Incentives to accumulate Lingots
I am working from the assumption that Lingots are intended to be a reward for the learner as he or she moves ahead in his or her Duolingo Course. In order for Lingots to serve that purpose, there has to be some continuing value to the Lingots. This means that the learner must have some way to spend them, something in the "store" that the learner would value. Here are some suggestions:
Access to some story(s) or documentary(s) in the language being learned. Something extraordinary and perhaps even an interactive routine which enhances and measures the learners ability.
Access to downloads. Perhaps these might be PDFs in the format of Information sheets like a list of prepositions, conjugation of verbs, etc. This would be something a learner could print for reference when he or she is not near a computer. I made such info sheets to take with me on my trip to Italy and to Spain. Now I am learning German and will do the same when I go to Germany.
Videos something like a travelogue of the nation or culture associated with the language that is being learned.
Please keep in mind that I am using the free version of Duolingo and perhaps such features as these are available in the paid versions. I don't know. As it is in my version of the course, I have no incentive to accumulate Lingots because I have already spent them on everything which is available in the store.
Thanks Seacc3, We can hope. I guess it is no surprise that others have come up with the idea previously. Jose's idea of something tangible is nice but I sincerely doubt there is enough profit in the Duo system to support it. Duolingo ball cap or coffee mug. It'd take a lot of Lingots. I would give you a lingot (lord knows I have more than I'll ever use) but it would be like declining your gift. So many thanks.
Access to PDFs is a really good idea.
I'd also love to see the option to use lingots to buy back some of the old features, such as - to click on a verb to see the verb conjugation tables, or to see the list of new words for each lesson. These were both great features that were inexplicably taken away, and I'm definitely not learning as effectively now without them.
Since in the 4 major European languages, there are something like 60 stories, I think it would be nice for them to be in groups of 10 as they already are, BUT, in order to move to the next group, you should not only have to finish the first group, but also buy the next groups with say, 300 lingots for the group.
That way it would give you incentive to NOT to just plow through as many stories as possible, but actually wait until you'd accumulated a few more lingots, which would help you practise appropriately before moving straight onto more stories. They could also add something like 3 lingots for completing a story, then 3 MORE for completing the same story again, 6 for the third time and 8 for the fourth time. This is because I actually think that it's most beneficial to do each story at least four times. That way, if you did all 10 stories in a group, all 4 times each, you'd have accumulated 200 lingots just from that.
It would not, however, be useful for people like me, who are like Scrooge McDuck when it comes to lingots haha.
A Duolingo shirt for thousands of lingots would be good... think about it, sure it doesn't make them any money, but it's (almost) free advertising for them.
I too have felt that there isn't much to "buy" with the Lingots or Gems, other than more Health when I want to speed up my progress. I think those are great suggestions to be able to buy some instructional tools or stories that will enhance our learning experience. Fun swag as some others have already suggested would also be cool. I would be all over a cute plush Duo!
Jose - hm, nah I don't. I mean, I've got 3,340 lingots. Sure, most of those are from my 600+ day streak, but that's what I'm saying - if there were actually an incentive (other than pride) to keep up your streak (lingots, which currently mean nothing), then I feel more people would be more dedicated to their streak. But also, I think you can do the stories at least 4 times each and still learn from them. Think how well 6 year olds speak their native language: one of the factors there is hearing the same stories over and over. I pretty much know the book 'Where is the Green Sheep?' by heart now, because I read it to my son about 113 times. We don't know it, but that kind of repetition has a huge impact on their language learning (and would on ours too, if we could be bothered to do it.)
P.S. Have a lingot.
Oh you have more than 3000 lingots, good job! I have slightly more than 500 and I want to do as much as possible of the stories, that's why your idea would be "catastrophic" for me. And yes, repetition can help, but I think it can be boring. Duolingo's stories have a kind of "thriller" in them, and repetition may make it disappear. Thank you for the lingot! And for the unknown person who gave me the other! And I want to contribute in your huge lingot wealth, here is a lingot!