https://www.duolingo.com/marcdrummond

Crown levels repetitive in French?

Once I got the crowns, I thought I'd experiment with leveling up a few skills just to see if the crowns delivered on the promise of being able to deliver more advanced lessons. I focused on the conjunction skills, because who couldn't use a little more experience with conjunctions, right?

What I found was that the higher crown levels were extraordinarily repetitive. I kept getting the same phrases over and over and over again. You would think at least the vocab would get swapped out, but it was almost exactly the same sentences if not the same ones on all the levels, which became exhausting.

Now maybe that's not the best way to do crowns. Maybe one should do all the skills at a certain crown level, then go through again and again and again until the skills turn gold. That might reduce the frequency of the repetitiveness at least. But I was just surprised, because the whole justification of setting up crowns was to deliver more advanced lessons, and at least with these skills, I didn't really see that.

Now to be fair I'm not in the test group for the new version of French. Maybe the new version will add more variety: I'd hope so. And maybe it's just French conjunctions that were incredibly repetitive.

But what I saw was disappointing, because I was intrigued by the ability to study certain topics further. And this may have achieved a goal of increasing "engagement" by encouraging taking more lessons. In theory that could result in more ad views or longer Duolingo Plus subscriptions. I would hope the goal of crowns isn't monetary but is in fact educational. It just didn't feel that way from what I've seen so far.

I hope the higher crown levels deliver on the expectations of more advanced lessons. Looking forward to the new version of French to see if that changes things.

Anybody else have similar experiences in other higher level crown skills with French?

May 26, 2018

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AnnaPoot

I agree with Chartreux - the constant repetitiveness of the exact same phrases is mind-numbing. I was excited to begin with in gilding up, but when you have to go through so many repetitions of the same phrase, it isn't much fun anymore.

May 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Chartreux

There is no difference between level 1 and level 5. It's really just meant to drill the lesson into your brain. It's particularly effective if you are new to a language. It would have been far better to create more challenging sentence structures with each new level but that was a layer of programming difficulty that I just don't think Duolingo is interested in at this point in time. Perhaps in the future...

The new French tree has lots of new words and sentences and I find it a big improvement. I too find the repetitiveness irritating but I am improving my French grammar a great deal because of it. Since the French tree has five checkpoints, I've gilded the tree by getting checkpoint 1 to level 5, checkpoint 2 to level 4, checkpoint 3 to level 3, etc. This has the same effect as your method but I just wanted to finish the first 3 checkpoints sooner. The repetition is mind-numbing. Foods 1 has more than 50 iterations with 10 lessons within each iteration. The Imparfait has far fewer iterations for some strange reason.

I think having a test before moving on to the next level would've been nice; as well as a vocabulary review. They added a test on the phone for Duolingo Plus users. It's a good test but thus far it is consigned to the phone only.

Cheers !

May 26, 2018

[deactivated user]

    I agree with Chartreux (I'm at the lower levels of the tree). The repetition, while tedious, helps implant the vocab and the grammar. I'm doing another on-line course to supplement Duolingo, and am discovering that the speedy upgrades to new vocabulary in that other course is impeding my memory. So I end up doing more and more reviews, which means more and more of the same thing. There's no escaping repetition (for me)! But, it would indeed be nice if the Duolingo elephants could eat something other than cake and the people drink something other than beer!

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/nyharel

    This is absolutely true, but is exactly what the pre-crown mechanism did: If you made mistakes in the exercise, Duolingo would know that you don't really have this vocabulary (or grammar skill) mastered, and expire the golden-ness of the skill more quickly, so you'll have to practice it again. But with crowns, I find myself having to do hundreds of boring reptitive exercises with vocabulary I already know perfectly - and not making any mistakes .

    May 30, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Brent-vd-schelde

    i had to do the theme food 84 times before getting it lvl 5 and it was 84 times the same thing that is did before

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/RichardWallace0

    Hey it gets even better! 96 lessons are required to reach Level 5 in Present 1 and Adjectives 2 and 108 for Time (a whole lot of time in every way!).

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Brent-vd-schelde

    yes they choose the right theme

    June 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/brmeast

    This is the same for me in both French, and Spanish. It is hard to try to learn (or practice) new words, when I don't even get them. Just the same phrases I've done 5 times right before the next. Very disappointing :(

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Oliluci

    j´aime frantastique

    May 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

    Have you tried with one of the 17-20 verb grammar skills?

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Hermione256

    I agree... meanwhile, I find it extremely difficult to learn anything new because I keep running out of health!

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jeltje986388

    Switch health off!

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/1000mun

    So sorry about your health. A lingot to cheer you up. Wish I could give you something more meaningful than a lingot.

    August 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/el.chapitan

    This might sound strange, but how do you tell if you're in the new french tree or the old one?

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

    new french tree or the old one?

    http://www.duome.eu/USERNAME/progress
    http://www.duome.eu/el.chapitan/progress

    New French 3.0 A/B tree data:

    • Crowns: 482
    • Skills: 96+2
    • Lessons: 402+6
    • Lexemes (DL ids): 2811+39

    The French moderators have announced the 3.0 A/B tree and 96 skills content in a specific thread on the French sub-forum: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26726755/The-new-French-tree-is-here-under-A-B-test

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich

    Thanks, Thomas.Heiss! That's very helpful. I must have French 2.0. Will I be able to keep my golden owl when they install French 3.0 on my account?

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

    @NancyMihalich

    No, AFAIK (what I had read in threads from other users) you are going to lose your golden owl.

    Many skills will be purple / crown level L0 / unfinished again after the tree conversion and marked on your SHOF progress page http://www.duome.eu/NancyMihalich/progress and your offical DuoLingo "Home" page as learning +x lessons.

    So you would need to re-do the (relevant) lessons.

    On the old DuoLingo (pre-crown) completing 1+ lessons related lessons could suddenly complete a skill faster.
    AFAIK it was not always required to re-do all 10 lessons.
    .
    .
    I have no idea how this will work now on the crown system for the converted tree, if you either really need to go through ALL lessons again to finish the skill and reach crown level L1 or if finishing the "missing lessons" is sufficient.

    On the old system there was a single skill test-out available, but it is hidden for the moment on the "crown overlay".
    However, you can still do a test-out, if you manually add the "/test" string to the end of the opened skill URL (your SHOF progress page).

    Probably most people use the "Checkpoint test-out" after a tree conversion, to bring back their skills to crown level L1?!?


    On the old system I would have been afraid, that a checkpoint or skill test-out skips over several / some words, which was definitely case with my DE-EN and EN-DE initial placement test (the more test outs, the less new words you have learned / seen).

    Matfran wrote in a thread (I have no clue where, sorry) that the best way is to go lesson-by-lesson, skill-by-skill to see many words and many sentences, but his comment dates back to the pre-crown DuoLingo era.
    .
    .
    On the new crown system it may not be too relevant anymore, as you have to sequentially go through all words and available sentences from crown levels L1-L5 anyways, so I would not mind skipping over the starter L0 level.

    For really NEW words it may be better to complete the "beginner lessons" (easier), e.g word - picture challenges (if available).

    With your higher level 25 in French, I would probably not re-take ALL single lessons on the unfinished L0 skills for this reason?!
    .
    .
    But let's see what those more experienced DL uses and moderators write to you, who have already gone through this (French) tree conversion process.

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/miconstab

    I tried to test-out by adding /test to the end of the opened basics 1 skill URL in my progress page, but it didnt work...all that it did was to give me a lingot for completing the test without a mistake.

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

    ...to the end of the opened basics 1 skill URL in my progress page, but it didnt work

    The old system test-out only works for freshly unlocked (coloured) crown level L0 skills, which you want to complete and reach crown level L1.

    Try it with this uncompleted (L0) skill: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/fr/Weights-and-Measurements

    Your "Basics 1" + "Basics 2" skills are already at crown level L3 and at the moment there is no "crown level L2-L5" test out available!

    This is the reason it didn't work for you.

    It was acknowledged by staff that this new feature would be badly required...
    ......they are probably already working on it for the next code iterations in the next ~6-12 months (hopefully).

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich

    Thanks so much for your response, Thomas.Heiss and miconstab! I appreciate it. I'll see what happens to my French tree when they convert it to French 3.0, I guess! I'm getting carpal tunnel (just kidding) from typing so much getting my tree re-gilded with the new crown system!

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich

    I'm working to get all Crowns to Level 5 on my French tree. I don't have French 3.0. Maybe they forgot me! I don't mind because I'm still working on the Crowns!

    August 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/el.chapitan

    That is an amazing site, I'm so happy that you sent it to me, as I can see my golden status on that again (and realize how far behind I am for keeping up to date on some of the lessons).

    It doesn't specifically tell me if I'm in the new one. However, it looks like given some of the lessons mentioned that I'm in the old one.

    May 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

    @el.capitan

    https://www.duome.eu/el.chapitan/progress

    The Duome.eu author has added our wish to find which one of the three French tree versions we are on.

    "Learning French from English · V2"

    It may be more difficult to differentiate which A/B tree4 (119 skills) test we are under, if there might be in fact two parallel - a little bit - different tree versions with varied skills, as some user has posted in another thread.

    October 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich

    I noticed that new feature yesterday! I appreciate knowing what version I'm learning! I'm "Learning French from English - V2." This only appears on my French tree, not any of my other trees!

    October 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Gambelguy

    Thanks. I didn't know about these pages. Can you direct me to the French sub-forum?

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Gambelguy

    Oh, OK. I had these but thought you were referring to something different. Thanks for your help.

    May 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/miconstab

    The demotivating effect of the tedious repitition in the new crown system could be avoided by Duo bringing back the optional test out facility for each skill

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Tom676857

    You can still do that by adding /test to the end of the url after the skill name - so long as you're on the browser version at least.

    May 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/nyharel

    I did this for one of the skills, indeed got a test, passed it with ZERO MISTAKES (three hearts remaining), and then... It told me "you did not test out of any skill". WTF? And the crown level on that skill didn't increase. So it doesn't seem to work at all...

    May 30, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss

    @nyharel

    It told me "you did not test out of any skill".

    Reason:
    It is the old skill test-out for freshly unlocked (purple coloured) skills - crown level L0 - to finish the NEW skill and reach crown level L1 (old DuoLingo system)!!!

    If you are already crown level L1-L3, you can not "test-out" anymore at the moment.
    This would be a new crown feature, which needs to be programmed first!

    May 30, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/nyharel

    Unfortunately I have the same experience as you. In the past, before the "crowns", I had a golden french tree, and every time some skill became non-gold, I pressed "practice", did a few (say, 20) questions on this skill, and the skill became gold again. This was great, and fun. But now, with crowns, if some skill says "level 1" and I want to move it to "level 2", I need to do 8 "lessons", each with about 14 "questions" - that's about 100 questions in the same lesson. For many of the skills near the beginning of the tree, doing this is incredibly boring and repetitive. The first skill, about "homme" and "femme", is utterly ridiculous and even insulting - despite not making any mistakes, I get asked dozens and dozens of almost identical exercises pertaining to "le homme et la femme". This doesn't make any sense, is not fun, and I'm not learning anything from these too-easy and too-repetitive exercises.

    May 30, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
    • Firstly, you can still press the GLOBAL practice (skills) button, incl. "timed practice".
      But it just re-strengthen skills from top to down, not bottom to top!

    • Secondly, you can ignore the crown levels for the first half of your tree and only re-strengthen those individual skills, which have decayed back to 25-50% strength (does not influece crowns).

    You can practice a single skill, incl. "timed practice", by adding the "/practice" URL to the opened skill URL or by simply visiting your SHOF progress page http://www.duome.eu/nyharel/progress and clicking the lightbulb PRACTICE (skill) button there.

    My own strategy concept for Portuguese is, to focus more on the more difficult ~17-20 verb skills, incl. various tenses, Subjunctive to either:

    • a) re-strengthen them back to 100% after I re-read the "tips and notes" on the web portal or the SHOF progress page
    • b) doing new lessons under the crown model to level them up from L2

    Starting the reverse tree French-English (different content, new vocabulary, connector words, "jumping Subjunctive") would probably make more sense, than to do lessons in the early skills of the first half for your EN-FR tree.
    My PT-DE reverse trees proves that it is worth doing so when I compare it to my EN-PT tree.


    Let's wait for the acknowledged / promised "Skill crown level L2-L5" test-out from staff.

    Once it is engineered in the next ~6-12 months and rolled out to us with a new crown iteration, you will actually be able to test-out all your earlier (basic) skills.
    It makes IMHO zero sense to re-do all lessons and practice skills, which you already know very well, just to level them up to crown level 5.

    May 30, 2018
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