I seem to have progressed to a point where I get more wrong answers than correct ones. Is there a proven strategy for forging ahead? This is my first ever foreign language and I’m beginning to wonder whether I have what it takes.
You need to slow down and realize learning a language isn't easy or fast. Go back to the point where you seem to get only a few mistakes and go slowly from there. If you truly want to learn a language, you need to take notes and practice consistently, so if you keep up with that you will learn the language.
Take your time. Identify why you make mistakes. Search on the web for courses covering your weak points, and always keep cool. Just remember : we improve even while we make mistakes and (seemingly) don't progress
Learning a language is a cumulative process that involves making many many mistakes. If you feel stuck try going backwards a bit and seeing if the lessons you did a few weeks ago still make sense. And try to think hard about why you made a mistake. I have made many mistakes (speaking/writing etc.) some of which made such an impression on me that I will never make them again but there are other mistakes which only years later I have fully appreciated. It is not a race to finish but a process so keep at it going forward and backward and eventually you will find yourself knowing more than you did a few months ago.
Do you memorize enough? Doing some exercises in one go, you might put rules and words in your short term memory,not in your long term one. Learning a language is repeating, rehearsing being exposed to speech and writing. Actual wring using a pen and paper has been proved to memorize what one wants to learn. This is an advice given by a retired teacher, me...
Doing the first few levels, say up to 6,7, is relatively easy and everyone seems to make a lot of progress. Then we all hit a harder level and the mistakes start appearing - but take courage, this means you are moving on to a higher level of learning. It is harder and slower, BryceSpringfield's advice is good, keep at it - you have what it takes just as much as any of us!! I don't think there is one proven strategy, but several options - keep doing Duolingo as long as you are enjoying it and making some progress, but also keep a look-out for other language learning methods which show you a different way of learning - listen to some Italian songs, read the Italian translations in an instruction leaflet or the description on a bottle of wine, look up the headlines in an Italian on-line newspaper, try some Italian kids books or kids dictionaries.... lots of ways to see the language in different ways, you won't understand every word but your knowledge base will grow and when you recognise something you've seen elsewhere in a Duo excercise you'll be so pleased!
I've also been getting more answers wrong than right for a few days now :D
But since this isn't my first time learning a foreign language, I recognize that that's just part of the process. You will definitely hit plateaus while learning a language, and sometimes -- as you and I are experiencing right now -- it will even feel like you're losing ground, forgetting skills rather than learning them. It's perfectly normal, and I'm not a neuroscientist so I can't tell you what your brain's doing exactly, but I CAN tell you that it usually doesn't last long.
In the meantime, it's good to add more diversity to your learning routine. Find as many Italian music artists as you can whose music you like and learn their lyrics. Translate your favorite quotes, movie lines, etc into Italian. Use Google Translate or Linguee if you have to, and yes Google Translate can give some really terrible translations but that doesn't matter as long as it helps you to keep learning.
Hope this helps.