I love the new system.
I started Duolingo a couple of years ago and enjoyed filling out the tree and then keeping each area updated. I was disappointed at the depth however. Now you have added much more depth, allowing me to learn more. I now busy myself adding depth to each area by increasing the level. At first I was going to take each modual to level five, starting at the beginning. Now I have decided to work my way through bringing all to level 3, then level 4, then level five. My crown score is above 200 and keeps increasing each time a new level is reached. You recently added color to indicate which level I was at for each unit ... that was a helpful change. I hope the critics will give this another chance. I have learned six languages and have taught two at the college level. This system is the best I've found and I own that other expensive software.
I definitely agree with this gentleman who is clearly a language expert. I only found dl about 3 months prior to the new version. I liked it a lot. since it was such fun and I could test out of the beginner lessons, I spent time on the site and advanced. I have only begun using the new version a week or so ago, but I have been using the same method-turning all of the tree to level 3. I really think I am learning more with the new program. I think it is particularly strong on sentence structure. Change is always hard to embrace for all of us.
I started with the legacy system a year ago and completed the tree twice. About a month ago my course was changed by default to this new version. It definitely requires more work, but it isn't necessarily harder, but just takes more time to get through each level. In the past month I have achieved 146 crowns and reached my second check point. It takes about two days to reach level 5 in each category in between all my other day to day task.
On top of that I spend no less than an hour at night listening to Spanish teachers and conversations on YouTube. Here is a link to the one I really like the most.
I'm amazed at how much I understand. Duolingo is great but you need the other parts of language too.
Does anyone know of a "Discussion" forum for language learners outside of Duolingo? I LOVE the Duolingo discussion groups. But, Duolingo removed them over a year ago. For some reason, they popped back up tonight, but I expect they'll be gone again tomorrow. I have really missed reading other people's ideas for learning their target languages. I appreciate the insights others share. I learn so much from these posts. If this is just a glitch, and Duolingo removes the Discussion groups tomorrow, where do others go for this type of focussed discussion? Duolingo discussion keeps me motivated, encourages and challenges me, allows me to note my progress or lack thereof, and connects me with others around the world. What other such resources do any of you know about?
I think the new system is an improvement. However, I didn't realize what I needed to do until I read this discussion (I had been just practicing and doing the stories for some time.) I hadn't realized I could increase my level. The early ones are pretty easy, but I expect the extra practice in the later nodes will be helpful.
I preferred the "learn then practice" system of the previous system. I also liked the spaced repetition feedback from the categories going away from gold. With the new color per level change I hope that they are going to fade to indicate a need to refresh.
I would also suggest that at higher levels there should be more words: different animals, different food, different household items. Doing this should also combine things like "Basics 1" and "Basics 2" into just "Basics"
However, I have found a method that seems to be working for me. I practice each non-gold skill until I complete a skill that goes to the next level or is the first lesson of a new level. Then I go back up to the top and start again.
For example: I would do Basics 1 to get 1/10, then Basics 1 again to get 2/10, then Phrases to get 1/15, then go back to basics 1 (3), phrases (2), and Basics 2(1).
This builds in the spaced repetition and continually advances the tree.
OK, I was vociferously opposed and now I like it because I can see the weakness of my previous skill level and this is a better measure and gives me the practice in some areas where I need. At the beginning it was frustrating to just do easy exercises in French but especially in Spanish, new to me, I need lots more practice to make this language natural and part of my thinking since I never studied it before as I did French. So I am adapting. So long as I can move to various verb forms and then go work on other things later without wearing my hands and eyes out, I'm fine with this system. I can't type well and when tired, it's terrible...but beyond that, I mostly need to work on verbs and vocab and then expand after that. the early exercises tho...too many reps maybe so I got worse cuz kept falling asleep. night
I agree! I had barely started when they switched to the new system, so I didn't have much invested in the old system. This system is really addicting, not too hard so it's not discouraging and not too easy so it's not boring!
By the way, if anyone from DL is reading, I think it would be cool to add more bells and whistles to the program. Some kind of extra pizzazz when someone reaches 50 or 100 or 1000 day streak, level 10, level 20 etc
I too am a huge fan of the new system, and after reading your approach I think I'm going to follow your lead. I was working my way down the tree, bringing each area to level five before moving on, but after reading your posting, I am planning to take all areas to level three, then four, then five. Thanks, appreciate the input.
We seem to be rated in our public profile by our xp level. Surely that only tells how committed you are to the repetition process. Also completing the tree is possible, it would appear, without having worked though any of the subject areas in depth. I don't understand why we are not also rated by the number of crowns.
Gordon, where is our public profile if we sign up with google? I don't use facebook, or the other data collection services but does google have a profile on us about DUO? I am web wary these days. Also, I think this is the only place to talk to or respond to people. Followers and those I follow are just lists, I think. I don't think we can communicate unless we use facebook, right? I've asked before but got no response. Anyway, you are so right that we can complete the tree and not have a full grasp. I studied French long ago and my retention there is better but I am nearly at the same level in Spanish where I stumble along and I really can't understand French news tho I think I can read some news slowly at my level. Reading new material is missing on this site....tho the exercise stories if one has time are good.
I only started using it yesterday but so far i really like it, I was subscribed to an expensive app for 3 months and have learned what i can from it but i think the next few months will be spent working on this and hopefully improve my vocabulary. i am hoping to learn Spanish to such a level that i can use it proficiently as a second language. It would be good to have people to practice with.
Levels are gained on an xp gained basis only. They're not related to crowns.
Here's a chart of the levels gained at what xp level: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/XP
I suspect you dislike the new system because it's harder. But harder means it's more effective in teaching the language and putting the words and grammar into long term memory.
Maria, I have a Facetime on the Iphone and have been using WhatsApp to speak with a native Costa Rican women once a week for an hour at a time.
We were talking three times a week but she had some family issues and we cut it back to once weekly. She needs to improve her English for a job there and I just want to learn Spanish for no particular reason other than being bilingual when I die :)
I work during the day so evenings are the only time that works for me. And then some evenings arent good because I shoot pool almost every night.
Is finishing the tree actually important at all? It is what goes into your head that matters, not your apparent progress through an electronic system. I understand that the way to learn a language for most people other than the extremely lucky and gifted is repetition and more repetition to allow delivery without real forethought. That is what the crown system offers. it provides a relatively interesting method of application to achieve fluency. It can be tedious, but it stops you racing ahead when you haven't got the ground work embedded. I also find that when you don't have any idea what the word is you can guess and sometimes you are partially right, when you consider the possible etymology options. I think guessing first is actually a good learning and embedding technique.
Maria I'm not 100% positive but it might use my cell phone number and I believe Facetime uses name, email, or phone number.
You can send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward you my information. Or you can send me your contact info and I will try to reach you.
i know that WhatsApp allows messaging so that might be the best way to reach out.
I didn't like first, but I like it now.
I had noticed that Duolingo's SRS algorithm - after having spend some learning time - had figured out finding the big potholes in my understanding of Spanish - which is good.
Now it takes much longer, about 3x to 4x, time to do a Practice lesson.
My main problem is that so many exercises are now purely odious. I've finished my tree, why do I have to spend three hours translating various combinations of "The woman eats an apple, I drink water"? Especially when the first 4 levels are essentially just clicking... For goodness' sake let us test out of skills.
Hi there. I agree that much of the repetition can become frustrating, however, learning any new language requires memory. Lots of exercises help the memory. Testing out is one idea. Another is to simply go through the tree to level 3 on all subjects and test your facility with a native speaker ... or try reading a newspaper. I give Duolingo credit for trying to motivate people to do more than ten mins a day thinking they'll somehow become fluent. I now live in Ecuador and am grateful that my studies are constantly reinforced by my environment. Be well. Study hard.