Finished Spanish tree - Got the Golden Owl of Awesomeness
I'm very happy to report I finished my Spanish tree last night. I had been close for several days and only two skills and a stack of student papers separated me from attaining my beloved golden owl. Late last night, I finally finished it, so I can now take a minute to breathe and hoot-hoot about it. I still have a lot of work left to do to become fully fluent in Spanish, and I need to finish my Esperanto tree as well. But, I'm getting there, one hoot at a time.
Spanish is a language I always wanted to speak fluently. I grew up in a community with a lot of Spanish-speaking people, but there were also a lot of divisions and prejudices. I wished I had learned more when I was a kid. Unfortunately, the school system only taught baby-Spanish to the English-dominant kids and didn't do a very good job teaching language skills to the Spanish-dominant kids either. So, I didn't really get much Spanish until college. Now, after trying for years to master it, I'm finally doing a little bit every day so I can finally get to the point where I can hold a conversation and feel fluent. And, I may go to Spain in the Fall, so that is a big incentive to work hard and be ready.
I am very confused. Maybe it’s because I only started 2 weeks ago and have only seen the new tree. I thought to finish Spanish in golden you had to get to level 25. You’re spanish icon says you are only level 11 while there are many people who replied to your post that are on levels like 16, 18, 23, 25. Did you test out and skip doing 14 levels? I don’t even know if testing out means you don’t get credit for the levels. Maybe people still get the credit. I’m not trying to take away your thunder and cheers. I’m just sincerely confused because I am at the same level as you but i am still pretty much at the beginning. I’m sure there is a reason. It’s just that I haven’t been doing this long enough to know and because you’re on the old tree I think because I don’t think there is an owl in mine.
25 is the highest level you can get to, but if you just plow through the courses without reviewing/strengthening your skills (or doing any of the labs) you could certainly reach the end of a course well before hitting level 25.
Since I was already pretty familiar with Spanish, I think I finished the tree around level 11-12 (I didn't test out of anything) but for French and Italian I got it closer to 15 (and then decided to delete/restart the tree because I'd become rusty from disuse.)
25 levels looks like it takes a long time, probably at least a year or more. I believe it takes around 30,000 experience points. I spent two month putting in 30-45 minutes each day and I have earned less than 5,000 points. So, at that rate, I'd say it's easily more than a year of constant effort to get to level 25 in any one language. The tree itself, though, only has about 40 skill types. I usually moved on when I finished 2 or 3 levels of each one. But, with some I only finished one level. Of course, some skills require 10 lessons to finish one level and some only require 2 lessons. So, the decision to move to the next skill really just depended on how comfortable I felt with that material. Now that I've finished the tree, I like that I can choose any skill to review. In the past, I couldn't open a skill until I had unlocked the ones above it.
It was only today that I reached level 25 (with 30.000+ XP points), after four years of studying Duolingo. I reached the tree several times and now I am trying toreach it on the level 4 for all tasks. And then on level 5. It will take a lot of time, and I day and again realize how little I know. To be fluent in any language, it really takes a long time.
I did test out of a lot of things and I do not know exactly how it assigns credit for that as opposed to completing everything from the beginning. However, I think you can only test out of about half of the skills. For the rest, you have to complete every one of them at at least level one. It's taken me the better part of two months to do that. Many things I also completed to at least level two or three, so it's possible I could have completed the tree even faster, if all I cared about was getting through with no delays. Everyone is on the new tree, by the way. So, it's not an option to not use the new crown system. The golden owl appears only after you've completed the entire tree. So, that's why you don't see it yet. It appears with a little celebration letter when you finish the last skill. But, I'm only at 87 crown levels, so I've still got a ways to go there.
Because it unlocks all the skills. You now have the option of doing up to 5 crown levels on each skill, whereas in the past you only did it once. But, they never made it a requirement that you complete 5 before you move on. I think it is often more valuable to complete extra skills than to stay stuck on one forever. I like that I can now go back to any skill. I think it's a mistake that DuoLingo locks up so many skills without even letting you sample them. They don't even necessarily build on each other. Sometimes you have to unlock countries to talk about clothes. So, I think it's often worth to keep making progress.
You did the English -> Spanish tree. Now go back and do Spanish -> English! In other words, you tell Duolingo "I know Spanish" and "I want to learn English." It switches the whole dashboard to Spanish. Many of the lessons are similar, but not exactly the same; some are new, and many are in a different order. It's a little more challenging.
Abey_Marie9 is right. Read while you listen. I go to HBOL (Latin) and find movies to watch or NetFlix. It has been very helpful to learn new words, and see them used in different contexts. Movies are better and sub-titles are in sync. TV shows are normally using closed-captioning and there is a delay.
I am curious how you made it through the whole tree so fast at a level 11? What level did you get each lesson up to? I am trying to get each cluster up to level five before moving on. Just curious, because it seems like at my pace I will die of old age before finishing the tree.
Most of my skills are at level 3. Since this whole system with 5 crown levels per skill just came out a few months ago, I think everyone is trying to figure out how many levels they show go up before moving on to a new skill. When I looked at the discussion group a while back, there seemed to be a consensus that it was an individual choice based on how comfortable you felt with the topic you are studying. Some people said, for instance, that with languages very similar to their native languages, they moved on much more quickly. But, if they were learning a language with a fundamentally different alphabet or character system or a tonal system that really stretched their abilities, practicing over and over before moving on might help. I think that for me in Spanish, I would be super frustrated if I had to keep repeating things for 5 crown levels on every skill. I think there's psychological value in locking a still until you do the lessons a couple of times. But, after that, it begins to feel like a prison. Some skill have 10 lessons just to complete 1 crown level. So, you may have to complete those lessons 50 times (or more, since the requirements increase as you complete each level) to go up 5 crown levels. Now that I've completed all the skills on the tree (and earned 90 points), I can focus on things I want to get better at and I can keep increasing my levels. I'm pretty close to level 12 right now.