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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JRollinson

Our Crown Levels blog post is live!

Hi everyone!

Today, we published a new blog post on crown levels!

Inside, you will find:

  • Why it was time for a change
  • The research and design decisions that led to Crown Levels
  • How we designed each level
  • How Crown Levels has affected the learning experience
  • What's next for Crown Levels

We hope you enjoy!

July 11, 2018

204 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strandfloh

Thanks for the info, that was very interesting to read.

Many users have complained they are forced to make all the way through the introduction level before they can review. Did you evaluate the number of mistakes for every lesson in a skill? If yes, did the number increase significantly?

Do you plan to give the user more power to review/repeat a lesson when they want?

Edited to add:
After reading the blog post I realized why I/users still think there is too much repetition. I had expected there would be more complicated sentences in higher levels, but according to the blog post we only have to write the sentences ourselves instead of having the word bank, but we don't get more difficult material. Maybe users are disappointed?

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/merkavar

Isn’t typing out a word rather than picking a tile harder? Like the content isn’t, but the method is.

Sort of like using a calculator on a test vs working it out in your head. The question is the same but you need to know more or learn more to get the same answers.

Is it spelt science or sceince? The rule is i before e except after c right? You can’t get it wrong with a tile.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/argovela

Honestly, I think both the free-form writing exercises and the "word bank" exercises each have unique strengths. As you imply, the free-form exercises require one to learn the spelling. I've definitely found that to be very valuable.

However, I think the word bank exercises are very much underappreciated. In particular, they allow Duo to force the user to use specific vocabulary, sentence constructions, or collocations that a learner might otherwise avoid in preference to an easier or more obvious alternative.

One could cite a relevant example in every language, but sadly I haven't studied every language (sigh). As a result I'll restrict myself to an example in Portuguese (I'm only learning, so be kind :-). The Portuguese gerund (gerúndio) is formed differently in European and Brazilian Portuguese. For example:

  • (pt:br) Estou comendo
  • (pt:pt) Estou a comer

Both of these sentences translate to «I'm eating». It seems to me that in the interests of linguistic interoperability that it's perfectly reasonable for Duo to want learners to be able to understand, as well as generate both forms. The word bank exercise provides a tool to force the learner to generate a sentence using a form they might otherwise eschew.

Another perhaps more obvious example of the utility of this type of exercise is to force the learner to use -- thereby recognize and practice -- vocabulary for which an easier synonym exists.

I just thought I'd mention it. It has become a bit of a personal windmill. :-D Happy Owling.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anitramwaju

One thing that was good previously but seems to have disappeared recently (at the same time the crowns appeared?) was that when you gave a correct answer but a better one was possible it was marked correct but the better translation was displayed for information.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aelise_627

Wow! I wish they still did that. If I feel my sentence wasn't very good, I often look to the discussions to see if Duo gave a different answer there.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlhgl

I am missing that, too. It often showed a better way to tranlate a sentence. Sometimes it showed that the same word in the source language can be translated in different ways (with different meanings) into the target language. Both was helpful and interesting and helped me to get a better feeling for the language I was learning.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adder3

If you click on discussion before moving on to the next sentence you will see Duolingo's suggestion at the top. However as the English is not always better or sometimes not even good English I wouldn't dare to suggest that the Spanish is any better.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoaquinMur14

I thought that I was imagining that this feature existed! Thanks for confirming it used to be part of Duolingo. This feature was extremely valuable because, as we all know here, there's no such thing as a perfect translation. The "better translation" suggestion gave you an idea about how you might be "correct" but still a bit off. Now I have to go to the discussions to get this kind of info.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ginasem

I still get the better sentence in the answer. I use an ipad so i don’t know if that the reason. Or maybe you all are giving the best answers so it’s not telling you a better one? Like i said it gives me a better answer when i’m right but it could have been better. It seems like i hear a lot of people complaining (and i don’t specifically mean this part of the thread) about things that aren’t there but i have them and i started with the new version because i signed up about 40 days ago so i was started with the new version. So much complaining and no flexiblility to the people. It’s free and they are making changing based on a bunch of people with PhDs and with trials. They are doing what they think is best for the majority of people.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strandfloh

i signed up about 40 days ago

Which means you can't compare.

So much complaining ... It’s free

I'm on another (big) site with a similar business model: people can use the full program for free and get extra "superficial" stuff for real money. Very few people are paid, and they rely heavily on volunteers. The difference is: they listen to people, make them feel heard, no matter if you pay or not. The atmosphere is so much different!

They are doing what they think is best for the majority of people.

How do you know? They have admitted that people need longer to learn. Is that good?

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimOser

@Strandfloh When you are talking about similar business model, are you refering to one of these. https://www.owler.com/company/duolingo

The top 10 competitors in Duolingo's competitive set are Babbel, Memrise, Voxy, Rosetta Stone, Speexx, EF Education First, LingosMio, SpeakingPal, Busuu and AltSchool. Together they have raised over 389.9M between their estimated 11.7K employees.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strandfloh

@JimOser: None of these, it's not even a language app. I only compared the business model in regard to free/pay for unneeded extras; only a few paid people and many volunteers.

I guess the average age of the users there is somewhat higher than here, but there are still many young people.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

I still seem to get alternate answers, too. If there's been any change on this point, I assume it's a separate matter than the crown system. I don't see why they would be connected, and, after all, I don't really see a change. Incidentally, I don't think I've ever actually learned anything from the alternate answers I've seen, although I have seen, and continue to see, many of them. They're usually just different ways to translate "you."

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ted1935

I agree. We are getting a 600 to a thousand dollar package for free. I have wanted to learn spanish for sixty years and here it is for free. Thanks guys I am very grateful

March 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strandfloh

Isn’t typing out a word rather than picking a tile harder?

If you have a device with a touchscreen, you are right. I belong to the minority that doesn't have one though, just an old-fashioned computer. I have turned off the word bank because it is too much hassle on a desktop.

Therefore for me the hardest part is the way from level 1 to level 2 when I have to translate more into the target language. But I work very slowly through the first level (level zero? - the numbers are confusing!), writing the sentences down because I can't review them immediately, and I look up things. But that means that the higher levels aren't much more difficult for me because I've already (been forced to) put a lot of work in the skill from the beginning.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna216071

The word bank requires a lower level of knowledge in the language. One only needs to be able to recognize the correct word, whereas typing the answer requires one to recall the correct word and spelling. Recognizing a word is less difficult than recalling it. The lower crown levels should usethe word banksmore, I.e. recognition. As we progress in the skill more typing, or recall should be required to show greater proficiency.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NikkiBishop1

Yes, the word bank is great for longer words, and probably for dyslexics and people with other disabilities

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

That is such a great point!

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lizsue

It can depend on things like keyboard size - typing it out can be faster on a computer with a full-size keyboard and picking from a word bank can be faster on a web browser on a smartphone.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mkim91

That is very true

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

On the computer we only got the word bank when we got crowns, so while I do use it sometimes, it doesn't really make too much of a difference. I always try to spell new words to get them into my memory, not use the word bank. I do use it sometimes to familarize myself with words once I am learning the words through review. I don't learn all of them the first go.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aelise_627

I always try to spell new words to get them into my memory, not use the word bank.

I like that. If there is a word bank I turn it off when I'm doing Spanish so that I'll actually learn the words rather than just learning to recognize them.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gamekkeut

As to your edit: agreed, I think it was a natural conclusion, but with most material on duolingo being ‘simple’, that was not a possibility. It would have to involve more work by the contributors to push through new sentences, no?

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strandfloh

When the crowns just started, I actually saw more new sentences. They were discarded/hidden by the old system because users had made mistakes too often, and now they are no longer hidden.

Maybe that made me expect to see more material in each level?

And I don't think most material is simple, it depends a lot on the course/the contributors.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anitramwaju

The problem is that it was not necessarily because users made more mistakes that some sentences were rarely showed in the old system.

It could also be because the set of accepted answers was too narrow and users were often giving answers that were not accepted even if they were right (for long sentences the number of acceptable translations can be very large especially between more distant languages). Now some of these sentences are reappearing and you have to learn the answer Duolingo wants for them.

It's wrong to assume that if users don't give the expected answer it's because the question is hard. It can also be because the expected answer is wrong or that other answers are also right.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strandfloh

The problem is that it was not necessarily because users made more mistakes that some sentences were rarely showed in the old system.

You are right :-(. I wasn't surprised that some sentences (in English for Germans) were hidden because they were so awkward, or a correct translation was rejected. I made a lot of reports, but got no e-mail so far that my suggested translation was accepted.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MultiLinguAlex

Yes Strandfloh, it was because we received >100,000 reports per course per year. We actively worked on the reports, but the flood was too massive to deal with all of them. Therefore, we couldn't correct as many sentences as we wanted. Duolingo needs a better system to detect spam in the reports - and handling so many reports is really difficult because you normally need way more people to address all of them, but then the team itself is unmanagable because of its size, plus it has been really tough to find good contributors.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Strandfloh

Nice to see you, Alex!

I'm sorry if I offended you, that was certainly not my intention. I know you did your best when you were active here.

I also remember that at that time the courses weren't build by the contributors themselves, but that they just had to add translations for a pre-built course (correct me if I'm wrong).

I highly appreciate the work of the contributors. I couldn't do it, even if I were better at languages. I just couldn't put up with the way Duolingo treats contributors and moderators. (I was able to catch a glimpse when I was an alpha-tester.) I am not surprised when moderators or contributors quit. I'm even surprised that not more of them quit after all these changes during the last one and a half year.

I do criticize Duolingo for some decisions. I do not criticize moderators or contributors or make them responsible for things that are actually Duolingo's responsibility.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gamekkeut

Yes, the ones that came out of hiding. Not simple as in X eats Y, but there’s only so many constructions you can put into one sentence before it becomes wordy and unnatural, in my opinion. I get all the sentences that have dependent clauses within them because of where I’m at in the course, but there’s only so much you can do with lower skills.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anitramwaju

This is so wrong in so many ways…

You don't use the good metrics.

"This suggests that Crown Levels causes learners to spend more time reviewing content they have already seen, which is essential for better learning outcomes."

OK, spending time to review is essential for better learning outcomes. But you need to review the right thing at the right time or else the time spent is not really effective. The metric to use is what is learned, not the number of lessons reviewed. Maybe people are spending more time reviewing but learning less. For example, with the old system we could review the weakest words of a skill in one session but now to review the same words, we have to do many sessions with many strongest words interleaved. So yes, we do more reviews, but do we learn best? A lot of people are also probably reviewing too soon (when it's still fresh in memory). So it's easier and faster and it can encourage to do more reviews. But is it as effective for learning?

And measuring for 60 to 80 days is too short to know the effectivity on the long term. In your graph of average number of rows unlocked, we see that at the end of the 60 days it was around 15 with the old system and 13 with the new. It's not even half a typical tree.

Also, it seems that the crown scheme is heavily based on the word bank for the first levels. Which is nice feature on mobile but very cumbersome on desktop. Personally, except for Japanese, I never use it on desktop (and I'm now learning mainly on desktop). So what's maybe working well on mobile doesn't work so well on desktop.

Having said all that, I still think that the underlying idea of a gradation of the type of exercises from easier to harder, from passive to active is very good and I was waiting for it when it was announced. But unfortunately it's badly implemented.

And finally, I would like to write about what I think is another problem with many recent evolutions of Duolingo. The one fits it all approach is not working very well. It's the case between desktop and mobile but also between different publics. I think there are now many children on Duolingo and that was not the case at the beginning. What's effective for children is not necessarily effective for adults and vice-versa. But since there is no age information in the profile, your metrics are mixing these different publics. And maybe in some A/B tests, it becomes more effective for children and less effective for adults but you can't see it.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/howard10000

Absolutely right about metrics. I don't get it - the people who run Duolingo clearly aren't stupid so what is their motive for having us endlessly click through dull repetitive lessons?

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RYANDONO

I'm just going to test out of as many of the crown levels as possible. Once I have my entire tree golden, I'll just use the practice button exclusively and hope it works my weaknesses.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonMartin1

I likewise am concentrating on testing to jump to the next level.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/potatoemouse

Dispite the benefits of more typing in your target language, I couldn’t agree more with you there about the old decay metrics being much more effective. Having already finished my tree by the time crowns arrived, I had been systematically working through the tree, progressively brining all level 2 and 3 modules up a notch. But since finding duome.eu I have able to work on skills when they decay again, and my Danish has improved in leaps and bounds.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elin.7-1

Well said. Having just read the blog post, what jumped out at me is the loss of the "decaying skill" feature, something i found very useful...i enjoyed the challenge of learning new stuff by unlocking new skills whilst keeping all of my "upper" tree gilded (at full strength). A definite backwards step IMO

March 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrC314159

I’m so happy to read the plans for improvements.

I think the backlash against Crown Levels was because its rollout to long-time users was premature. Too much of the functionality that made DL an effective language-learning tool was taken away.

In particular, I’m excited for:

  1. “Adding the ability to test out each level“ (at any crown level). YES! And also, please, add the ability to repeat individual lessons (just the introductory ones). This would allow targetted revision without having to complete the whole crown level and then start the next one just to get back to the key bit. I shouldn’t need to maintain an external word list to refer to, but since crowns it’s indispensable.

  2. Strength and decay. Yes, this badly needs to come back. Fortunately the third-party duome.eu can still access the strength meter. I use this website as my DL dashboard! This helps to decide what to do next. Strength still exists internally. It just needs displaying again.

Right now, I would go back to old DL without a second’s hesitation. With just these two changes, I’d stick with Crown Levels.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ontalor

TOTALLY AGREE on 2. I use duome.eu every day also to check which skills have decayed. It's honestly my biggest complaint with Duo right now and my only remaining qualm about the crown system.

I'm actually in the A/B test group for testing out of each level, and it is such a blessing. You don't need to review the first few lessons 15 times to get to the next level because you've generally memorized the material by the time you get down the tree, so testing out of those skills is very convenient. Whereas for the later skills, you can spend more time reviewing to level up the normal way and learn the harder material that way.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/howard10000

Yes, testing out is a bit more like Duolingo used to be before they ruined it with the crown system!

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P-Code

What I use for looking at skill strengths is the Skill Strength Viewer userscript. Link: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22449961/Skill-Strength-Viewer-userscript

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dhawal.Vaghela

Strength and decay - I use the Practice button and am happy with the XPs.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BusJo
  • 1786

I would really like the word lists back with also the new words in lessons being highlighted as this really is a great benefit for learning, as well as the option to repeat individual lessons for this helps with individual problem words.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/howard10000

I remember when a not very bright colleague was asked to create an incentive scheme for house painters. As progress seemed to be proportional to how many cans of paint were used, she hit upon the brilliant idea of paying the painters according to how many cans of paint they used. Strangely enough, with the new scheme, the painters seemed to start using twice as much paint but when we looked to see how much work they had done, it was the same as before. Similarly insightful approach being taken by Duolingo to measuring the success of the crown system.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malfruemulo

This is an excellent analogy.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daKanga
Mod
  • 271

I suppose it also depends if the purpose for the incentive was to sell more paint, or to achieve more area painted ( ie volume of work ) , or achieve improved quality of the work done.

If the objective was to sell more paint in this analogy, then you college was very successful with their suggested incentive.

So , perhaps it falls back also on what you are looking for with your own language learning.

Please be aware, I am not seeking to defend the decision of Duolingo in this sub discussion here. I am interested in other peoples input and thoughts into some different aspects of the crown system.

Issues such as:
1. Engagement and fun ? Both in the short term, and for long term engagement.
2. Quality of learning. What does quality mean to you in this case ? How do you assess the quality, in your own analysis ? What do you see as the values that should be being sought to achieve this quality ?
3. Volume of engagement. ( Thought I would suggest that this criteria is best done via objective analysis, rather than subjective reporting.)

  1. Any other issues/criteria that you see as important ?
July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveUrban

Reading comprehension is key.

If you read the original post here, the goal was clearly to incentivize greater productivity from the painters. The actual system put in place, instead, incentivized wasting twice the paint to achieve something equivalent to the original situation.

The problem is not that Duolinguo users who object to the change to crown levels don't understand their own goals.

The problem is that the Duolinguo developers who rolled out crowns don't have the faintest idea how to measure actual learning, so they instead decide to prioritize and measure largely worthless busywork.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/turbofred

"From this graph, we can see that learners are progressing through the tree about 10% slower than they were before. We checked to see whether this was due to learners completing fewer lessons every day, but it turns out that learners were completing more lessons with Crown Levels! This suggests that Crown Levels causes learners to spend more time reviewing content they have already seen, which is essential for better learning outcomes."

Ouch, this is such a misleading statement. I love this language though... with enough creativity, you can make a disadvantage look like a benefit.

I'm just one person, thus no statistical example, obviously. I indeed started revising a lot more, because I wanted to be able to use timed practice again. So I had to go through endless rounds of repeating sentences again and again and again. Can I say there has been any significant improvement in my language skills? No. Has my learning process improved? No. Have I been thoroughly annoyed? Yes.

I'm not claiming the previous system was great, but this one isn't great either, to be honest. And thank god for the test-out feature, although by the time it came out, I had already grinded through the Spanish tree.

But of course, you can state that "learners spend more time reviewing content they have already seen, which is essential for better learning outcomes."

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heclayton

I lost the test-out lottery, and I'm off of Duolingo entirely until they let me test out of the crowns for stuff I know, because the only thing I used it for on my Spanish tree was speed review. I've been watching movies in Spanish and using my old textbooks to review grammar when I need to.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heclayton

Update! I can test out now. It makes such a huge difference it is not even funny. I will say I think it is silly to award equivalent amount of experience points to me for testing out, but I am not all that concerned about it

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex101100

The biggest problem I have with the new system is that I can no longer repeat individual lessons. I am forced to move on. Perhaps I'm not the smartest guy around, but I am finding it incredibly challenging to learn the Korean alphabet this way.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

I've also been struggling with the Korean alphabet. I know it's supposed to be the easiest alphabet in the world, but I think I get confused because they look so similar. Lol I went up to crown 4 before they really began to sink in. I'd recommend trying it on the website, if you can, to view the tips and notes. They are very helpful. I also very briefly (like, for an hour) supplemented my alphabet learning with a couple of other apps, and the repetition helped tremendously. My experience was, "Impossible. Impossible. Impossible. Maybe. Nope, impossible. Wait... Oh, I get it!!!" I struggled SO much, and then it just clicked. Keep at it! You'll get it!

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alex101100

Thanks for the encouragement! I'll give some other apps a shot for the alphabet learning portion.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gryphowl

I will always get confused with the Korean alphabet, every time I get them mixed up and - to be honest - I have no hope with it let alone the language itself, look at my profile - do you see Korean there - NO!

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

Lol But I believe in you, Gryphowl! I'm a fan of the Hangul apps by TenguLogi and Hilarious Nakashima (this one is fun, like boxing), but there are several good ones.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lil_dwyer

I struggle with the alphabet too.

August 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josiahkeller

You have the colors for level 3 & 4 mixed up in the post. Level 3 is red, and level 4 is orange.

crowns_skill_progression.png

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JRollinson

Nice catch! We just updated the image. Let us know if you find anything else!

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daKanga
Mod
  • 271

Thank you VERY MUCH for this ! It also helps us teams who are working on content to get some ideas and directions from the sharing of this research and design decisions.

I have also added this to my list of "Interesting Posts" to be reported on for next weeks WIS :D

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

Hi Lindakanga! This is off topic, but in addition to being unbelievably patient and kind, you always have such insightful posts. Do you have a collection of "interesting posts" that you could share beyond what you'll be adding to next week's WIS? I bet you have a lot of good resources.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daKanga
Mod
  • 271

umm WOW zanzaboonda ! Thank you for this compliment.

I have also noticed the very positive influence you have in these halls of language learning.

I am constantly making lists of things, and I am intending to in the not too distant future to rewrite all my string of posts in what I often refer to as the "Learning Loom" and embellish them.
The link to this is also in the header post of the WIS.

I would like to encourage others to create their own links to grammar references they find beneficial for their language.

When we link resources, we also make them more accessible for ourselves, and it is good to also share these resources with others.

I also have some other ideas of posts in the pipeline. And some of them are concerning ideas for Hosting events, that I would like to get feedback on as well.

Thank you again for the all the influential interactions you have for the benefit of our language learning community Zanzaboonda !

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

Ah, fabulous resource, as I knew it would be. Thanks! And truly, you are one of the most memorable mods - for all of the right reasons.

I would absolutely love to discuss event ideas with you! I've been experimenting this month and am always open to trying new things. I'm also pretty involved in the events program in general. Let's get in touch!

Thanks for always being amazing. You are definitely an inspiration!

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gryphowl

I've always been inspired by the moderators of Duolingo but lindakanga, Usagiboy and Lrtward have inspired me the most, out of all of the wrongly categorised or spammed posts - they awlays seem to be there and that is a great moderator, if there are any new moderators in Duolingo I would advise them to look up to them and be inspired as they are excellent role-models, well done and keep up the good work!

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

One of our main focus areas is finding ways to guide learners based on their past sessions and experience

Please do find a way to re-incorporate spaced-repetition into how Duolingo suggests the next skill to review. This is the most crucially-important aspect of the whole endeavour. Increased engagement and more reviewing are meaningless if they are not happening in a manner that targets retention in the long-term memory.

If I might make a suggestion: a very simple way in which you could do this would be to vary the colour of the small crown icons on the bottom right of each skill to reflect the strength of the skill as it used to be shown. This would not affect the crown-level system in any way but would be very helpful in suggesting what learners should next practise.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cambarellus

This is my main problem with the new system. I know I'm not learning as much long term because I'm not going back and reviewing at the right time. I try to go back periodically to all lessons- but there is no easy way to tell what needs to be done.

I know duome has such features, but it really should be part of Duolingo.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngeCI
  • 1236

I think the most important feature I want it back is the word list. After this big mess, I find it more difficult to remember new words without the word lists. Someone might suggests duome.eu, but it seems that it only provides part of the word lists, not the full ones. I want access to the full word lists.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Macossay

The changes give the impression that Duo is copying the techniques that on-line gaming designers use to keep people playing. But game designers just want people to play. They aren't trying to teach them anything. Thus I'm skeptical about a metric that shows people are doing more lessons but learning more slowly.

When Duo was rolled out it made a big deal about spaced repetition. Crown levels seemed to have disposed of spaced repetition (I'm on crown level 3 working through 4). Did Duo decide spaced repetition is not important?

"With the previous interface, learners knew that skills needed to be reviewed when they were no longer gold. Now that skills don't go gold until all levels are completed, we no longer provide that signal to learners. This means that learners can become confused over what they should do next. One of our main focus areas is finding ways to guide learners based on their past sessions and experience."

The users should not be confused about what to do next. Duo should have a learning system that explains what to do next, and why. Instead Duo gives the impression it no longer knows how to teach a language. It may be more "fun" than Pimsleur or Berlitz, but are Duo's programmers confident that it's a good way to learn?

Okay, Duo introduced crown levels. What is the optimum way to use them? Go through the whole tree lesson by lesson until you've reached the next crown level for the tree? Go through the tree skill by skill until you've reached the next crown level for the tree? Keep at each skill until you've reached level 5, then go to the next one? Why do we still have checkpoints and is there any meaning to them? Is there any connection between XP levels and crown levels, and if so, what is it?

The CEFR (Common European Framework for Languages) has six levels, with each level corresponding to a different degree of proficiency. Does each of Duo's Crown Levels correspond to an increased degree of proficiency? If so, how is it measured?

I realize that many people do not use Duo because they want to learn a language. They just want the fun of challenging their brains, accumulating points, and participating in an on-line community. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I'd like to know I'm actually learning Italian and not just spinning my wheels.

We have maxim in my job: "People don't want Change. They do want Improvement." I'm not opposed to the crown system. But I'd be happier if I knew that it is a better way to learn and how to take advantage of it. So far, Duo is giving the impression that it doesn't know the answer to those questions either.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

I actually just replied to the comment above yours with some information you might find interesting. Also, in the Crowns FAQ (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26739837), they mention SRS.

What about spaced repetition? How do I know what to practice next? This is something we are actively working on. There’s a lot of choice with this new system, and though some learners love that choice, others prefer recommendations for what to do. We are gathering lots of data on current usage to try to make an intelligent system that suggests the right next steps for each learner. This will take some time, but it’s really important to us.

In the meantime the practice button is always there, which takes your weakest words into account when choosing what you should practice. Our community has also shared great suggestions for what works for them. Personally, I learn new content until I feel overwhelmed, then go back and level up skills to practice and get more comfortable with things.

So, I'd say they are actively working on it. :)

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmalieB39

I use the Practice button daily to challenge myself, but it can't present very much that I'm weak in. We really need to be able to select what level of difficulty in a skill to review.

In the system before Crowns, it was easy to review something I knew I was weak in, because I could go back to the basics in a skill. Now I have no choice but to keep plowing forward in a skill, when what I need is to temporarily step back. Eventually, I still learn what I need to, but it's a lot more stressful and time-consuming than it used to be.

For me, Duolingo is no longer very enjoyable. I'm staying with it, but it's become a drudgery. I so hope the things that worked well get re-implemented for those of us who are here to seriously learn a language. Surely the intent wasn't to frustrate us, but that's what's happened.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ProfesorAntonnio

Please consider adding a grading test after reaching out level 5.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marghvran

An interesting example of the selective use statistics to present one side of a case. You write clear English but the unremittingly positive tone tends to suggest insincerity. Devices such as humility and self deprecation would help you appeal to a wider readership. The piece will be useful to advanced students of English as an example American corporate whitewash.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

Many learners, especially the old ones, complain about too many repetitions of easy phrases. The point is to always have the feeling that you win something, whatever it is.

It also needs a motivation to use the "Practice" button.

The issue of testing is also important.

What is the road map that Duolingo suggests with the new language acquisition system? Many learners feel free but also detuned in a tree with so many levels. It needs some guidance, imho.

In fact Crown system is a new method to approach language learning.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

Now I have 3 ways of doing things:

  1. learn new content

  2. review old content

  3. cement it with crowns

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TedSandila

I'm sorry but you can interpret statistics any way you like. I have a one year streak so I am not one of your first 7 or 30 day users so I feel comfortable saying what this change has done for me. 1. I am not learning anymore. I am going through the motions. I'm playing a game of logical guessing and using the word blocks rather than typing in Russian.

  1. I am doing the minimum 1 lesson per day of this forced progression just to keep the streak alive.

  2. I am indeed spending more time. I am cutting and pasting the answers from the discussion page into a text document so I can paste it back when the question is repeated for the umpteenth time.

  3. I am also cutting and pasting every new word into a massive, messy text document with the hope that I can make some sense out of the new lesson.

What was great about Duolingo before was the ability to progress at my own pace. I would repeat the lessons as frequently as I needed to ensure I understood the content. That ability has been taken from me. I miss the lesson word list in the tips and notes. I used that as a handy reference to identify what I was supposed to learn in each lesson. In fact the tips and notes section seems to be far less valuable - it is certainly shorter.

I am not going to quit however. I want to learn and I will somehow find a way to work around this terrible change. At the moment I plan to blast through each lesson at level 1, then force a practice session on every skill at level 1. Maybe that will work. Maybe I will just reset and start again at the beginning. Either one of those will make the statistics look good, but my actual rate and quality of learning has drastically decreased.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveUrban

I feel about the same. I had completed the German tree and had been practicing it for probably the better part of a year before crowns were rolled out. But just trying to figure out what of all the tiers of lessons to practice after the change was too annoying. And everything I did try to practice was overly simple, focusing on only a couple words or phrases per lesson, rather than requiring me to use the full content of the full lesson.

So I just stopped practicing German entirely.

Now, reading this blog post, it seems that I need to grind through a ton of pointless, overly-simplified repetitions, just to get back all of the content that I could practice before the change to crowns. Basically, I have to grind out "lessons" that largely fail to include any real challenging practice, just so that I can get back the content that I had access to beforehand. What is the point of that?

I have been continuing with Mandarin and Japanese (both of which I had started before the change). But I've just been doing the bare minimum there. And I've only been treading water, only practicing the skills I've already learned. If I remember correctly, I've only done one or two new lessons (not a full skill, just the first lesson or two within one skill) since the switch.

This blog post makes me think (and I say this as someone who has advanced degrees in and experience in teaching language) that Duolinguo really just needs to hire some people who actually understand language education. Not just engineers, statisticians and "education" school graduates.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlhgl

I don't use the word bank on my desktop computer, because it is too cumbersome on a desktop computer without a touchscreen. For me it is so much easier and faster to type on the keyboard than to use a mouse for things like this.

But after reading through the blog post I think it may make sense to use the word bank in Level 0 and 1 even on a desktop computer. If only there was an easier way to select the tiles ...

What if the tiles could be selected by just typing the first letter(s) of the word until it is clear which tile is meant? Or by using numbers to select the tiles?

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

Yes, please give us some sort of keyboard shortcuts for tile selection exercises! Probably using numbers, I'd suspect, because they're so common for character matching exercises in languages like Chinese and Japanese.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cambarellus

Funny thing is, this would feel natural too.

I can't count how many times I've started typing when the word bank was on the screen.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Langmut

You say that level 3 is all about listening. But listening can be switched off. What sort of exercises do I get in that case?

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/French_n_Swedish

"Surprisingly, researchers have yet to find a point at which a task is so easy that it is boring."

They didn't do their research on humans then did they...

Seriously, chickens don't get bored when something is easy. We're not chickens. Or rats... or whatever the heck they did their research on.

A royal update...? In Australia we'd call this a royal f***up...

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yottskry

" In Australia we'd call this a royal f***up..."

They should offer an Australian language course. It's such a rich and beautifully blunt language :D

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thisismypotato

There are a lot more repetitions now than there were before. Sometimes when I level up, I get four sentences with the same sentence three times in a row.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galdr9000

The test out functionality is horribly broken, at least, for German. The test out questions for a given section are not representative of the overall content of the section.

Example: The Animals test out questions were almost exclusively "Der Hund und die Katze"/"The dog and the cat". Stating this another way, for a given Animals test to level up the section, 80% to 90% of the questions were a "The dog and the cat" question. There's significantly more content in the Animals section than that phrase. Test out questions for other sections are similarly focused on only one or two items.

This feature should not have been rolled out in this state. Please fix this!

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cazort

I agree, and I think this is a chronic problem showing up over and over again across the site.

Over the past year or so Duolingo has had a consistent history of launching new features without adequately testing them. I saw it over and over again. They added new male voices (great idea) to several languages and in doing so broke the slow audio in all these languages and even other languages.

They rolled out crowns and broke spaced repetition.

They're continually launching new features like stories, podcasts...all of which are great ideas...but they're doing this while they're allowing their core product to languish.

And then there is stuff like Swahili...launched without audio and then basically abandoned. Vietnamese is also in a sorry state. None of the East Asian languages launched anywhere near the level of the core courses.

I wish the Duolingo team would stop trying to do so much and focus on trying to do their core stuff well. Personally I wish they would even ditch the mobile apps -- I think it is taking valuable time and resources away from their core product -- which is a responsive web app anyway that, IMHO works better on mobile than the apps anyway.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mohammad606153

"We hope you enjoy!" I really did NOT enjoy from your blog post and the new system I hate that I can't see the words and I can't review a lesson after I done it. It's so simple just revert to old version in your version controller and everyone will be so HAPPY. I'm learning japanese in your app and it is so HARD that I can't review a lesson because I forget alphabet.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvain2015

I am enjoying the Crown levels quite a bit. Repetition is really helping me solidify my learning. And I seem to need LOTS of repetition!

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EverPrism

I have used Duo in the past. So I have seen the old way.

I love the crown levels! I also must admit... I like that the strength meter isn't here. The idea of it decaying just stresses me out and makes me feel forced to go back and review.

I like that I can review when I want to now, I also don't have to either leave one to decay if I feel like I have already grasped that section or feel forced to go though something I already know. I may go back to it again if I feel I need to, but I can be the judge of that now.

The crown levels are really nice too, because it makes it easy to grasp the new words without having to immediately remember how to spell them. Then I go though more and I start to memorize them without any trouble by the time it asks me to type them myself.

I also like that I can go on and learn new content before I go back to review the older content, because sometimes I just need that bit of new info to keep me motivated!

My only issue at the moment is that crowns don't seem to be part of the windows 10 app? I love that app, but I can only seem to do the crown levels on the website.

My point over all: I love crown levels!

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yottskry

"My point over all: I love crown levels!"

I just... can't understand this. They offer nothing and remove lots! The fading skills paradigm is the biggest loss, and Crowns has done nothing to replace that. I'm sorry, but I just don't understand how Crowns are better.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cambarellus

The crowns aren't better for US- they're better for Duolingo.

Spaced Repetition is proven scientifically to be effective. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that the large number of people who only stick around a month will see as many ads as possible in that time.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZaheerA.

Her point was that seeing and constantly trying to keep up with the fading skills was stressful to her. With crowns at least you can go at your own pace, you don't need to panic over the sudden decay of 5-6 skills in one day, which has happened to me a lot and is very frustrating, it makes you either go into overdrive fixing it, or just give up. I have left duolingo twice and I think this is the longest I've stayed (ps: streaks aren't reliable for bad internet locales)

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martino600641

By testing out of a skill further down the tree does it still automatically level you up on the basic skills further up the tree?

I liked that on practice you could get a double (or even triple) whammy by going up a level on different units because of the vocabulary used.

Basically, I'm hoping that after strengthening some advanced grammar topics to 5 I don't have to go right back up and start testing out of 'basics'

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/speising

no. that'd reduce user retention.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susu581980

I love the new levels and the material on them. The only thing I can see that needs improving is the ability to repeat the lower levels of an exercise. The first time I go through I am using my short term memory. It It takes several repeats before my long term memory kicks in. I would like it, if when you clicked on the exercise, you were given a choice of the level sequence that you wanted to work on.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cazort

I hate the way even the blog post is mobile-centric. It's like you're leaving web users, who are most of the people most serious about learning a language, in the dust.

This is yet another thing the staff and management have been doing recently that is reinforcing the idea that I, as a user, don't matter to them.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/argovela

Cazort, may I ask what you believe are the primary advantages to the browser interface over the apps? TIA :-)

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nickbii

Can't speak to the Android experience, but iOS is plagued by this horrible "lives" thing. You get five of the damn things. Every question you get wrong takes a life away. They take five hours to re-appear.

To be fair, the lives only apply to new lessons, but if you're increasing your crown level that's a new lesson; so going from Crown Level 2 to Crown Level 3 in a day on iOS will probably take all your lives. They you either have to do a strengthening lesson to get a life back, or go away for 25 hours because 5 lives * 5 hours = 25 hours. My iOS also does not have a test-out feature. So you actually have to do 45 lessons to get to Crown Level 5 on numerous Romanian-language skills.

There's also no access to the forum from the iOS app, which means that the numerous helpful people on the Swedish forum who explain precisely how/why they chose to translate this sentence this way don't exist on iOS.

The Android app definitely lacks the hateful "lives" feature, but it probably lacks the test-out feature, and testing-out is the only thing that makes getting to Crown Level 5 in certain lessons tolerable. I doubt it has access to the forum.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveUrban

Actually, what the lives applies to appears to vary depending on which language you are studying. For example, I don't lose levels ever in Japanese. But in Mandarin I regularly lose levels and sometimes even get locked out just doing work on crown levels. The most frustrating part is that about half the time I lose a level, it's not because I got the question wrong, but because the people running the course couldn't be bothered to include all the idiomatic English translations in their acceptable answer bank.

If they haven't finished programming the course, forcing users to get stuck with lost lives is just wrong. I'm happy to contribute in the form of pointing out when my answer is essentially identical to the "correct" one (and I've gotten quite a few "We now accept this translation" emails due to that), but being locked out because of that sort of oversight is not a good feeling.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marghvran

I think you're right. The quality of Duolingo language material is very variable and occasionally poor.

It's interesting that DL is effectively very secretive about course content. You can't just go to any point on the tree and check what the questions would be. You have to work your way through the entire course to assess its quality.

I have an old book, written in 1938, called "Teach Yourself German". I can turn to any page of this book and try an exercise. I can, if I choose, look at the final chapter and see where the course is going to. I'm free to use the material in any way, or to review the content before starting the course.

So why are DL so anxious to control the way that users learn? Why do they conceal the course content from beginners? Why does a free course provide less freedom to learn than an 80 year old book? Are they hiding something?

Following the April 2018 redesign, I now follow Duolingo it purely out of curiosity about its dysfunctional corporate culture.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

You can test out on Android.

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gamekkeut

Very nice rundown of the goings-on behind the scenes. Thanks for some insight into the ‘numbers’, I feel a bit better knowing that you all can back up what you say! Overall, it’s not a surprise. I know I am definitely using Duolingo more consistently than I was three months ago.

Changing the number of lessons in later levels

Teaching the words and grammatical concepts in multiple contexts in later levels

You all delivered on the test-outs (much thanks), and I am excited to see how these next two objectives come to fruition, especially concerning the dynamic lesson counts. I don’t see myself going through an entire round past Level 2 in a lot of instances, because it does get to be so tedious. If those change based on prior performance, I’ll be more motivated to continue on ‘naturally’.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lovele4rnin-

Thanks for this Duo! Enjoying the crowns a lot!

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickCostley

I swear I am the only one who liks the new versioin.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nickbii

I don't mind the crowns. I do mind that I can no longer see which words need strengthening without resorting to a third-party-site (duolingome.eu). Spaced repetition is a thing that works really well, if you have some mechanism to tell people that now is the time to repeat that lesson. I also hate that their new Spanish tree nuked 25% of the progress I made overnight, and also took my golden owl away.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MasterZsword

You're not the only one; I as well love Crowns. I think it's just that the people who don't like Crowns are more vocal. No one knows if they are the majority or not.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dhawal.Vaghela

people who don't like Crowns are more vocal

A huge understatement. More like they're crashing down the whole world.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cambarellus

I don't like Crowns, and I think they're a little disingenuous in their explanation of WHY they switched to crowns. (it's not that we learn more- spaced repetition is proven to be reliable; it's that they get to show more ads to the multitudes of people who only come for a short period of time).

That said, I recognize that the crown system isn't the end of the world, and that they might be able to build spaced repetition into it too- and things will probably improve over time.

Crowns aren't the end of the word- I just think, for me, and for most people, it's less effective for learning. But, if it keeps Duolingo solvent and able to keep offering their product online, it is a good thing.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MasterZsword

How do you know most people find Crowns ineffective for learning? I'm just wondering, that's all.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gryphowl

They are being more vocal because they are complaining about it while the people who like it aren't with it or are doing the lessons.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buck72

Thank you for creating this post! So often, it helps to have a little information regarding DL happenings and some future plans for the website. While I realize plans change, posting a little information now and then really creates a bit of anticipation and maybe, just maybe cuts down on the posts that appear what seems like every 15 or 20 minutes or so saying the same thing.

July 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewHal4550

'With the previous interface, learners knew that skills needed to be reviewed when they were no longer gold. Now that skills don't go gold until all levels are completed, we no longer provide that signal to learners. This means that learners can become confused over what they should do next. One of our main focus areas is finding ways to guide learners based on their past sessions and experience' - Can you please make this your priority in your next update rather than anything else?

The easiest way to do this would be for each crown level to become gold once complete and then give the option to the student of allowing it to decay or going to the next level (which wouldn't be golden).

This would allow Duo to offer more content while allowing a spaced repetition algorithm to be re-introduced on a skill level by level basis.

A few other users seem to have a similar idea:

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26885612

https://www.reddit.com/r/duolingo/comments/8c0ikb/two_simple_ways_to_make_the_crown_system_more/

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

Love the owl juggling crowns.

It would be handy if we could have an option when we get to level 5 in crowns where we select whether we would like to review the material. And how often we would like to do that ourselves or using the old Duolingo algorithim for practice. This would be just what we need to show us if we need to strengthen something if we wish too, and it would be optional just like crowns are optional. And we can test out if we wish to get to level 5. I think this would be better than the old strengthen.

Please, Duolingo!

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KimW449271

I'm really puzzled because I currently find all my introduction levels have the exercises mentioned as only happening at much higher crown levels. I'm doing it on a desk top if that effects things.

For instance in the introduction exercises I've just done for Routines 2, there were many listening exercises, which, according to the blog post should only be occurring at review level 3.

It's really making it quite a chore, because when I do a new skill there's a lot of new vocab, so I usually get all the listening exercises wrong the first few times. As sometimes there's been 5 or 6 of them in a test, then it's hard to remember what the exact words are so it takes me quite a few rounds of getting them wrong until I finally remember some, which then means I have less to try and remember as I repeat the incorrect ones again.

Am I encountering a bug, or am I doing something wrong somehow?

I only started a month ago, so this crown system is the only way I've ever known it. i just wish I was having the intro exercises as described in the blog, as it's making progressing down the tree much more challenging - it's much easier for me to progress the earlier skills to higher levels than it is to do a new skill at intro level.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/potatoemouse

I’m not sure, as I finished my tree before they introduced crown levels, but I think that they do give you all types of exercise at each level. It is just that there are fewer listening exercises at the earlier levels

There is a way to turn off listening exercise, at least on the web and the ipad app. On the web version you can either:

Click the button at the bottom left that says “can’t listen now” when you get a listening exercise.

Or, click your user name at the top right of the screen. Click settings, and then turn off the speaker.

On the ipad app you should see a smiley face in the center of the bar at the bottom. Tap that, then tap where it says ‘settings’ at the top right. You should then be able to scroll down and switch off the listening exercises.

I imagine there is something similar in the settings bit of the android app too. Hope that helps :)

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KimW449271

Thanks, I might try the "Can't listen now" at least for the intro levels, which seems to include more listening for me than the later levels.

My husband seems to get only the occasional listening activity in his intro levels, so I do still wonder if it's misbehaving for me.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RauleEstobar

Ok, great we have a new system. But please explain: how we should go about using it.

Firstly, how many Levels are there? In the blog it talks about four (4) Levels, but this is wrong and in actual fact there are more - in one comment it stated there were thirteen (13) Crown Levels.

*** So how do we work the Crown Levels:
Should we look at all the topics (in my case, say, 50 Topics) and bring all the Topics up to Crown Level 1. Then, go through and bring them up to Crown Level 2. Then keep repeating the process all the way up to Level 13 or whatever is the Top Crown Level.

Or, should we start with the first topic (normally called Basic 1) and work with it until you reach Crown Level 13 or whatever is the Top Crown Level. After which you move on to the second Topic and work it, also to the Top Crown Level. Then you repeat the process and move to the next Topic work it to the Top Crown Level and so on and so forth.

I do have a complaint with this 'Test Out' button. On my system it is of little to no value, as it will only allow you to move one topic, up one (1) level at a time. Before the update I had completed 80% of the topics - now with this new system, I would have less than 30% of topics on Level 1 (or higher).

Talk about being gutted! I am somewhat disillusioned with this new system and what is ahead for me to get up to date.

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

A point of clarification. There are five crown levels for each skill - one introduction and four review; these are what the article is referring to. I think you might be confusing the number of lessons in each skill (which vary) with the number of crown levels.

You can work the tree however you like. Some people have come up with some pretty unique ways to do it. The crown system gives you some flexibility. Here are some suggestions (check out the comments, too!): https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26867129 and https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27811599. I will say, though, that I wouldn't recommend blasting through each skill to five crowns before moving on, unless you really need to work on that skill or it's super easy for you. I am trying to bring all mine up to the same level, for the most part, then go back through the tree. But you get to decide how you want to approach it. :)

I think also that you may have just gotten the new Spanish tree, as well. (Mine just came in a couple of hours ago!) This is separate from the crown and test-out features. I know that might be confusing. I got a message that said they added 58 new skills, and they did! Now I have to go through those before I get my golden owl back. Lol But I'm really enjoying it so far.

Hang in there! Some of the changes might require some adjustments, but I personally love what they've done so far. I know some will disagree with me, and that's okay, but I'm learning, engaging, and remembering SO much more.

Find what works best for you, and I'm sure you'll do great. :)

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chinesedigger

I lost many crown levels (from 171 down to 140) when it was switched at the beginning of June. Even the crown level does not really mean much, it is still annoy to be decreased.

The new courses have new vocabularies and I like to learn more. I would rather have more levels and less courses for each level. So you can feel that you accomplish something instead of taking so long to up a level.

Luckily I completed the tree before it was switched; otherwise, I don't know if I would finish the tree or not.

July 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yuleima_O

My first comment is that I would had like that Duolingo would had advised us (USERS) about the change of the platform with an advised time schedule. It had will be a nice and simple way to alert people. It was really rude and impolite to find suddenly with all the platform changed with just an update of the application. I was waiting more of the new Crown Levels. I supposed that new levels will had bring more new, longer and difficult sentences with advanced vocabulary. No just the same sentences of always classified by different kinds of exercises. If a have read and reread the same sentence again and again it doesn't matter if I have to hear, write or translate it. I think it doesn't make me to learn more. It is just a way to re pass what I already had learned. I always noted before the change to Crowns that when you gave a correct answer but a better one was possible it was marked correct but the better translation was displayed for add knowledge. I will love more pronunciation exercises because it is maybe the best way to speak the language while we are learning. I felt it was a real challenge to keep in gold all the lesson to reach the Tree Duolingo Trophy. So I can say then I had finished my tree in any language. May I have a suggestion for you: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond Duolingo Trophy for finished all Crown in each Level (1, 2, 3 and 4) or maybe for have getting a determinate percentage of Total Crowns of the tree (25%, 50%, 75% and 100%).
I would like to also ask for addition of more levels an sentences in Bonus Skills Level, for example There are lots of idioms that can be added to Idioms Slot and they are so useful when you want to speak or understand another language (another culture). I want to thanks for the recently addition of Test Out of Level. It help a lot with that languages we have already a previous knowledge. I really love Duolingo and I thanks you all a lot for have keeping it completely free. There are lot of applications for learn languages, but they don't have all the different languages that Duolingo have or they are free only partially and to enjoy all the platform you must began to pay in some point. I accept the needed of we to view ads so it support the application. I live in Venezuela and it is impossible to me to pay even if I enjoy it a lot. Keep working so well Duolingo Staff.

July 12, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Perhaps the increase in progress is caused by people freaking out and burning themselves out trying to level up in the early days rather than authentic motivation?

    July 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ferid1453

    I hope you would have just allowed us to be able to switch back, the current system is working super well for me and I'm learning a lot, but I joined about 2 weeks after the update;I want to try what old system looked like

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TinyKitties

    I am so pleased with the new crown system. I created an alternate account to see what it is like starting from nothing. So thankful that Duolingo is getting better & better. Thank you for still keeping Duo free!

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hollyleaf___

    they obviously made this because people had so many complaints

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/corinnerl

    My Spanish tree used to be golden. Then the new system with 5-levels was introduced and most of my skills got set back to 1 or 2 and I started to bring them up to 4 or 5. But day before yesterday most of my skills got set back to 0. Now there is no indication that I had ever completed all of the skills. Why is this?

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrahamWarr

    corrinnerl: I suspect that your tree has been updated to a newer version. You now have 113 skills. How many did you have before? In another post just now, psieger seems to have noted a similar "problem".

    Duolingo could solve a lot of its problems with user dissatisfaction and confusion by better (some?) communication of changes. Is there anywhere where the status and content of the various language trees are described?

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngeCI
    • 1236

    Agree. There should be an option for users to learn the new words/skills without disturbing the old skills.

    July 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nickbii

    They redid the tree. and it's changing over for everyone, but the change-over is slow. Mine happened about a week ago. I went from 199 Crown Levels to 150, and lost my golden owl.

    I haven't done a single lesson of Spanish since.

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ayyu14

    I miss the bot chat/conversations! It helped me a lot in my French writing skills! Please bring it back!

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40ShadesOfGreen

    From this graph, we can see that learners are progressing through the tree about 10% slower than they were before. We checked to see whether this was due to learners completing fewer lessons every day, but it turns out that learners were completing more lessons with Crown Levels! This suggests that Crown Levels causes learners to spend more time reviewing content they have already seen, which is essential for better learning outcomes.

    Not necessarily. I spend more time reviewing the content because Duolingo disabled the option to repeat individual lessons in a skill so it is more difficult for me to learn now. I tend to forget and confuse new words because I have to get through all later lessons in the skill before I am finally able to get back to them and practise them.

    Maybe I am simply not clever enough but learning 30 or more new words before I master the first 6 or 7 has never worked for me. Sorry. I appreciate your work but remember that statistics can often be misleading.

    July 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/speising

    Wow, talk about double-talk! progressing slower despite doing more exercises is just about the direct opposite of what we, as learners, want from an eficient teaching method. but that was only to be expected after abandoning the proven advantages of SRS.

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Dolovic

    Progressing slower the tree, not the learning. Reviewing helps to fix what we have learned.

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40ShadesOfGreen

    Progressing slower the tree, not the learning. Reviewing helps to fix what we have learned.

    Not mindless reviewing though.

    And please note that we are not allowed to review individual lessons in a skill anymore. How is this supposed to help with the learning?

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tedyvg94

    There is still the timed and normal practise. I use those to review. Is there a difference between them and what got removed?

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40ShadesOfGreen

    There is still the timed and normal practise. I use those to review. Is there a difference between them and what got removed?

    Yes. A huge one.

    Each skill (e.g. Family or Prepositions) consists of 1-10 lessons. Every lesson introduces a bunch of new words. In the past you could repeat each of them separately, as often as you required.

    Now you are presented with e.g. 8 new words in the first lesson and then you cannot review them anymore because you are forced to do the next lesson and deal with the next 8 new words, then the next 8 and the next and the new vocabulary starts to pile up and when you get to the 5th or 8th lesson in the skill, you forget what was in that first one.

    It does NOT help with the learning. It makes the learning more difficult and less effective.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiChi715136

    Exactly. It's like teaching kids to pterodactyl before they even know the first half of the alphabet.

    July 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/speising

    and if it is already fixed? the point is that the new system is completely inflexible. the users' individual strengths and speeds are not considered in any way.

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiChi715136

    Yes, it is impossible to learn at your own pace here.

    July 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ISpeakAlien

    Duolingo seems to be trying to slow down users' progress in its courses. That is not how you make an effective language learning service.

    The crown system certainly slows down progress, which Duolingo stated, like 40ShadesOfGreen said. I would like an explanation for why Duolingo makes features that it specifically says slow down learning.

    The health system also slows down learning! At least I primarily use the website, so I don't have to deal with that.

    The inability to skip skills is another problem. Since when is it an indisputable fact that in Spanish, one must first learn about travel in order to learn about shopping? I have had to deal with this problem when taking placement tests. If you don't know (or you misspell) how to say something like "I eat the apple", but you can say "The dog lay down on the floor", then you would not be able to test out of even one single skill. What is wrong with you, Duolingo?

    Duolingo claims that endless repetition of already-learned-and-mastered skills in a language is the best way to learn. I (and probably many other users) disagree. I prefer to learn by learning large amounts of grammar at the beginning, and then learning vocabulary. I think greetings and similar things should not be in more than two skills per course.

    I'm pretty sure that all of these things could be fixed very easily. I can't wait to have a better Duolingo!

    July 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

    You want loads of grammar up front. I do not think that is anything like a majority viewpoint. Don't conflate "slower progress in starting new skills" with "slower learning." There is a great tendency, reduced with the crown system, to rip through trees too quickly for retention. One finds people mentioning running into this problem quite commonly. Of course there are also people who review well-learned skills more than they ought to because of the "cult of the golden skill," but that was never a particularly reasonable course of action and, in any case, has been largely attenuated by the introduction of the crown quiz-out system.

    Since when is it an indisputable fact that in Spanish, one must first learn about travel in order to learn about shopping?

    Sure, it's not. But why is it an indisputable fact that one must learn about shopping before travel? One must order things in some way. Travel is certainly not an unfamiliar early topic in foreign language curricula. Three of the first words I learned in Russian, from a very traditional textbook, were "passport," "suitcase," and "customs."

    July 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

    I think it's also worth mentioning that although the topics don't necessarily build upon one another, a lot of times there are grammatical concepts built into the skills that are.

    July 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IG88
    • 2448

    This. Not being able to practice individual skills in a lesson is the most annoying thing about the new system, and, for me personally, probably the worst design change since I've been using Duolingo.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

    duome.eu offers a few ways to review. For instance, at https://duome.eu/IG88/practice choose a lesson name in the list at the bottom, or a little symbol that looks like a dumbbell to the right. It is a third-party site, but the data is from Duolingo.

    Agreed that the inflexible, lockstep, mindless way the crown system is presented was a ginormous step backwards. It's too bad, as the ability to do more translations into the target language is a good idea, espec. for languages without a reverse tree.

    However, in a weak attempt to be fair, I will say that I have not tried the crown system ab initio with a language that is completely new to me. Who knows? Maybe it's great for that, although it doesn't seem likely.

    July 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40ShadesOfGreen

    duome.eu offers a few ways to review. For instance, at https://duome.eu/IG88/practice choose a lesson name in the list at the bottom, or a little symbol that looks like a dumbbell to the right. It is a third-party site, but the data is from Duolingo.

    Thanks, but you are referring to the skills practice and I believe IG88 was referring to individual lessons in a skill, not skills in a lesson (which would not be possible because a lesson is a part of a skill).

    As mentioned before, the option to review separate lessons in a skill was disabled with the appearance of crowns.

    July 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

    You're welcome. And you are right. But what I suggested is all that we have now, and it seems a little better, to me at least, than just going along w/ the sequence imposed by the crown system. Also, using the dumbbells for practice at least allows somewhat selective review before level 5.

    July 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40ShadesOfGreen

    Actually, I've found a better solution for myself: the Win10 app and an outdated version of the Android app. Neither has crowns so now I can repeat each and every lesson whenever I want to! :D

    Many thanks to @Andresb_UY, who suggested this workaround a while ago: No crowns? Yes and it is easy.

    I only wish I had done this earlier!

    July 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ronkisimo

    I progress slower because when I use the app i run out of health and now choose to do review instead of watching ads to get health. usually choose to use the web. even though I dislike the health review is good. duolingo still rocks

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/witchstitchwhich

    I don't understand what you mean by health? Is there some sort of limit to how much you can learn on the app? I've not experienced this when learning on the website.

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mufinka19

    It is only for ipads. I hate health app.

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mkim91

    Yes, on the app you are given a certain amount of hearts (aka chances) to successfully complete that lesson/test

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/schonerBaum

    Duolingo disabled the option to repeat individual lessons in a skill so it is more difficult for me to learn now. I tend to forget and confuse new words because I have to get through all later lessons in the skill before I am finally able to get back to them and practise them... I am totally agree with you on that, new version of Duo seems sucks.! you always have to review the old lesson just in order to drum them into your mind.

    July 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZaheerA.

    i had to think for several minutes over your comment , i was confused because i can still redo individual lessons in a skill because i have the older app, but i agree it's not a good idea to remove that option in the web/new version,

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiChi715136

    Totally agree. I had been doing duolingo for less than a week and had to stop because they were throwing too much new stuff at me to absorb effectively. It was frustrating and I was going backwards- learning nothing. I NEED To repeat those first lessons until I know those letters but that is impossible. So I have had to find other places to learn the hirgana alphabet before I can return to this- and then I'll see if they still try to force me onto higher levels before I'm ready.

    July 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psieger

    I find it worrying that duolingo is beginning to take away learners achievement points. I was at level 2 or 3 with most skills and now I have been reduced to level 0. To what purpose? A large part of teaching psychology is encouragement. Losing my 'degrees' has very much the opposite effect. Is someone in the lab in need to show who has the power in this game? I hardly make mistakes anymore in my practice. Is that displeasing anyone?

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40ShadesOfGreen

    Not necessarily. I spend more time reviewing the content because Duolingo disabled the option to repeat individual lessons in a skill so it is more difficult for me to learn now. I tend to forget and confuse new words because I have to get through all later lessons in the skill before I am finally able to get back to them and practise them.

    Maybe I am simply not clever enough but learning 30 or more new words before I master the first 6 or 7 has never worked for me. Sorry. I appreciate your work but remember that statistics can often be misleading.

    Well, last time I checked, a week or so ago, the opening post had 196 upvotes and mine 150. Now my message has 1 upvote only whereas the opening one is still at 196.

    Duolingo didn't enjoy seeing such an inconvenient comment displayed a the top?

    Thanks, this has really opened my eyes to the policy here. Sorry for being a nuisance.

    August 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mkim91

    Yes, I agree as well. Especially the fact that you have a limited amount of tries for lessons and/or tests.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klastiron

    Any chance that the bug with some skills' crown progress tracking will be fixed soon? Doing a lesson in one of the skills will raise the progress in the other at the same time.

    For example, there are a few different skills in the German-from-English tree that have their crown progress incorrectly linked. A couple of these are the "Possessive Pronouns" and "Nominative Pronouns" skills, and the "People 1" and "People 2" skills.

    July 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MissPauling

    I get what they're saying about wanting to make the crown levels increase in difficulty, but I wish the difference was more noticeable. I feel like even the beginning levels are much more difficult than the old lessons used to be, and moving up to higher crowns doesn't feel like that big of a change to me. Maybe this is only a problem with the vietnamese course since I haven't tested any others, and I haven't tried the mobile version either. But there's a lot of translating to the target language already present in level 1 and 2, and they're very similar to the hardest crown levels in my opinion.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stergi3

    Continued from my previous post: There is a major change running at this moment. It is the "notorious" testing button. I don't know if this research got any data, it seems it doesn't have yet. But I am quite curious what it will the result of A/B tests after this button being added. It seems it can change our learning behavior: We could test out instead of coming along with all tree. It is a strategy that is not negligible. Testing out to the end of the tree. A kind of "gambling" XPs. Is it good for learning? Well, there are different approaches about testing in Education. But testing in Duolingo has no limits: You can test a level if this level is open, as many times as you want. Having in mind that the temptation is very strong and you are rewarded with almost all XPs you can take, well, it is not bad at all.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PennyShute

    Is the word list coming back (not word bank for individual questions)? I use it to check spelling and accent use in particular words. I would, however, suggest you look at how words are listed. Option to alphabetize would be nice.

    July 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mr.Dolovic

    The crown system seems good, but the lack of being able to review is very bad. Duolingo should restore the ability to review any already done lesson. The list of words for each lesson should return too. And the unit icon should gild and degild independently, that is, if a user reaches level 1, the unit icon could gild immediately, and if the user takes too long to review or to do the level 1 lessons, the icon could degild.

    July 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taytsay

    The only real complaint I have at this point is that there is no list of words learned in a lesson as there were under the old system. Are there plans to change this?

    July 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uni-cat

    Wow! I know see the real reasons behind all this and they make an impact! That just motivated me to do as many lessons as I possibly can! I'll be back soon!

    July 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ren918302

    There might have been a difference in the way the crowns were implemented in the German tree and the French tree. I think parts of the French tree were really badly done. For some lessons, you'd end up repeating exactly the same material from crown level 1 to crown level 5. It never changed. It never become more challenging as claimed. Since I had been using the French tree as a review, not having the test-out feature made it nearly unbearable. I think this is why the one old school punishment of making kids write lines on the blackboard existed -- you make the kid write the same thing over and over and over again so they remember what they're writing. It's true, some people like that and some people even advocate writing the same thing over and over thousands of times as a learning method.

    That's what the French tree was like when they first implemented the Crown system. I don't see why you need technology to achieve that. You can torture yourself at home with an old school method like that without a computer. And it's not what I enjoyed about Duolingo before they made the change.

    To be fair, the upper lessons seem better. But the original crown system tree was a mindless torture. It wasn't well thought out at all. I think it was deincentivizing people rather than encouraging them.

    It's kind of weird how people are reading the user stats to say that people are spending more time with the system. They're actually forced to if they want to feel like they've completed a lesson. And having to spend more time with something doesn't necessarily mean you're learning more.

    July 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

    Personally, I "feel like I've completed a lesson" (I would have said "skill") when it gets easy, and I just move on. (I suspect this is something like the approach new users who never knew about easily-golden trees would automatically adopt; people don't like boring, as you rightly state.) That's what I did before crowns, and it's what I continue to do now, but from the first day I got it, the crown system has given me a more difficult mix of exercises, particularly with respect to writing in the target language, so that's been great.

    At long last having a somewhat satisfactory amount of translation into the language I'm learning is much more motivating than the prior system, as the level of knowledge I can gain is much deeper. Consequently, I definitely put time into trees that I didn't before.

    July 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TedSandila

    I definitely like the additional skill building and as you say, particularly more writing in the target language. For me however, the progression is too fast. If I continue doing lessons on a particular skill, I am soon frustrated. I do spend more time guessing, getting answers wrong which causes a repeat or two, then eventually the frustration has me cutting and pasting the answer from the discussion page just to get the lesson completed. No learning but a lot of time spent.

    I hope it could be a simple programming change to allow me to repeat level 1 as many times as I need until I have the fundamentals figured out. Then maybe I could progress through 2 - 5 for skill building.

    July 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BusJo
    • 1786

    I agree with you but would like to see that option to repeat any level, for as you said, when frustration kicks in one does not learn. At that point I simply start another module or something I have been doing a bit of lately is switching to practising on the Tinycards. I think that we no longer see the module words nor have the new words highlighted is undermining the efficiency of understanding the lessons; something I pray daily for the return of.

    July 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ren918302

    I like the addition of skill building as well, but I find that it's not always present in some of the skills/lessons/units (or whatever you want to call them). And they didn't have to completely tear apart a system that had some good features that seemed to working to do that. "Fixing" things that are not broken and removing things that work just to say you're achieving something "new" isn't innovation; it's a bad design approach. There were a lot of features that worked well and made things fun. Now it's all just flat out repetition. I think the new approach is more theoretical. And I think it bombs in a lot of places as a result. I wish someone would get around to acknowledging that. Maybe now that we're allowed to test out, people will actually spend less time doing the same skills.

    I'm not just going through to make the tree "golden," I'm also trying to see what's supposedly at the upper levels and to understand whether there's more to learn and what the more challenging material might be. But before the test out was reintroduced, you actually to go through the repetitions 30 times to get past the level. The test-out feature allowed me to do that faster. What I've found many times is that the next level is pretty much just repeating the same material over and over, and it's almost a verbatim version copied from one level to the next. I didn't find the material at the next levels wasn't more challenging; it's sometimes exactly the same thing, presented in exactly the same order for all five crown levels. It doesn't always progress the way people claim it's supposed to.

    July 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marghvran

    Of course if you buy an old fashioned book then you can find out what's in the upper levels by turning to the last chapter.

    If DL were a bona fide learning programme then its content would be open for review and evaluation before beginning to study.

    Why does this basic freedom not exist with Duolingo?

    July 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ren918302

    I think the other thing is they're not really asking people their opinions of the before and after. They're just using the "amount of time spent" on the system as an indicator. Sure, I may spend more time, but a critical factor for me is that I have been enjoying it less since I had the crown system thrust upon me. A better way of doing that might have been to ask people if they wanted to test the new tree and then ask them what their experience was like (i.e., what they felt was an improvement and what they felt wasn't). Instead, they're using numbers that could be interpreted to mean anything they decide they want them to mean.

    July 20, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nickbii

    As someone who has repeatedly gone up the Crown levels, let me assure you that the sentences don;t get more chalenging as the Crown level increases. What happens is you get fewer crutches from DL. So my Crown level 2 tests almost all allow the word bank, but by level 4 you're not getting the word bank at all.

    July 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony995332

    Crowns are definitely a success. This is my day 139 on Duo and I already seen 2 improvements - crowns and new Spanish tree

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yottskry

    "Crowns are definitely a success."

    How can you say that when they're still receiving so much criticism?

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MasterZsword

    I would not call it a success because there are still some things that can be improved. It's not at the peak of its potential.

    Though, personally, Crowns has significantly benefited me in my Romanian and Japanese studies specifically. It's not a "success" because of that. But, no doubt it has helped me more than I can explain.

    The new system has affected every user differently. We ought to accept the fact that some people benefit, and some people will not. We should allow people to enjoy Crowns if they really like it, but we also shouldn't disregard its shortcomings.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gryphowl

    Are you really sure that there's nothing else you liked?

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenniferZaino

    Very helpful and insightful. Can't to see future updates. Once all that is done add more achievements those were fun to get but to easy

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elisa794931

    Ever since the possibility of testing out exits, I'm quite happy with the new crown system. But there is a great failure in the testing out feature. It ONLY gives sentences in the learning language to translate into the base language. I really don't understand why the testing out can´t have it both ways like it is in the lessons.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SlonecznikMaiky

    Pretty interesting

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ren918302

    Reintroducing the test out feature has been the greatest relief I've experienced since the crown levels were implemented. I find the claims that there has been a lot of thought going into the difficulty level increasing as you go through the levels is generally exaggerated.

    There were a lot of things working with the old system that were removed. They were replace with mindless repetition. As someone has already said, that's not learning.

    July 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Makoto_Ao

    Your research and analysis using control groups is impressive. I am very interested in seeing what you come up with next! One of the things I would like to see is less use of the native language during exercises. I would like more immersive methods through the use of pictures and questions and answers in the language that is being learned. Of course explanations in the native language would need to be available though a button or mousing over the material, but with repetition, the native language would be resourced much less allowing students to control their level of immersion based on their comfort level with the material.

    July 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimOser

    For Spanish, for more imersion in the target language, there is:

    https://stories.duolingo.com/

    https://podcast.duolingo.com/

    July 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimOser

    Today, July 26, 2018 Duolingo posted on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/duolingo/posts/

    Crown Levels was the biggest redesign to all Duolingo courses, and spoiler alert it's improved how you're learning! Our new blog post shares some exciting findings 6 months later:http://making.duolingo.com/crown-levels-a-royal-redesign

    In the last 5 hours, there have been 166 comments.

    July 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiChi715136

    Looks like you're ignoring all the complaints. I spent 6 days here before I found your system just doesn't work, at least for me as a beginner. I've since spent the last couple of weeks elsewhere learning what your app refuses to teach me (repeating basic lessons until I have them mastered) and I have come on leaps and bounds. With you there was just daily frustration with the mass of gibberish words you threw at me. Parrots learn by mindless repetition, I'm a human and I want to absorb and understand what I'm learning before moving on to the next thing. Simple things like knowing the alphabet before being expected to spell words with letters I haven't been taught yet! Just allow lessons to be repeated, what's the big deal?

    July 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

    You realize the person you've addressed your comment to is just another user, right?

    July 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiChi715136

    Then why does it read like an ad for it. lol

    July 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pentaan

    An ad?
    You might have a look at the comments (complaints) in that facebook post.

    July 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/memeler

    I have enjoyed both systems. i dont see why they should be mutually exclusive. allow leveling up but also make it so that you have to maintain the strength of each skill thru review

    January 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fitt3
    • 1439

    Any news about supporting other languages other than Spanish/French/German/Portuguese?

    July 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zanzaboonda

    Love this! Well-written post with good info. Thank you!

    July 11, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvgeniyChe3

    Will you add those fancy personages on Android and Web versions of Duo one day, or they are only for privileged iOS owners?

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anitramwaju

    Personally, I'd like them to give them up on iOS (or give the option to deactivate them). It uses to much screen space without being useful.

    The result has been that everything else (including the tiles you have to tap) is now smaller and I do more misclicks (and with the health system it's a real problem).

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ImTiredRightNow

    It says that they strive to be the best learning site but the translations are horrable

    July 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve403714

    Is it better to start at the beginning and progress on each subject to level 5 or to go through each subject to get to level one and then go back and move up to level 2 on each subject?

    July 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daKanga
    Mod
    • 271

    It is recommended to progress at your own pace and interest.
    For most of us, this means we progress once through the whole tree, moving through the skill levels, and not completing all the levels on each skill.
    Yet, for specific subjects, we will choose to progress across that level. This may be due to a need we find, that we want to understand a specific skill in greater depth, or due to an interest in that skill. However, for most of us, it is too laborious, repetitious and boring to level up on all the levels of a specific skill before advancing to a new skill. Also, repetition over a great period of time for a specific skill is more beneficial to assist in transferring knowledge from short term memory, to medium, to long term automatic recall. So it is advisable to progress to new skills in the tree, to give you an overview of the language, and then return and do the required repetitions over time, and in greater depth, to improve your instant recognition, to move your learning to your subconscious, to your instant recall.

    When you level up a skill, you earn a Crown, and the types of exercises you see will get harder. You can choose to go deeper into skills and level them up or continue on to new skills to learn new content. ( see What are Crown Levels? )

    There are four cornerstones to learning a second language.

    1. Reading.
    2. Writing.
    3. Listening.
    4. Speaking.

    Reading and listening allow you to consume a language, to comprehend it, and they work together. This is a very important stage to become efficient in.

    However, when you start to become proficient at writing and speaking, you are producing a language.

    To really learn a language, for most people requires you to learn from not just one source. Duolingo teaches by exposing you to sentences. It is highly recommended to also take time to read the "Tips and Notes". These will explain things such as grammar rules. Also to take time to read the discussions that are attached to sentences.

    tips and notes
    You will find tips and notes when you enter a skill, look out for the "light bulb".
    You will find discussions when you are doing an exercise. Look out for the word discussion


    suggested other ref:

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40ShadesOfGreen

    Just a little addendum because app users may not know what you are referring to here:

    It is highly recommended to also take time to read the "Tips and Notes". These will explain things such as grammar rules. [...]

    You will find tips and notes when you enter a skill, look out for the "light bulb".

    Tips and Notes are unavailable in the app. You need to use a web browser to have access to them.

    Mobile users are often completely unaware of their existence.

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daKanga
    Mod
    • 271

    Other ways people learn, apart from learning from Sentence examples, is to study the aspects of a language.

    Such as grammar. Grammar tells you how sentences are constructed. For myself, I look out for a well written printed grammar book for the specific language. I like printed books, as due to the printing process and cost of printing the books will have been proof checked by other reputable sources. (ie check out https://www.millcitypress.net/author-learning-center/whats-editing-all-about ; https://www.thebalancecareers.com/book-publishing-process-2799965 ; )

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daKanga
    Mod
    • 271

    Others engage in different aspects that interest them.
    Such as listening to music, movies and videos in that language. From news, to stories, to specific hobbies, interests, educational interests.

    Learning the words for your target language to engage in an activity, such as a sport or hobby.

    Using your target language in everyday activities, such as things around your house, or cooking and cleaning.

    Join groups of people also learning your target language, or who already know your target language.

    Of course, read and write in your target language, and also ask others to correct you, to review your work.

    Though most importantly, is to seek to have fun. To seek to encourage your passion for your target language. To give yourself permission to be wrong, and to seek to learn. To not let emotions such as shyness, embarrassment, guilt to stop you. Instead seek to be bold, to smile, to see the humor in a situation, and keep on trying. Don't give up.

    July 15, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zi-omario

    cool dude!

    July 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrahamWarr

    This is a pretty good blog post, but much of it should have been posted months ago when Crowns were introduced. That might have reduced the user dissatisfaction that occurred when users were converted to Crowns. You could have added the results data later.

    In my case, 3 weeks before I was converted to Crowns, I'd completed the Italian tree and was happily strengthening Skills based on the Strength indicator, which has now been hidden on the official Duolingo site. For a while, I wondered what to do, apart from searching Discussions looking for guidance, but only finding other confused users. Fortunately, my confusion only lasted 3 days, as I learned of www.duome.eu. (Whoever created and maintains this, please take a bow! fierycat? Let us know who you are and I will give you all my lingots! There have been a number of very useful features added to duome since I started using it, and every one has improved it, the latest being the sort by Original Order). Since then, I've simply been doing new lessons in the Skills which duome tells me that I need to strengthen. From thinking that I had "completed" the tree 5 months ago, I've now completed just 23.7% of the available lessons.

    So to get to the main point of this post, the blog post offers no plan (unless I missed it somewhere) for how Duolingo will keep users engaged when they have got all Skills in a language to Crown Level 5. Users will keep all 5 Crowns in all Skills, and the Skills will not decay, with no indication of what to work on. In my period of confusion, I worked through a couple of the easy Skills to Crown Level 5 to see what happens. They've stayed at 100% strength ever since, but today duome told me that one had dropped to 75%. So I did one Practice to get it back to 100%. However, the official Duolingo site has no such indicator. What are users supposed to do when their tree is fully complete to Crown Level 5?

    In my case, I plan to simply continue to use duome as my guide, but I am curious what the official Duolingo plan is.

    July 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChiChi715136

    The plan seems to be to treat people as parrots instead of humans. :)

    July 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

    I suspect that if users in any numbers start sticking around long enough to get all their skills to crown level 5, Duolingo's staff (and shareholders) are going to be jumping for joy at their overwhelming and wholly unexpected success.

    The blog post does talk about how they want to do more to help users target which skills to work on. Presumably that wouldn't just exclude level 5 skills, particularly now that quizzing out makes that level much more easily achievable. There's an article out there about prototype reading comprehension questions (maybe they're already in testing for some group of users, who knows), which would add a lot of value obviously. In any case, the practice button selects skills just as a user basing selection on the old skill degilding system would have (as one can easily verify on duome), so that option is there, just as it was for when one had successfully regilded one's tree in the pre-crowns system.

    July 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/judsk1

    Crown levels or other methods, Duolingo somehow keeps attracting me to go through only one more lesson, and then, though very late at night, only one more, and perhaps another one, just to complete level 2, and so on. For me this is the fun.

    October 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PopSixSquish

    I do not enjoy. Please bring back the ability to find your own comments and (more importantly) the ability to redo lessons. This update fixed things that weren't broken, and it is not very helpful.

    May 9, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PauletteAv

    I’ve just completed both the English learning Italian and Italian learning English trees all to level 5. I want to keep progressing, so what do you suggest? Will additional levels be added at some point?

    September 16, 2019
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