Lost and Demotivated

After all the recent changes to Duolingo, I've noticed a significant decrease in my motivation and sense of direction here. I've highlighted some of the major sources of my frustration below.

Where/what skills to practice? The old system before Crowns were introduced had a great way of showing us which areas needed practice. As the old golden skills decayed, the spaced repetition algorithm helped guide our review process. Duolingo claims to still include this spaced repetition algorithm when you use the Practice button, but there's a major problem with this approach, which brings us to my next point...

How much to practice? With the current program, there's no clue on how much to practice. The Practice button does little to help because it doesn't notify us, nor does it tell us in any way how much we've reviewed and how much we should review. With the five thick layers that each skill has, it feels demotivating to simply use the Practice button as our main source of learning because it doesn't help advance our level in any of the skills.

Limits on the mobile app: I enjoy using an app because it allows me to learn on the go. I've been using Duolingo for years now, and the majority of my learning is done on my commute or while I find myself waiting a few minutes here or there. It really helps to have a mobile app for portable learning. I only ever visit the website for features that cannot be found on the app, such as the Discussion forums and Tips/Notes. These two features have yet to be fully introduced to the app. Only a select few major courses have Tips and Notes, but most of the community made courses lack access to these essential grammar lessons.

Health: For those of us who use the app, Health is the largest setback and roadblock in the journey of progressing through the tree. When learning a difficult language, you're bound to make mistakes. But there are days when I find myself unable to make my way through more than 2 lessons because I've run out of Health. With these incredibly dense, 5-level trees and the shear amount of work it takes to fill in a golden tree, it's nearly impossible to accomplish this feat on the app because of ever-depleting Health!

My suggestions: Other than the obvious notions of including Tips/Notes and Discussion, and eliminating Health on the mobile app, I have one large suggestion. Duolingo should have a Review/Practice button that signals when and how much we should repeat what we've already learned. This practice should be reflected as progress in the tree. This lack of guidance really hinders the learning experience for those who find it hard to self-motivate when we're tired. I've often found myself only doing a little practice to keep up my streak, but not much else. I don't feel motivated enough, and I don't know where to start and when to stop. I like new content, but the latest features make learning a language so much less enjoyable than it used to be.

Any comments? Share your experiences and tell me what you think of these features. Is what I'm saying relatable or is it just me?

March 28, 2019


It would be great if the app were better, especially because Duolingo pushes the app hard, and I think the app shortchanges users.

But it seems to me there are pretty easy ways to avoid these problems:

Use the web browser on your mobile device instead of the app. Just as convenient as the app, plus it includes Tips & Notes and does not include Health.

Don’t use the Practice button. Instead, refresh your memory by doing lessons in individual skills. This will give the bonus of leveling up your skills as you practice.

To know which skills to practice, see your progress page: . Do lessons in skills that are below 100%. This strength data is drawn from Duolingo and it’s what Duolingo used to, but no longer, make visible in the interface to guide Spaced Repetitiom.

March 28, 2019

As you are open to opinions, may I suggest (what I'm doing, for different reasons):

1) Take a break, set you goal to minimal and do a little trickle just to, say, start a session and to keep the wheel in motion.

2) Leave all these hubbubs to settle down. Don't bother with them; sounds like they wear you down.

3) Check out other sites! Currently a thread has suggestions or you can search. And... You can learn anything you want from some good translation sites with good AUDIO, reverse translate, and 'alternative translation'. (see separate threads). Examples:

How do I say " ---". Play then with changing across I/you/he/she/we/they/my-xyz. You can even set goal by time or by marks and score yourself if you cover one half.

For tenses, how do I say "I eat today". Play then with: I ate yesterday, I will eat tomorrow. I have eaten. I told them I had eaten. When I arrive at --- I will have finished reading 3 books. If I had known --- I would have ----. You get the idea.

Of course other real life materials as you like.

4) Come back when you're refreshed and curious about Duo lessons.

This way may or may not suit you, I don't know. Good Luck.

March 28, 2019

As long as Duolingo remains free, I don't care. You make good points, though. Memrise has a review system, and tells you when each word needs 'watering'. They then appear in an email and or on the app/site, saying they need to be reviewed. The words you are weakest, have the quickest practice time, some need 'watering' within a few hours. Duolingo should consider this. It would help so much. The other thing that should be considered, is the lingot system. Besides keeping up 'double or nothing' and 'streak freezes', they are useless. For some languages, the bonus skills 'flirting' and 'idioms' are available. I have been saving up my lingots just in case Duo decides to give them more reason... The final thing, I agree, is the crowns. Sure, they are useful. Everyone wants to know how many levels they've completed, without counting down the tree. But, they sort of ruined the point. They did show us where we needed to practice. Thanks!

March 28, 2019

Lemme tell you sth important
these changes made me stubborn and wanna reach level 25 even if duolingo gonna prevent me
I'm gonna reach lvl 25 whatever difficulties were there
first, the xp thing was making me reach high fast , but now i'm lost
So i decided to do practices as much and fast as possible to get xp
I'm gonna win duolingo, ! and you cant prevent me !

March 28, 2019

That is what happens when you are too attached to something. All manner of suffering follows.

March 28, 2019

The health bit doesn’t matter to me, because I have an old account and it hasn’t changed. Also the recent french changes haven’t affected me, but I don’t know why.

March 28, 2019

Totally agreed on the Health issue on the App.

March 28, 2019

I am pretty sure I use Duo differently than most users and I think that’s why I like the Crowns. However, I was a new user when they were being tested so I’ve never experienced anything different. With that being said, I have found that the practice section is best for refining skills I am currently struggling with meanwhile for review of particular skills I choose to review directly via the lessons already Golden. I slowly make each skill gold while practicing to refine and review already golden skills. It’s slow at times but effective.

March 28, 2019

I came across this a while back, and it might be useful for you :) "Duo Strength - Chrome extension that adds back individual skill strengths"

March 30, 2019

I actually think that having seen some comments about mental health, Duolingo is actually doing harm by causing a lost streak after two days. If someone has persevered and achieved higher streaks they should get rewarded not penalized for life getting in the way. Perhaps an extra day for every additional 50 days with a maximum of five days. We need encouragement not disillusionment. Is there anyone out there who agrees?

May 4, 2019

Maybe they should just show total days using Duolingo. That’s what all the requests for exoneration amount to, ISTM.

May 4, 2019
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