Finding the new levels BORING
Having been a Duolingo user for a long time now, I am really not happy with the new levels. I've given them a fair try, but the repetition of the same boring phrases again and again is not beneficial ... just dull. Like many, I am sufficiently obsessive to want to get everything to gold, but the sheer tedium of the early levels is really proving onerous. In contrast I LOVE the stories and find them genuinely useful, but am very aware that I'm going to run out soon. Please, Duo, listen to us! More stories, more ways of stretching vocabulary and grammar that are interesting, and less dull repetition.
For me nothing has really changed, because I don't try to get the nodes to level 5. I just repeat them when I feel like I need more practise or just for fun. My tree looks really colorful. :)
On the contrary it feels a bit more rewarding to repeat the nodes, because there still is some arbitrary gain. Before the skill would just stay gold as if you're not supposed to repeat them as you please.
I'm the same. I don't feel the compulsion to go all level 5 for everything. I don't think anyone should feel the need to be all level 5- unless they want to.
That said, the new system has one major drawback from the old. I miss the ungilding of certain skills as a reminder to re take a level at the correct time to take advantage of spaced repetition.
The old system you used to lose your gold gilding over time as the strength decays.
The new system doesn't do that. If you're crown level 2 you're always level 2. If you're level 5 you're always level 5.
From what I understand, when you run the practice sessions it pulls from the words which need the most work, so strengthens your weaker words... but the skill sections don't un-gild like they used to.
I completely agree with KateVaugha, and really miss being able to feel like I was accomplishing something without spending a very long amount of time repeating things in old lessons (I too feel obligated to turn everything gold, even if I don't need to practice that area). I also can understand where others are coming from that repetition is the only way to really get something down, and some people like it, because everyone learns differently. I just feel like there has to be a better way to accommodate the needs of all types of learners, and make the experience of learning a new language fun and helpful. On a side note, I absolutely love the way Duolingo Stories gives me an idea of real world conversations, but I usually only do a story or two as a fun little treat for myself after finishing some real lessons.
If the repetitions are useful or not to a learner depends on what kind of language they are learning, what other languages they know and what their native language is.
Languages that are to some extent related, use the same alphabet you are familiar with, share a fair amount of grammatical similarities do not need as much repetition as languages on the other end of the spectrum.
I have brought my levels in Irish up to level 4 (except for the first 2 skills) before feeling comfortable enough to move on (working at several different skills at the same time, though) to get more familiar with the spelling and the very different grammar. Danish is close enough to other languages I know, so I don’t do or need that.
If I would start learning Arabic (once the course is ready) or Chinese, for instance, I am sure I would be even happier about the repetitions.
Fundamentally, I think the problem is that the German course, in particular, has become too easy. Even practicing halfway through the tree, I find the sentences are still very short with simple vocabulary, and the crown system doesn't seem to make it harder--just repetitive.
In contrast, I think about the Dutch tree, which tends to offer longer sentences with more varied vocabulary. Or even the Danish course, where I'm finding they're offering longer sentences in the early stages than I'm getting in the middle of the German tree, where I'm still getting sentences like "Die Hochzeit ist gut."
I understand that DUO has a lot of research to back up their teaching strategies. I am pleased with my progress. Repetition is necessary for long term recall. If you haven’t already, subscribe to a German magazine or other articles written in German for additional challenges, etc. “Der Speigel,” is free on line on Fridays. I subscribed to “Wired” Auf Deutsch. Anyway, this RN wishes you well.
I just started using Duolingo three days ago, so I don't know much difference, but I have noted that some of the sections are overly repetitive. I'm only in the first beginning stages of German, so I suppose that is to be expected of the first few tiny lessons. I just hope that the future lessons will prove to be a bit more variable. TinyCards was useful to me to spice things up a bit, FYI.