Encourage a collaborative approach instead of a competive one
I'm very glad with duolingo. I think you made a marvellous job.
But the one thing i really don't like, is the way it encourages you to compete with yor friends to see who learns faster. I know that the objective is to motivate students, but you don't learn languages competing with each other, you collaborate with the rest because, well, you are trying to comunicate with the others.
It's not an easy task to think of new, clever, funny and collaborative ways to let students help each other, ad I don't have the answer for it.
But I'd like to take is as a challenge for us all to come out with new ways to help each other.
That way you could build your "reputation" based on what you studied, your translations, and people you helped. Something like stackoverflow.
Perhaps some game in which advanced students could give clues to beginners. Or perhaps an advanced student makes a basic translation and then the beginner is asked questions about it. (I know the risk is that advanced students can also make mistakes, and beginners would be exposed to those mistakes)
Anybody has a better idea for a collaborative game to learn languages?
Just another idea. A native spanish student learning english could really help a native english student learning spanish and viceversa, each of them would express themselves in their native language. That way there would be a very low risk of the native students making mistakes in their own language...
I love the competitive side of it.
My friends and I are using that aspect to keep ourselves motivated. We understand that the points aren't the end goal but seeing someone else take the lead motivates us to study and catch up.
Anything to help fight the laziness that comes with studying.