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  5. OMG!!! Would you please stop…


OMG!!! Would you please stop making it worse!

It was bad enough when they broke the sytem the first time... now they have only added insult to injury. Apparently whom ever is making these changes has never been a teacher before. Let me explain.

I taught music for several years... and let me say this... the first thing you do is learn the basics! On guitar you cannot learn how to play without learning how to first hold it correctly and then tune it. After that you learn the basics of strumming and a few chords and notes. Some people take longer than others... so I gave them the time they needed to learn at their own pace. I didn't give them the basics one day and then the next day ask them to play Bach or Chopin.

Force feeding learning is "NOT FOR EVERYONE" and actually is NOT a good teaching method. Craming in as much information as fast as possible without giving time to absorb and learn how to use what you have been taught only leads to failure down the line... because basics build a solid platform to build upon.

Still to this day I have books from when I first started that I reflect upon to keep my skills fresh and I even see things in a different light sometimes when I teach someone because everybody learns diffferently!

I do feel that the new system could work... but the way it is structured is all wrong. You have to give the people access to the basics like it was when you first started this program... so if they need to they can go back and get a refresh on them. Not "PRACTICE SKILLS" actually being able to do the lesson over again because it really makes that much of a difference! It is familar ground to them and they can "RELATE TO THAT"!

That coupled with the changes every other week as you just did... frustrates people whom are trying to learn. That is like you telling a child... do this this way... then the next time they do it you say... no do it this way now... and it becomes confusing!

Finally listen to your subscribers... it is a valuable resouce to tell you just how good your product is. Try looking at it from their perspective... and from a new subscribers perspective... you just might see what we are all talking about.

May 31, 2018



You have to give the people access to the basics like it was when you first started this program... so if they need to they can go back and get a refresh on them

I have to admit, I'm confused. You've gotten several up votes and supportive comments, so I'm sure the problem is with me and my inability to understand. What is keeping you from clicking "Basics 1" and re-doing the lessons as many times as you like, whenever you like? Would that not satisfy the need to go back and refresh? Sorry for being dense, I'm just not understanding the point you're trying to make.


Lrtward, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I hope Sharon and carwile will expand or reiterate the point. I don't know what we missed.


I think I understand what the OP is referring to. Does Basics 1, still exist in the new Spanish Tree? I'm not sure that it does, but still being on the old Spanish Tree I can't say for sure.

If that is the case, then it's a valid point!


So I understand. What she's saying is re-do the lesson you just did. For example, on crowns, you can only move forward and cannot "re-do" one of the lessons. You always get new material. She just wants to repeat what's already been done.

Edit: Brad, I'm not defending what Sharon is saying. All I'm offering is a possibility. And it's not as outrageous as you think - other people have wished that they could go back to a particular lesson.


Multi0Lingual4 - That is exaclty what I am refering to. It makes it very difficult (for some people) if you teach them a word once or twice... and then expect them to understand the full usage of it. Being able to go back to the basics as a refresh / reminder makes learning alot easier. Removing that tool and expecting your student to understand full usage of that term / word just because they have seen it once or twice... is what I refer to as force feeding learning. Basics build for a solid learning of anything... and with the removal of that tool... just adding more to the pile makes it worse until the student can fully understand them.


I think this simply goes to prove, you can't please all the people all the time.

Many people on here complain bitterly that the early lessons are too easy and get fed up with having to constantly repeat the same simple sentence to raise their crown levels and get to the more interesting sentences.

Yet here, you're complaining because you've lost the ability to do just that!


Well said Spice. 10%of the people are making 90% of the negative noise! No single program can take you from total beginner to fluent. The people at both ends of the spectrum are going to be left wanting. Duolingo has done a stellar job for the rest of us!


But duolingo is littered with reminders of words, you can tap the dotted lines under the grey words, or if you're completely wrong it tells you the answer there and then and you move on, I think that's better than doing old lessons.


Multi, I know you are fair minded. I was taking the opportunity to at least try (again) to dispel the notion that you need to see the same sentence consecutively. You will see it again soon. Write it down if you don’t get it the first time. Look at it on the screen. Take a screenshot. Look it up on a translator. Say it out loud. It won’t go away until you click!


Thanks Brad. You're right. Duolingo needs to be used alongside other resources.


Spice, That would be a valid point. I don't have the new tree yet either. Still, I will be very surprised if "I am a boy" is not there. Even if it's not labeled "Basics 1". I can understand the emotional attachment people have to the former method though.

[deactivated user]

    It tests at a higher level when you practice. Instead of "el hombre" you will encounter things like "El hombre y una mujer comen el queso y los huevos." and have to transcribe audio like this.

    This problem was especially evident to me when I tried the Polish course using this new tree which I have no exposure to the language and where it's difficult to just intuit what words mean like it is for me with romance languages. For about three days I could build on knowledge and do okay, if a little unsure of myself, but what is going to happen in three months when I've left those stems to rot by not looking at this material? I'll probably be lost as heck.

    The previous tree would let you study the lessons as you did on first encountering them, and then there was a practice button for the whole unit which would introduce more complex material as you advanced, if I recall correctly. - This new system gives 0 opportunity to control what complexity of material you are studying with, things just get more difficult.

    Here is something from Level 2->3 of Basics 1 to illustrate building complexity of the material https://s33.postimg.cc/hkjiw23xb/dl_basics1.jpg

    (I realize that very new users won't encounter this particular sentence, but it's much more likely they will encounter drop-ins from Food or Greetings units.)

    The thing is that this is a new problem with Duolingo. It is totally the developers of this new system's fault that now it is necessary to create flash cards and look elsewhere for refreshment in addition to using to Duolingo. One imagines that someday we'll have to use something else for every aspect of learning a language besides the one thing Duolingo's A/B tests find is their key to user interaction with the site. (Probably hovering over unknown text.)


    Most of the other complaints about the Crown system is that it's too repetitive....and you are complaining that it's not repetitive enough?

    You don't need to redo the exact same lesson, you just do the next level. It should be similar enough to feel like you can "relate" to it.

    There is also nothing on Duo that puts any sort of time frame on it, so I'm confused by your "cramming" complaint. You could literally do one lesson a day, or you can choose to do hundreds. You can choose to keep doing each lesson until it's level 5 (which would move very slowly), or do it to level 1 and then move on (moving much faster through the material).


    you make nothing but valid points


    I agree completely


    The basic skills in my experience are VERY repetitive already, with very little change in the sentences. There isn't a lot of variety and you can do them many times.

    Most people complain that the basic lessons are already too repetitive, complaining that they are translating the same sentences 50 times.

    It seems to me that duolingo has a nice balance now, you can choose to power through the tree only getting crown 1 or you can focus on a specific skill raising it to crown 5 or anything in between.

    So it seems you can be as repetitive or non repetitive as you like. So if it isn't working for your desired level of repetition, don't you just need to change how you use it?


    I ready in the comments, is this specifically in relation to the new spanish tree? Did they remove the basic skills?


    I agree with this. When people say things like "you don't need to redo lessons" to me is like saying you don't have to use Duolingo. Duolingo is removing and phasing out other options such as purchased tests and timed practice, leaving us with no other options but to repeat lessons and aim for higher crown levels. The levels themselves don't really introduce new phrases, just more in target language, which in the end forces you into mindless memorization. In my opinion this method is not one of the best ways to learn a language. I don't think the crown system itself is a bad idea but the way it is done is a failure. I couldn't believe how much I could learn in such a small amount of time before but now that is no longer possible. Every time I come back to Duolingo I remember why I left.


    PotatoSanta, Although I don’t have the new tree, I believe that the lexemes and vocabulary are going to be expanded significantly. At least in Spanish. I believe you will get new phrases. I would think you would not need Duo any longer after reaching Level 25 as you have. I assume that’s why you have so many flags on your profile. A new challenge is needed. The new tree might revive your interest. Edit: as I stated earlier in the thread, people at the extreme ends of the Duo spectrum are not as well served as the majority of uses who are in between. You are at the extreme far end. Maybe the most accomplished I’ve seen!


    I think you make some valid points and I assume you're referring to the recent new Spanish Tree introduction. I can't really comment too much on that because I'm still on the old tree, but as I understand it, it expands the lessons significantly from the old one.

    It's understandable many people feel overwhelmed by the number of changes that have happened recently. First, we had the switch over to the Crown system and then almost immediately afterwards many people are being moved over to the new Spanish Tree. That is a lot of changes in a small amount of time.

    On the other hand I can see why duolingo are making these changes—they're making their teaching of the Spanish course more effective. I've certainly seen a significant improvement in my understanding of the language since the additional practices of the Crown system were introduced and I'm very much looking forward to the additional practice lessons of the expanded Spanish tree.


    A good rant, but i am unclear what you are objecting to.


    Sharon, I am truly puzzled by your stance on basics. "I am a boy" is as basic as it gets. There are Tips and Notes in the lessons. The Practice button utilizes words already learned, or covered. The actual lessons have not changed at all. Some of the bells and whistles have changed but not the way they are structured. And as Betsy said, you can move at your own pace, there is no force feeding. Duolingo has helped MILLIONS of people learn a foreign language.


    I think you may need to reread the post. You seem to be missing the point. :)


    I am missing the point too it seems, maybe explain it here instead of pointing back to a post we seem unable to follow?


    That’s all I’m asking merkavar. I just want the benefit of carwile.brett’s superior reading and comprehension skills. Mine appear to be lacking. It’s cruel to leave me hanging;)


    The curse of the crowns strikes again.


    They should have settings for the tree so people can customize it to their preferences


    you're right. when we learn languages, everyone around us only uses basic words and we never hear or read words that we do not understand until we've somehow learned them. I know that when i am around babies, i only use the most basic monosyllabic words, lest i turn them off from ever learning to communicate with others.

    [deactivated user]

      Total immersion is not the point of Duolingo, and it's arguable whether it's useful for learning.

      [deactivated user]

        Wouldn't using the General Practice button be what you are looking for? If I understand you right, you want to repeat previous lessons before going ahead. While I was completing my Spanish tree I would do a lesson or skill and then use the practice button and become more comfortable with what I had learned and then move on. If I remember correctly, they give you questions with the words that you are weakest in first. I hope this helps.

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