid you wasted time ... you should be guided by SRS Tap twice on Sort by Strength to get the weakest skills up top https://duolingo.eu/maz274031/progress Do the minimum you can in each skill to get it 100%, then do something new or if you've finished the tree, use another app that is more time efficient and beneficial

4/26/2018, 8:50:02 AM
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