I took a break from Duolingo and it was good for my studying
Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been on Duolingo for the past three months-ish. Today I am back and I wanted to share my hiatus experience. I actually started my hiatus quite absent-mindedly, which is to say that I didn’t really mean to leave. It started when the Wifi in my house went down for a few days. I didn’t have access to Duolingo then and thus stopped coming on here. However, the Wifi was down for a lot longer than we’d have thought (reminisces on the depressing times). And here I have to thank my lovely queen Camille for logging in to my account everyday and keeping my streak going until it reached 150 days! Thank youuu! So even when our Wifi was finally re-established, I didn’t go on Duo for weeks and weeks and weeks. The reason was that during the days where it wasn’t possible for me to go on Duo, I had contented myself with just going over everything I had done already in regards to my language studies. I keep a language notebook in which I record all the daily lessons I do on Duolingo. P.s: writing it down is a really good way of remembering what you’ve learnt! So during the three-months-break thing, I only revised, without learning even so much as a new word...And that was probably the best thing I ever did. I think that once you reach a certain amount of knowledge, you should stop learning and start revising for a little while. Because we all know that with time, our knowledge starts to degrade and our brain discards some information to make room for more. I really recommend taking some time to only strengthen and while I was doing this, I sometimes felt like I was learning something for the first time even though I had already done it before! Which shows how quickly you can forget.
Of course, none of this means you have to forget about Duolingo. You can just take some time off leaning and start focusing on strengthening your trees all on Duo. Also, this is just me sharing my opinions on something that worked well for me. I feel refreshed and ready to learn. Best of all, I’ve started forming sentences in Spanish!!! Eeeeek, I’m so happy! I’ve been studying spanish for 4 years and it’s only now that I’m starting to feel like overall I have done something. What can I say, sometimes the motivation you need will be found in the most unlikely, unusual place!
Also, without stressing about the need to log on daily to keep my streak going etc., I managed to focus more on school work and other things. :)
Anyways, it feels good to be back!
This is why I cringe when I hear of people whizzing through their tree at levels 1 or 2. It's so easy to think "right, I've got that stuff down" before progressing onto new stuff. It's fresh in your mind now so you don't think you'll ever forget it. But you do. Go back to that stuff in just 3 or 4 weeks time and you find yourself thinking "oh damn....what was the word for a crib.....I used to know that so well!" It's a horrible feeling to look back at things you learned weeks ago to find that you've completely forgotten them. To me it feels like I wasted my time. New knowledge is an ongoing investment that you have to keep an eye on otherwise you'll lose it.
I feel like my learning instincts are programmed to recognize this naturally. So I'll be motivated to take new stuff on board for a while, then at some point my mind realizes that it's had enough of this "effort" and so it decides to take a break by lazily going over stuff I've already learned. That's when I start using TinyCards more to reinforce vocabulary, and when I start using the Practice button more in DuoLingo.
“Oh damn, what was the word for crib...” made me laugh, I’ve had that exact inner dialogue play out many times before. I do a lot of Timed Practice to drill those vocabulary words that refuse to stick.
So do you recommend getting all skills to crown level 5 before moving on to the next?
You don't have to do it like that. There are many strategies you could use - for instance, you could work on getting one section of the tree to level 5 before moving onto the next. Or you could get two sections to level 2, then go back and get them both to level 3 and so on.
I didn't start with a set strategy. I just went down a little of the tree to level one, then went back up and got that bit to level 2 and 3 and so on. I go back and forth, building small sections of the tree up slowly. Right now I'm up to skill #46, most of them up to level 4 with the first section (the easy stuff) up to level 5. I'll spread that level 5 status slowly down the tree in time.
I'll work on different stuff according to how I'm feeling. For example, if I'm stuck in a large supermarket line and have 5 mins for some DuoLingo but I don't want to knuckle down to the hard skills which require more research and time, I'll work on leveling up some of the easier skills (almost an idle exercise with the really easy ones). If I'm at home and have a lot of free time and I'm on my desktop machine, I'll work on the harder skills.
It's nice to see you again! Welcome back!
I'm glad you got your priorities straightened out. And, I agree that taking time to review/revise what you learned is important. In terms of Duolingo, I have stopped learning new information on Romanian, as I have been more focused on review of that language. I did this after the Crowns update. Like you, I realized how much I had forgotten and it made me believe that I was rushing through the lessons. With Crowns, I have been able to retain more knowledge from the basics. So, taking time off to review is very important (I did the same for my French tree when I had to take a placement exam). Thank you for sharing your experience!
Thank you! I'm glad you saw the benefits of this too :) As I always say, it's better to have little but steady knowledge than to learn a lot which you'll forget too quickly and easily. Good luck with your language learning and studies! :D
I totally agree Faith ! I feel like some people feel the urge to rush through their trees from pure impatience. Revising skills, especially skills with lots of complicated grammar is essential.
Thanks so much (: ❤️
Yes! That's exactly what I realised, I used to rush through my trees way too fast. And thank you!
Hello, LilWaffle. I believe I joined at just about the same time that you took a hiatus. I took a little break recently, not reviewing every day, but still most days, and it certainly helped my learning! And then I forgot my password to my old account, so I had to make a new one! It helps a lot, I would definitely recommend.
(Also, Camille is the best)
Sometimes breaks are needed, you come back better and refocused and ultimately less cluttered mentally, glad to see you back around :)
The key is, you took a break from Duo but not from language learning.
PS: I cannot imagine keeping track of all those language. I have a notebook for French and am still mulling over which language to pursue as my second priority, Spanish or Italian because I couldn't manage more.
Ahh I definitely agree about writing it down and taking time out to revise! It's like it sits in there but you need time to sort through it all, glad you're back and feeling refreshed :D
With the crown system, I get level one on everything to the next checkpoint, then I practice all of those skills to a certain crown level.
When I get the next set down to the next checkpoint, I go back and work everything up to higher crown levels.