New CEFR-aligned courses
In brief, our Spanish and French (from English) and English (from Spanish and Portuguese) courses are now aligned with the CEFR, and include tons of new content that’s sequenced to help you learn the most useful communicative functions first and ultimately increase your proficiency. In addition to brand-new content, we have added dozens of new illustrated tips on grammar, pronunciation, and common phrases to further enhance the learning experience.
We are constantly working hard to improve the way we teach on Duolingo, and we hope you enjoy the revamped courses. We’ll keep you posted on our progress in adding similar improvement to other courses. And in the meantime, happy learning!
I am very much looking forward to improvements for the German and Italian courses. Italian especially has been neglected for a very long time!
I am surprised that the existing Duolingo German content is not considered to be through all of A2. It seems quite advanced and comprehensive to me. This is from Bozena's blog post:
Stay tuned for even more course improvements in the future! We’ll be adding CEFR B1-level content to our Spanish, French, and English courses (about 2,000 more words in each!), up to A2-level content in other courses (like German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese)
I'm enrolled in an advanced German course in my high school, were currently doing B1 as i'm only the first year of so called gymnasium, i can tell you, German stands out in the CEFR from romance languages, its an all around much harder language to learn, but i finished the Duolingo German tree on another account and it got me past A2 application test (grammar, writing and speaking), so take from that what you want. Cheers
That is really amazing, Tar. Congratulations. Did you get all the way through A2 proficiency using only Duolingo? Did you use any other materials? Have any formal study at school?
When you write that German stands out, you mean that it is much more difficult than the Romance languages? Why is that?
Quote: When you write that German stands out, you mean that it is much more difficult than the Romance languages? Why is that?
FSI rates German now as 900 classroom hours: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29518040/FSI-changed-their-estimates-for-German-and-French-and-added-Haitian-Creole-to-their-S3-R3-table
Finished as in reaching the end of the tree? All completely all levels and lessons of the tree?
The current German course (from English) does cover grammar from A1 deep into B territory, but the order is sometimes weird. Hopefully, there'll be a new CEFR-aligned course soon, covering A1 in an orderly fashion. So, change is on the horizon :)
I agree wholeheartedly. Italian in particular always seems to be left behind in any improvements.
Hi Gina, long time no hear!
I would love to work on the Italian course, but it's my profession and I have to pay off a mortgage. Once that's done and I retire, I will offer my services to DL!
I absolutely agree. Italian is really neglected. I wonder when there will be some improvement. I do the practice day by day but if nothing changes like in French, I am afraid I will quit and find something more challenging.
Are you planning to leave all the existing B1 and higher grammar skills and sentences in the end of the tree, or are you planning to remove them? In the Spanish course they were kept but seems like in the French course they were not which worries me, what will happen to the other courses here? A lot of them go beyond A2.1/A2.2.
We didn't actually remove any of the existing B1+ content; we just condensed it into fewer skill, which might give you the impression that some skills got deleted. We had to consolidate some of that content because the reorganization of the course into comprehensive A1 and A2 made some of those skills more sparse. The plan is to continue developing more advanced content, which will mean that the existing B1+ content will eventually get reorganized as well. But again, we aren't removing anything.
Thank you Bozena for your reply! That sounds fantastic! I am very excited to hear that the plan is to continue to develop more advanced content and not leave the trees at A1/A2 CEFR only. Obviously the focus is now on aligning the trees to A1 and A2 and that is of higher priority, with that said, I’d love to hear more about the B1/B1+ expansions further down the line. Seeing these announcements are always exciting and inspiring. Hopefully you’ll keep us posted.
@Bozena -- Is there a reason why there aren't any hints as to where the B1+ content (which I'm assuming is primarily verb tenses) is stashed w/in the new tree12? Where the future verb tense is, for example? Sitesurf's post of the tree8 help files is great, but doesn't address the 'where's Waldo' issue.
All the B1+ content is below checkpoint #5. The future tense is covered in A2, but with our new focus on communicative functions, skill names don't indicate where specific grammar topics are. In the future, we are hoping to include more information about the exact curriculum so that you know what's covered in what skill. But we haven't solved the problem of how exactly to display that type of information yet.
skill names don't indicate where specific grammar topics are
This is not ideal as I'm sure many people have difficulties with very specific areas of grammar and it's going to be a lot less user-friendly to practise particular constructions if they are all hidden behind opaque titles like 'sport 5', 'hobbies 6', etc. Could you at least give skills unique names to help better remember them? I find it extremely difficult and time-consuming to find anything specific in a tree where everything is labelled 'topic1', 'topic2', 'topic3' and so on.
This sort of naming convention is also very dull and uninspiring; I dare say that exercising a bit more imagination in the naming of skills would also have positive effects on user retention.
@Bozena: I presume that Duo is data base driven. If so it should be relatively easy to tag topics within the new skills so that you could have your tree sorted by topic then skills or any other category you have. This CERF tree, does it have a number. I read in a sitesurf comment that there was a tree no:12
This is a question for Bozena, but I don't have a "reply" option for her post in this sub-thread. How are the various Spanish trees named/numbered please?
@Bozena -- As an interim solution, may I suggest a 'sticky post' in the French forum? Similar to how Sitesurf's tree8 help files are available. It could be as simple as:
Old tree --- New tree
- Future --- Skills A, N, T
- Near Tense --- Skills K, S
- Conditional --- (etc)
@Bozena- Do you not think that you're covering too much vocab for A2? Up to section 5 of Spanish covers 114 skills and teaches us over 2000 words & 3000 lexumes, this makes it take forever for us to feel that we've accomplished A2 level content and that's only upper novice level. Is the Duo team considering condensing the A1-2 portion into less skills & less vocab while covering the same grammar?
You do need a lot of vocabulary, even at the beginner A1-A2 levels, so unfortunately I don't think we'll be able to offer a more condensed version of what's currently in the course. If anything, we'll need to add much more practice (e.g., listening or longer-form reading) for people to truly internalize what they're learning.
Don't you think the more words the better? You only need to do the skills once if you don't want to learn some of the content.
They used to say that general fluency required learning more than 90% of the words in a collegiate dictionary, well over 30,000.
I read the Harry Potter novels in Spanish. The first one had more than 2000 words that were new to me after finishing the DL Spanish tree. The next one was much easier, and so on.
I also answer questions in Spanish on topics I know well at Quora.com. Math, science, Buddhism, Harry Potter...
I am working on Spanish Zarzuela now. More than a hundred of them are on YouTube, and the librettos for all of them are available at the A Toda Zarzuela site.
I can mostly understand the TV news now, and can get a lot of the fútbol commentary.
Mokurai, I am glad for you and I hope to be there someday. If i look at the "big picture" it looks daunting for me to finish the tree, but know that I will get there at 50-100 XP a day. It is doable. I have other projects than learning Spanish and have them on other metaphorical burners in my life. I admire you for being able to read harry potter. I imagine you must know all the suffixes and prefixes to words and can make up words based on your knowledge and maybe even dream in Spanish. That is true mastery when you dream in Spanish.
Interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wrongly assumed that more skills meant that the more complex skills remained but additional skills with more vocab was added. Can you please explain which higher grammar skills were removed from the French course?
@Acrosoph -- FWIW, below are my thoughts re: the French tree12 content. Should anyone wonder, I just regained my French 'owl' on the French tree12 (I'd had my tree8 owl for a decent amount of time).
Some new vocabulary, but it didn't feel like a huge change from tree8. I'm at 4846/4906 lexemes and I feel like there were ~30 new words for me. Obviously, this is complicated to measure because I read a lot outside of DL. For example, the "Protest" skill has new vocab - but since I've been reading the news - it wasn't new to me. Nevertheless, it didn't feel like an earth-shattering change in vocab.
The grammar topics are for me, are problematic. Verb conjugation for example. Some passive voice is "Verbs 2", some conditional sentences in "Verbs 4" and "Verbs 5", some past subjunctive sentences in "Transportation'. Source So far, I've not been able to figure out where the Conditional is (Edited to Conditional, my OP had Subjunctive which was incorrect). I've searched on Duome's 'Tips and Notes' page for 'Conditional' and I get zero hits. Ditto for a search for 'passive voice' conjugation rules. That makes going back and practicing a specific verb tense hard -- which is a bummer if you're trying to focus your practice on your weak points.
For folks just starting out w/French, there are some nice things. Phonetic questions (nice!). I did bump into a lesson where it felt like the goal was to make sure the user could conjugate an -er verb in present tense for all six subject types (je, tu, il/elle, nous, vous, ils/elles). I thought that was smart.
There are new sentences using previously existing vocab. They seem to be clustered in segments 2-5 (of 8). They are straightforward and seem to be medium length. That might help with listening comprehension once folks get into the higher crown levels. (In tree8 - once you hit conditional/subjunctive - the sentences necessarily got long, which made the listen-type exercises challenging.) Having more medium length sentences before that point might be good practice for that hurdle.
There are some amusing new skills/topics. I did 'Nightmares' and 'Road Trips' in the morning, when I was drinking my a.m. cup of tea... there were a few moments when I laughed out loud and then had to clean English Breakfast tea off my computer screen.
All in all - it's a mixed bag. I suspect that folks who have previously completed a French tree and supplemented their DL time with external sources will be less excited than folks just starting out.
The conditional grammar (3 chapters) is found in the volunteers' Tips&Notes and you'll find it here:
For the passive voice, there is also a chapter here: https://duome.eu/tips/en/zz#u68 but you don't need anything else than the conjugations of the auxiliary "être" at all tenses and moods and the verb in its past participle form.
Thank you for the very thorough answer! It sounds like an interesting course, but like you my French is more advanced. There is a silver lining. I will not be distracted by redoing the French tree for now and will stay focused on completing my Spanish tree! Happy to hear that the courses will eventually incorporate B1 skills but I agree with @Fuurinkazan that the idea of removing more complex skills remains a concern. Given this latest concept of testing out at checkpoints, I like the idea of putting the last checkpoint after all of the level A material and then simply have the more advanced skills after that - why undo / remove all of that work? Would set up the designers well to then improve the course from that point on with higher level material - or create beginner /intermediate / advanced versions of the courses.
Kwiziq dot com has a fantastic freely available library of skills organized by CEFR level. According to that, the conditional counts as a B1 skill unfortunately.
It doesn't appear that there is much if any existing Duolingo B1 content for French, Spanish, or any other languages. From Bozena's blog post:
Stay tuned for even more course improvements in the future! We’ll be adding CEFR B1-level content to our Spanish, French, and English courses (about 2,000 more words in each!), up to A2-level content in other courses (like German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese).
Well, to be honest even that is going to be subjective. I've seen people passing B1 and even in one case B2 level exams after completing the target language tree and the reverse tree just once, and I also have seen people doing language trees on duolingo and not being able to go past A1 level. It all depends on how much time and effort you put into it, and is it your only source for learning a language. I think that Duo is miles from any real CEFR learning tools just because it puts emphasis more on memorizing than on actual learning per se, explanations are vague and somewhat unclear, etc. But ! It is awesome nevertheless because it can give you a clear picture of what language would look like and you can get some insights for yourself before taking up an actual course, and, all that - for free.
So, thumbs up for Duo, being awesome in its own, unique way :)
I find it interesting you see Duolingo as more memorization. To me it felt like every other online resource was memorization and Duo was the first one to actually make you learn things. Sure, you might memorize a sentence the first time if you don't understand the structure, but to be able to actually make it through lessons smoothly you have to learn how to pull the sentences and grammar apart to rebuild them. Although this was much more true when every exercise was structured as what is now level 5.
There was a time when every exercise was structured as in level 5 now? Wow, I test out all levels after learning the words in each topic and use level 5 only. It would be fun to not deal with testing out intermediate levels.
Originally, most exercises were all fully typed answers, there were no "select the word" exercises. You can still do that for the most part on the web version, so I pretty much ignore the level structure.
With just DL? Sorry, I do not believe that. I've done a B2 exam. The written part was 2 hours long. It used way more vocab than Dl offers (actually I Think the A2 exam used more vocab than DL offers). But wait, that wasn't all. There was also an oral part. Conversing with an examiner and answering 10 written questions on about a page of text read out at almost normal speed three times. From just DL when it is all translation of single sentences and there is no practice of listening to flow on text apart from stories? I can understand DL helping but if nothing else a few more thousand words are needed to even understand the questions (all of which will be in the target language - in the imperative mood).
Well, that's exactly what I've meant to say. It's not true for you, but it can be true for someone else. True, DL maybe does not teach you the needed amount of words, but a person who is 'gifted' can pick up a language faster than other people. Everyone has a different pace and, to be perfectly honest, not everyone can learn as much languages or learn them as well. It also helps depending on what is your base language. The person I've referred to is bilingual from birth (English and Croatian) and because of that ( and her natural gift for languages ) was able to connect everything much faster, know a lot more words because of the borrowed words in both languages ( Croatian was under strong Germanic influence for quite some time ), and some shared linguistic properties of the languages ) And I'm betting that she was not even nearly alone in that situation. Also, this may be a hard pill to swallow, ( and I really mean this in the most respectful way possible ), you can learn stuff more easily the younger you are, and the stronger the motivation ( in her case she had to learn German to a B2 level in 3 months, and had no money for a tutor).
No issue with the age poke - I know this. When I was young I just read over page of grammar or vocab and memorized most of it there and then. That is no longer the case.
If your friend used DL and also (say) watched films or read books based on what she learnt plus a dictionary - I could believe. Or if the languages were so close that vocab could be guessed from context and similarity. But not with only DL and a real CEFR B2 exam. What I suspect is she worked her butt off with other resources that she didn't even consider as "study" - like watching YouTube or listening to German songs.
There are definitely some advantages of learning a second language as an adult (e.g., you can learn vocabulary much more efficiently). It's also true that adults have much better metalinguistic awareness, which can help learn explicit grammar rules. But, on the flip side, focusing too much on explicit grammar learning can backfire in that you might know all the rules, but in the end not be able to apply them when you communicate. Adults worry way too much about being correct; kids are much better at just trying to communicate, which helps them learn.
True, people tend to forget those sources, and they can be the best for expanding vocab in your target language, but I aimed more towards "learning" algorithms and sources that actually explain something, rather than just memorizing words when heard in context. Yes, she also did watch a lot of German TV series, but I wanted to put emphasis on the potential usage of Duolingo. It's flaws aside, it is free and actually quite useful, even in a extreme example like mine. Here's a lingot for you and have a good night. Jó éjszakát :)
Maybe Duo in the future can deliver jolts of electricity before each lesson through the computer screens to help aging memories memorize words better; you would just hold your iPhone to your forehead.....
"Scientists reverse memory decline using electrical pulses": https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/08/scientists-use-electrical-pulses-reverse-memory-decline-ageing
They say that we as babies are capable of learning any language. As we get older and set in our ways we lose that ability unless we work on it. They also say that the mind has plasticity and grow even up to advanced age. You can make more neural connections as you grow older and related new learning to old subjects.
Is it best to start at the top of the tree and get to the top level in each skill, or is there a better way?
EvAxvB - generally take your time to reach level 5. Mix up the skills a bit.
What do you mean by "CEFR learning tools?"
The CEFR is pretty much a way to compare the results of different tests of the same language, instead of leaving the test-takers to figure out whether or not 60% on one test and 78 on another test and 4 on a third test and so on actually mean the same level of proficiency or not.
There are very specific guidelines as to what qualifies for what regarding cefr levels. Every part of language, be it written, spoken or heard has to be perfectly aligned with cefr framework descriptions or the wanted level will be unobtainable. cefr learning tools would be standardized courses and/or exercises which develop said skills in a way which corresponds to cefr framework guidelines for each level.
@Bozena, thank you for being so present on this thread answering questions.
Is there a schedule for their releases? I am interested in seeing this for EN->RU. I find the lesson practices currently have too much "Write this in English" and not enough "Write this in Russian."
Wait I'm not sure I understand? Does Duo tell us where we are? Or do the lessons follow this test? How do we know?
So, it seems that Duolingo is gradually making changes to everyones tree, i got the additional skills a few days ago and the graphics portion just got updated just now( i hate it, way too bright and looks cheap).
Is Duolingo going to condense the current Spanish course to keep in line with A2 standards? The current Duolingo course has 159 skills, teaches us over 3000 words & almost 4500 lexumes and goes past A2 level of grammar towards the end. It teaches way past A2 and i would like to see the entire course restructured into A1-A2-B1 etc sections as it would allow learners to better track our progress and feel like we're accomplishing small goals along the way because currently the tree is too much to be considered A2 imo.
The graphics are a bit wack to my tastes, but as long as the trees are updated to satisfy the more advanced skills every so often, then i'm all for change.
DL counts words with endings (sometimes) as different lexemes. So "mouse" and "mice' would count as 2 - whereas it should be 1. "am", "are", "is" might count as 3 lexemes.
Mouse/mice is actually one word - but two lexemes. Similarly it lists fait/fais/faites/faisons - where this should be just one word. (When people say you need a 2000 word vocabulary for something they don't mean 20 versions of 100 words)
When i say tree i mean the composition of all the skills in the course. You don't need to do all 5 levels; level 1 of any skill introduces you to new vocab and grammar and 2-5 is just additional practice.
Yup, that's how the courses are outlined. Every skill introduces you to roughly 30 lexumes/20 new words & grammar while the additional levels gives you more practice and it gets harder the higher you go.
Thomas - As I see it, sentence structure gets more involved and accounts for increased difficulty.
Thomas, what gets harder is how you solve the problems. Level One is mostly guessing your own language (e.g. English) translation with word boxes; Level Two is mostly guessing the new-language (e.g. French) in word boxes; etc. until Level Five is mostly writing the sentence from scratch in the new language (e.g. French). That is what gets harder.
To do each bubble to only level one doesn't teach you anything in my opinion. My goal is to do all of the circular bubbles to level 5. It takes time but I have lots of that. I am semi-retired and this is a worthy endeavor for me and keeps my mind active.
Quote: To do each bubble to only level one doesn't teach you anything in my opinion
How the heck did we learn something in the pre-crown era?? ;)
Feel free to use Duolingo's spaced repetition (SR):
1) Re-strengthening earlier - especially recently learned - skills with a defined short-term SR interval will even work only with L1 crown skills!
2) Feel free to mix this approach with the L1-L3 crown pyramid system as suggested many times by global moderators.
3) My own strategy concept for 2018 and my grammar-centric EN->PT course was to separately level those dedicated "advanced grammar" and more complex "verb tense" skills to higher crown levels.
Quote: My goal is to do all of the circular bubbles to level 5
No, don't do that!
Personally I would stop at L4 right before you complete ALL lessons at the moment.
Because otherwise you will run into the "L5 crown bug"!!!
Staff firstly has to fix this well-known PRACTICE bug for L5 crown skills in their backend code and do a new rollout.
The (global) PRACTICE button works much better with L1-L3 (L4) crown skills.
Unfortunately, the "crown system" has been a half-baken system since the early rollout in February-April 2018 and I am sure that developers are already working on improvements and fixing the prio 1 bug list - hopefully.
It also has some obvious flaws in the design to be fully compatible with reverse trees.
Yes - do all the levels. But not within a short time period. Spread out the repetition over several days or a week or so.
As explained in the blog post, we are improving our in-app assessment by aligning it with the CEFR and testing more and more of the language skills that learners should have at different points. But this assessment is not meant to test the proficiency of individual users, which is why we are not displaying any type of individual score to users. For that, we would need a much more involved test that we are just not ready for. The test is useful as an aggregate assessment of how much our users as a group are learning.
It is fine, but it would even be beter if it was presented as a new French-CEFR tree beside the "old" French tree, instead of repacing it cold-turkey !
Many people will complain that they have lost all their progress overnight !
New users could not chose the "old" tree but users who are in an already advanced stage could continue it.
Dear Duolingo Team / Bozena, the updates and new features are sensational. I really feel like I'm in the right place to learn a language. You've been working very hard over the last few years and we all appreciate that. But I'd like to understand why my account hasn't received these updates yet. I understand that the latest updates made to the Spanish and French trees are still happening in the user accounts and maybe I get this update, maybe!!! But the English tree I haven't received the update yet. My niece, who created her account 1 year ago, has already received all the updates. I've already sent several emails to Support, but I believe that the person who answered me could not understand my request. I make this complaint because I want to study using the new trees, the new contents, the new methods, but unfortunately I don't get updates. What should I do to receive these updates? I am a PLUS user and am not served the way I deserve. I do hope someone can resolve my problem, as I see that my account has been forgotten.
A) That is not one of the features Plus members are specifically entitled to
B) If Plus members did get the updates first, there would probably be complaints about being treated like guinea pigs and requests/demands to keep the old system.
@b05aplmun.ca I have understood your line of reasoning and I agree with you. But the courses discussed in this topic, are courses already tried and supported by the Duolingo Experts, therefore, are no longer in the beta phase, but in the final phase, and are being released to all users. The issue is that not all users get these updates.
Duo is by far the most comprehensive program out there, best free program atleast. As long as you read the tips before each lesson, use the discussion section under each question if you're not sure why you got something wrong/right & do daily study then you will go far. The main thing that Duo don't & probably can't teach is speaking & listening skills, you will need a language partner for that. Consider Duo as a really good app for improving your literacy level in a foreign language.
Not as good as a good course. On the plus side it is free and people use it daily.
But there is no real oral component. You do not learn to respond in your TL with you TL (written or spoken) - all the emphasis is on translation.
@Thomas328056 Translation is an efficient way of conveying meaning to beginner learners, but it's not ideal as you progress. First, a practical reason: as you become more advanced, translation is less and less direct, which makes the task unnecessarily difficult: a lot of your mental effort has to go into switching between different ways of saying things across languages. You also lose a lot of nuance when you translate: instead of focusing on how a particular word or phrase is used in the target language (which can be fairly different than in your native language), you reduce it into a translated word/phrase that likely doesn't capture its different shades of meaning. Finally, we now know a lot about what your brain does when it's learning and using another language, and we know it's critical to become skilled at inhibiting (or suppressing) your native language when you're using your second language. This way you become quicker at retrieving the target L2 words or phrases, without the interference from your L1. When using translation, you're forcing your brain to keep your L1 activated while using your L2, which in the end makes learning much harder.
Of course if you want to become a translator or an interpreter, back-and-forth translation is great practice. But otherwise it's not ideal.
It is hard to think of better training that translation from native language to the target language
Actually - TL to TL is better. I say "Ich suche ein billiges Hotel" and you say "Biegeb Sie bei der Ampel links ab" - no translation just response.
Or you are given a sentence with a missing verb and the infinitive - inflect it (tests your ability to conjugate) - or you are given several different infinitives (tests your vocab and ability to conjugate).
There are lots of other ways to learn without translating into your native language for every sentence. This leads to the famous "thinking in a foreign language".
Thomas 328056 - The Spanish reverse tree now includes a small proportion of exercises whereby you are given a very short paragraph (typically two or three short sentences) and then have to answer a question about it - all in the target language. Generally it's set up in such a way that you either have to synthesize the several sentences or pick one detail out from several. Obviously, this is not all that helpful if you're doing a reverse tree and are thus a native speaker of the language, but it would be very, very useful to do that sort of exercise in your target language.
For other examples of how to structure a question using only the target language, take a look at Duolingo stories.
It is hard to think of better training that translation from native language to the target language (although not the other way around). I don't understand what the complaint is about translation, and I would add my two cents that one could progress very far in a language by doing translations into the target language (though, again, not the other way around). Perhaps Duo could devote more content to translation in that direction, and less to translation from the target language into the native language.
I haven't used Rosetta Stone so i can't compare it to it which is the caveat, it's more due to my ignorance on the product.
For some reason it won't let me reply to Thomas's post where he asked the question, so I will answer it here and hopefully he will see it.
It probably depends a lot on what your traditional language course in high school or college looks like. I'm not convinced that traditional language courses are so much a problem as much as we just have a bunch of bad traditional language classroom programs in the US. The high school and college Spanish courses I took growing up in the US weren't very efficient uses of time. In high school were always taught by a non-native speakers who had an American accent and were generally between a high B2 to low C1 level of language themselves (the college courses had teachers with better language skills). Unless we watched a movie in class, we rarely heard native speakers. Most of the kids in the class were there because it was just a normal class you took and not because they really had any desire to learn the language. The class size was so large that we really didn't get that much practice speaking (especially speaking to someone that knew Spanish better than we did).
I have learned way more German in 1 year with Duolingo (and Pimsleur) than I learned in two years of Spanish classes in a traditional environment. Of course, if your traditional classroom environment is much better than the one I experienced, you might have drastically different results.
I used Rosetta Stone and in my opinion it was a waste of money and time. It did help me slightly at the time, but I was also taking classes. I felt my progress was marginal with Rosetta stone, which is pretty pricey. Here is the link for the Spanish version: https://www.rosettastone.com/buy-spanish/ I bought the full version, which cost several hundred dollars at the time.
Will Tiny Cards be updated to align with the courses again?
Looking forward to Italian updates!
This is a fantastic change! Will Duolingo eventually be able to assess your approximate CEFR level? Say, when you master a certain number of skills, will it tell you you've reached an estimated A2? That would be awesome!
Thanks for the hard work!
CEFR is based on what you can demonstrate by exam (in writing, reading, listening comprehension, and speaking). Knowing what you have been presented with gives no indication of what you have learnt or how you can apply it.
That's why I said approximate level. You would have to take the exam to determine your official level.
https://www.dele.org/?page=dele/level-a2 Once you complete the A2 portion of Duolingo click on the pdf file for an example of an A2 exam. If you can answer most questions then that's how you know you have A2 knowledge. You can also listen to A2 oral exams on youtube, they seem really easy in comparison to the written test but even then you're going to need additional practice speaking the language.
But how would DL have any idea how much the material stuck? Without that it, it cannot even give a approximate level; only the level to which you have attended classes.
I assumed that's what the Checkpoints were for, since you have to do them without any hints. It's a pity that you don't get any feedback after taking the Checkpoint to say how many answers were correct. I know that I stumbled through one Spanish Checkpoint and was amazed to see that I'd got through it. Perhaps there's a no-fail policy. Has anyone ever failed a Checkpoint?
As I've seen suggested many times, the ability to repeat a Checkpoint would be very useful to see if material is being retained. In my new 159-skill Spanish tree, 52 new skills were inserted at Level 0 between Home and Vocab 1, but the 2 Checkpoints shown within that list of skills were both marked as complete already. So I'll have no way to test my knowledge of them.
I know it'd be useful for learners to get feedback and repeat the test, but this is not the goal of this particular assessment. The goal is to give us useful data that would drive future course improvements. Perhaps in the future we'll add something that's targeted more at assessing the proficiency of individual users, but that's unfortunately not a priority right now.
It's great to see that Duolingo is now referencing the globally-accepted CEFR in its ongoing developments. I hope this means that Duolingo will now consider taking even more positive steps to include vocabulary and grammar structures more common to European Spanish into its core material? Or, even separating the two Spanish courses as other market leaders who offer European Spanish do? I really feel this would be a defining step in improving inclusiveness in DL's Spanish course, a principle DL claims to champion above all others. You need look no further than these discussions forums for evidence of how popular such a move would be among those who have long petitioned for these inclusions.
Unless you're involved in education it's difficult to access information on exactly what is represented in each CEFR level and what is on their vocabulary lists since the framework is fairly flexible to allow for adaptation to specific need. That said, these lessons offer a general outline of some topics covered at each level for anyone interested:
It's funny that the course is teaching very little on European Spanish grammar and pronunciation and the sentences are all "Soy Mexicana", "Soy Americana" and yet they are using the Spanish flag. As a Czech person living in Spain, I would prefer to have the European course.
Yes, I do understand the priority for LA Spanish of course. But I'm glad you share my desire for European, so let's hope! ;)
Bozena, I just want to thank you for this post, especially for all your thoughtful replies here. I'd become increasingly frustrated about the unanswered questions that other users and I have been asking for days now, so it's refreshing to see your responses in this thread. I'm so excited for the expanded content, and it's wonderful to know we all should have it in the coming weeks. Thanks again!
It's great to know where the course stands in relations to international standards. But it's depressing to find out where it stands. In classroom a student is expected to reach A2 level in about 200 hours. On duolingo crown system it takes about 3 million years of repeating the same sentence over and over.
It sounds like you may be leveling up to level five in every skill before moving on. You do not have to do that and Duolingo, in fact, recommends that you do not do so. If you feel ready, you can move on to the new material as soon as you complete level 1.
Thomas, there are many different posts on the blog and the forum on what is the "optimal" way of traversing the tree, but they all mean that Duolingo is not a language course as such, it's a tool for you to design your own course.
If you take all, or most, of the modules right up to crown level 5, and carefully read the grammar notes for each module...along with doing all of the stories, you can turn Duolingo into quite a thorough comprehensive course.
Depends on how you approach it and how much effort you put into using all of DL's resources.
I inferred it from this sentence: "On duolingo crown system it takes about 3 million years of repeating the same sentence over and over." Even allowing for hyperbole, that is not a remotely accurate description of getting to level 1.
I understand. I don't actually do that, that would be incredibly boring. I rather do all skills in a level before moving to the next level, which means I sometimes forget skills before I get to do them again, because spaced repetition practice feature is completely broken.
All this doesn't change the main point of my post. It takes way more than 200 hours to complete tree level five. For example Spanish has 520 lessons in 113 skills. To get each to gold level five means multiply by 24 gives 12480 lessons! If you spend 10 minutes on each it's over two thousand hours (2080). Ten times more than a classroom. And you still need to find someone else to practice conversation with.
For best results I suggest following our recommended leveling-up procedure, as outlined in this blog post: https://making.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo
I read your link and I still don't know what you're talking about. Do you mean that you complete one crown level for module X and then immediately start working on the next module (module Y)? After completing one crown level on module Y, you then go back to module X to do another crown level before returning again to module Y to do another crown level there. Is that what you mean by hovering? So you're only working with two modules at a time, or are you working with several at a time?
Your explanation was extremely vague. What specifically do you have to do to make your hovering system work? Specifically.
Here's what you said:
"Here's a roadmap for the hovering technique: Get to Level 1 on a new skill, so that you get a good overview of the new material!"
"Go back to a few previous skills to level them up and strengthen the connections in your brain between old and new material. (what does this mean exactly?) (Just pick out some prior crown level at random and level up one crown?)
"Now, get to Level 2 in the new skill from Step 1. (new skill from step 1?) Practice that new material before it gets the chance to escape its new place in your long-term memory!"
"Hover and repeat!" (hover where? --- repeat what?)
The idea is to work on a few adjacent modules/skills, alternating between them. The exact order doesn't matter (so yes, you can pick a module/skill to level up at random). What's important is that you don't move too fast through the course, but instead level up the previous modules/skills until you're comfortable with the material (ideally, level up all the way).
You could just go skill by skill, leveling up all the way before moving to the next skill, but (1) this can get too repetitive and tedious, and (2) you don't get the benefits of some spaced repetition if you work intensively on a single skill. That's why we're suggesting to alternate between a few adjacent skills.
By "hovering" we just mean spreading your time across a handful of nearby skills.
Personally, I'd say do maybe half a dozen skills to level 1; then go back taking them up to level 2 while adding another half dozen skills; repeat ie those at level 2 up to level 3; those at level 1 up o level 2; and add more at level 1.
"Hover and repeat!" (hover where? --- repeat what?)
Hover over nay words you don't know (so you can learn them). Repeat adding new skills and taking old skills up a level.
I completed all skills at level 1 first (vertical), then went back to do a horizontal approach for each skill and finally constant practice sessions at every skill within a checkpoint. Then every once in a while do a whole course practice to refresh vocabulary from lessons taken some time ago. I've found this to be the most fruitful although not necessarily efficient way to exercise those memory cells.
I'm not done yet but I have found this approach to be easier than blasting through 5 levels on each skill.
Maybe in the earlier beginner modules you could just go to crown level one if the material seems pretty simple and straightforward. After that, one could judge it module by module by the level of difficulty, insofar as whether all 5 crown levels would be optimal to do. That would cut down some of the time needed to complete the tree.
Is that true, that spaced repetition is gone? That seems like kind of an important feature in a language learning program.
MiloBem Duolingo caters for everyone, if you do not need all the repeats, there is no reason to level up to 4 or 5, maybe you only need to do to level 2 or 3. I was unsuccessful at learning a language in a classroom situation at school, I failed French and NEED all those repeats.
I do not understand all the complaints on repeating things by those who do them when they do not need to be. You can reach level 25 by not doing all the things. In my case Im going to reach level 25 long before I've even got my tree to level 1. Im not even half way through T1 tree yet
As we just learned here the A2 material is introduced on levels 4 and 5. That's the point of levels - you don't stop at lower level if you think they are too easy, you want to go to higher levels. If I want to progress from A1 to A2 I need to complete level 4 which takes 5 times more time than level 1.
My complaint is not about having levels as such, but about the fact that each next level requires more repeats regardless of whether I know the material or not.
Duolingo needs to stop messing up with the trees and focus on actual features:
Spaced repetition - I want Duo to tell me which lessons I should practice, not some vague "hovering method"
Verified progress/levelling - instead of hardcoded multiplier to number of lessons Duo needs to verify when we are earned the next crown, based on the actual material in the skill.
We have a test out for people who already know the material very well, but the whole crown system should be built around the skill material. It may take one person 6 lessons and another person 60 lessons, until they cover the material, only Duo knows but it doesn't tell.
These two essential language learning features could even be combined in a single "next lesson" button, and the whole trees and crowns will update in the background in their due time, for those who care.
MiloBem, A2 material at levels 4 and 5 is not referring to crown levels on skills. It’s referring to the parts of the tree (sets of skills) in between the pentagonal checkpoints. Down to the first pentagon is level A0. Then from the first pentagon down to the third pentagon is A1. Then from the third pentagon down to the fifth pentagon is A2.
You only have to get up to crown level 1 (blue) in the skills to be exposed to all the content. The higher crown levels in a skill continue presenting the same content you learned at the purple level, but with different mixes of types of exercises.
Sharon, it looks like you may be right about that. The OP wasn't very clear what levels they refer to. This means the real progression is pushing down the tree and higher crown levels are truly pointless :)
It's because they teach way too much vocab for A1 & A2. A2 can be reached in 1-1.2k words and cover the present, future and past tense & A1 can be reached in 500 words. I'd love for them to condense the course but the makers disagrees with me and thinks that the vocab is necessary, even though every outlet has opposing views.
I wish Duolingo would eliminate the test out feature because that's the only way more people would agree with me. Teaching 114 skills and 2300 words for A2 is ridiculous and if you complete this without testing out in an impactful manner(level3+ for each skill) we will spend 300-400hrs on Duolingo alone and we would still need to put in 10's of hours into actually speaking to Spanish speakers to improve our speach in addition to lessons on Duo.
Duo is an amazing free resource but i just wish it was condensed to be more efficient in learning a language for users new to the language.
Exposing learners to more words is a good thing. Many A1 Spanish textbooks have about one thousand words and many A2 books present another thousand. Using the words in the course doesn't mean learning them all.
I'd bet most users finish with about 1000 words in their vocabulary. As they continue to learn and move into B1, reviewing Duolingo lessons will help them put those two thousand words into their heads.
Too many words if your objective is just to pass A1, but not if your intention is to learn a language. One online instructor in Russian claims a fluent speaker uses 7500 words in everyday speech and has an extended vocabulary of another 14,000. I downloaded a portion (every 10th word) of the English corpus and discovered I only began finding unknown words beyond the top 50,000 or so. I am not expecting native language fluency from Duolingo but if 7500 is a conversational level, the Russian course vocabulary of somewhat more that 2000 is insufficient. I am very good at saying that horses eat apples however.
brian, too many words? For myself lots of words are great as I want to be actually able to speak and use the language.
I'm not looking forward to them changing the German course as I can already pass basic German tests from what I've learnt in the past year and I'm worried they will remove the higher level stuff in the German course or condense it so there is less variety on those sentences. Hopefully I will get through the current course before they touch it.
I wish there was op ins or op outs when duolingo changes things.
Really. Why do you have to keep messing about with the course, Why didnt you encorporate CEFR 5 years ago. I am fed up with not being to achieve my own personal goals on Duolingo. Every time I get somewhere near you move the goal posts by redesigning the course.
The absolute worse was the introduction of crowns with the skull crushing repetitive lessons to get through each stage. At that point I gave up on everything apart from the "practice" lessons until you introduced the "test outs". Then I restarted on moving through the crowns and I actually managed to turn my Spanish tree golden and moved on to the reverse English tree.
But now you've hit me with the "double whammy" again by limiting the test out points to 20 and changing the Spanish tree which still has the same no of lessons
But about 50 of them have gone back to level zero so I have to go back to that again.
Personally I thought that the practice lessons pre crowns when you'd maintained you tree golden were the best, they were the most challenging. However during the last 15 months the challenges are now where up to that.
The new Spanish tree does not have the same number of lessons. It has 46 more skills total. Those 50-odd purple skills you see in the middle of the tree are new skills. (There’s more than 46 there because the new tree also took out 5 old skills, to give the bet to marease of 46 skills).
Almost all skills are Level 0 now, from Level 5 - you think that is a good "development" for the app?
Nah. You're kidding yourselves.
This is the second time that you update the tree since I am on Duolingo. Great that you make improvements to it, but wiping someone's tree is extremely demotivating! I had almost completed the French tree. I started last august and made a year planning to have it finished coming June. Now my year project is totally messed up and all that easy beginners stuff I need to do again? Most of my months of hard work feels gone now! aaarrrrggghh
You should study some (game) design principles on progression systems. Just wiping months of work is not the way to do this.
Don't get me wrong I appreciate updates, but there should be some other way of implementing them than wiping months of hard work and daily dedication.
I can understand both sides. On the one hand, many of us demand that the linguistic content be extended or improved. When the update takes place, many are disappointed that many of their already achieved levels have been reset to zero.
The language contents are organized via a database. It should therefore be possible to create a new data set, e. g. for an English language course, as for a completely new language, in which you first copy the old content and then extend it with the new content.
Next, a function will be written that allows users of this language course to choose whether they want to stay with the old content or just use the new content, including the info that the levels will then be reset to zero.
Another function or function extension offers only the New Content for completely new users who want to start the English course in the first place.
This would be a way to avoid straining the motivation of users.
Does Duolingo have an office?
Duolingo has a footer on almost all, if not all Duolingo web pages.
If one clicks on Jobs, one can see that there are job openings in Pittsburg, New York City, and Seatle.
If one clicks on Help, there are some answers to questions that has been asked in this thread.
It would be helpful, it the Help icon or a FAQ icon was also included in the header.
Duolingo might be mostly automated, right? Does Duolingo have an office or are its workers decentralized all working from laptops? I am more curious about Duolingo itself. It has definitely got me thinking about what it takes to create good software.
We do have an office in Pittsburgh, PA, with about 150 employees. In addition, we have a handful of people working remotely, mostly from New York and Seattle, but they come to Pittsburgh regularly. Our work is very collaborative, so being physically in one office is actually very important!
Thanks for replying Bozena. I am sure your are committed in making this the best experience and am sure the workers are passionate about what they do. Kudos to the team and all that they are doing and have done for this platform.
Is this why it is making me go back and redo most of my past completed lessons? this is very discouraging
Hi, I have to admit I did enjoy scrolling past all the skills in which I had completed all 5 levels. To solve this, could you enable us to test out of skills at the checkpoints, even if we are past the checkpoints? It wouldn't take long if you have the knowledge already, and everyone would still be able to see their progress after this change.
Does this same info apply to the new French tree. I'm still waiting for it. Wondering if it's a bug that I haven't gotten it. I'd like to know if I'll be getting switched over or not...
I'm also doing French and don't have the updates yet, I think I read somewhere that they will take some time to reach everybody. It sounds like everyone will eventually be switched, but just not right away.
I suppose we loose the variety of that other stuff :( while they focus on the A1/A2 on words which many of us who also are using other sources for our learning will already know.
I hope they dont do that update for the German course any time soon.
Yes, this offer is freely accessible and yes, especially the many volunteers and often unpaid helpers deserve a big thank you.
Nevertheless, such projects live from the fact that there are many users who report bugs, give suggestions, provide critical feedback and question some things.
Just because a product is free does not mean that it cannot and must not be improved. And much of what we use in everyday life has only evolved because many users have put forward their ideas, comments and criticisms.
But of course this should be done in a respectful way.
I lost ALL of my progress because of this?? I was Maximum Level at a huuuge amount of courses in French, But now EVERYTHING is reset to Starting level? What the hell? All of this work for nothing?!
Whoa! What happened??!! I had 26 levels completed and in gold on the French tree. Now all of a sudden, I have to start all over again because the course was redesigned??!! All but one level was colored in again.
So why should I lose all progress on so many French modules I have completed?
I understand updating the trees - this all makes sense. What I do not understand is how, after being 75 days into French and having completed around 16 of the lessons to the end of level 5, I suddenly have no points whatsoever in some of the most basic categories such as 'Greetings'. It is super frustrating to have to start over again from level 0 on things like 'Hello' and 'Good morning' when I have been past this for months.
I have two questions for you: 1) is this likely to resolve such that our previous experience is reflected in the new tree? 2) I used to test out of basic skills so that I could move on to things that I actually need to learn, however, I reached a point where Duolingo was not letting me test out for free (the app was requesting that I basically buy my ability to test out of basic skills). It seems to be letting me test out again, but is this indefinite / for as many skills as I want or should I be conserving the limited number of 'test outs' for the bigger level 4-5 jumps since there are so many individual components to those?
I'm sorry, we don't have a great way of switching people into new versions of a course. This was a particularly drastic change, but we felt very strongly that we needed a complete course redesign. We are not planning such drastic course changes in the future (for the courses that already got the update), so hopefully this was a one-time painful experience.
With the new setup, you should be able to test out of entire sections, for free (although this feature might not be available to all users yet). You can also try to reset your whole progress and take a placement test.
Not sure how DL will get in over 10 000 words (not lexemes), plus idioms, understanding solid blocks of near native language level text on quite sophisticated topics and answering question on it in your target language, producing similar full page essays on a topic not of your choosing, responding to multi-sentence verbal questions or statements in your TL with your TL, and giving 5 minute verbal presentations on random topics with only a few minutes preparation time. All with no reference materials. Because that is what C1 means from my experience. (No, I haven't passed yet)
You mean the presentation? Yes, I don't doubt that would challenge many native speakers too. But the most fun was a mock debate (this was not an exam). Two of us had to prepare a short speech on a given side of an argument (one such was "Jacinda Ardern is NZ's best ever Prime Minister") - then we had to attack each other's arguments while the other defended them.
At C1 the grammar was not always the best, idioms were off, there may have been some odd use of vocab - but this is the level you are expected to operate at. C1 is not asking for a coffee or chatting about what you saw on TV last night.
C1 level is literally impossible to achieve using an app. Anything beyond B1 requires real interactions in the target language as well as consumption of good amounts of reading and listening materials intended for natives.
Well if I didn't wonder if I should replace my Spanish for German speakers with the one for English speakers, then I do now.
I have heard of the new Japanese tree and I'm already hyped. But hearing that Chinese is also going to get some attention made my heart rejoice. Just a quick question though, wouldn't it make more sense to align the Japanese course with JLPT and the Chinese Course with the HSK?
What great news! Kudos to the Duo Team! If only your English course for speakers of Greek were also aligned with the CEFR! I use the app with my English classes daily but this alignment would add to its prestige with some sceptical parents!
I was sooo close to finishing the French course :(
Now I need to increase the amount of time I devote to duo
At level 23, I'd probably start a third or half way down the tree and assume you have everything above that. (Unless you spot a skill that really does look new).
This sounds great! Hopefully it will catch on and you will spread the same philosophy to other languages.
Thanks for the change in the syllabus. Will Duolingo consider providing users with the opportunity to take the examinations related to CEFR. In other words will Duolingo have an agreement with CEFR to allow Duolingo learners to take the online proctored exams for CEFR? It will certainly motivate us to work toward an accepted international certification in the language being studied on Duolingo. Please consider and affilation or agreement with CEFR. Thanks.
Not sure how valid an online exam would be for CEFR. I've taken them and they were under standard exam conditions - ie with supervisors and no reference material - and the written part was about 2 hours long.
In addition CEFR requires an oral/spoken component - for instance answering questions or giving a presentation in your target language (with topic chosen by the examiner) or answering written questions based on an audio file you get to hear only 2 or 3 times.
All of the new content is awesome - how can I see what CEFR level I am at? or what CEFR level the different courses are?
Check the table in my blog post. It shows which tree section corresponds to which CEFR level. https://making.duolingo.com/how-are-duolingo-courses-evolving
Ok, read blog post, i am studying spanish, how do I know which courses have CEFR ratings, and will I be able to see an overall rating on myself for all the material I have covered? also does this include the stories section? GREAT WORK DUOLINGO!
Currently, the CEFR-aligned courses are Spanish from English, French from English, English from Spanish, and English from Portuguese. You won't be able to see a rating of your proficiency, but if you go through all the content, leveling up on all the skills, you should feel fairly confident about your language skills. Stories aren't currently integrated with our CEFR-aligned courses, but in the future we do hope to give our users better guidelines as to when it's appropriate to complete them.
Bozena thank for answering, Duo from a computer shows eight sections in English from Spanish, its table of CEFR levels only shows the level of five sections and the other three sections of web page? at what CEFR level do they correspond? only A2 level?
Thank you very much for you reply, now I have solved my doubts, I imagine that now they will add more content, B1 and maybe B2, I hope. Thanks and regards.
For your own level you need to find a third party test. However, a CEFR test also includes the spoken word ie understanding spoken text (for instance proving this by answering question in your target language with your target language) and producing spoken language (eg by having a conversation with an examiner).
I don't know why someone downvoted that! It seems like important and useful info.
Your post here refers to adding "new illustrated tips" and your blog post refers to "Quick & helpful tips."
Because Duolingo content already has a feature called "Tips and notes", it may be helpful to explain how these new features or content relate to the "Tips and notes" feature. Are these concepts different in kind?
What we call "Tips" are a newer version of "Tips and notes" that we've developed internally. Our main goal was to make them accessible to a wider range of learners, even those who don't know many grammatical terminology (and aren't too interested in it). We tried to make them more lightweight and fun, using illustrations and examples with highlighting of relevant parts.
@Thomas328056 & @Bozena
I've been thinking about the issue of being 'grammatical terminology' light/free. I suspect that is feasible for A1/2 content - but will be a hindrance as one moves into B+ subject matter (assuming that the goal is teaching grammatically correct usage).
This challenge is increased by having non-Native English speakers using the En-Fr,or any En-X tree. (NB: I applaud anyone out there who picks up that challenge. That shows determination and guts.) . Also that there are multiple learning styles.
B+ content will be interesting to figure out.
We do have to use some grammatical terminology; it's hard to avoid completely. But I don't think it's impossible to explain B+ grammar usage with less text, relying mostly on visualizations and examples -- this format makes the explanations clearer. I'm a linguist excited about grammatical nuances, but even I get confused reading most of the grammatical explanations out there that are often long paragraphs of text.
Thank you for your reply and for working on this whole upgrade.
I am open-minded and very interested to see this approach and its results. Even though, in my personal experience, I have found grammar/rules/theory to be enormously helpful, if not essential. But maybe I could have been approaching things in a better way all along or I haven't had tools like Duolingo to use for practice, drilling, and repetition.
And I look forward to learning with the new approach myself if I complete German and start on a new language.
Could you have a link to the nuts and bolts and a showy page for the simple minded. That way we could be acquainted with both. And a blurb on the side as well explaining the basics?
Grin! At no point did I say "impossible". I just said "interesting".
As anyone progresses into a subject matter - there is a minimal set of information and concepts which must be agreed upon. They are given a "word" if you will.
Now how we find agreement on what that concept is, is well, interesting.
I think it could be unfortunate if Duolingo adopted a more 'grammatical terminology'-light learning platform than it already has. Such an approach might tend to force learners to resort to other resources (although maybe that is a good thing, or intended? I don't know), or even other platforms.
I've been hearing about these updates for weeks now and keep checking my tree but it still hasn't undated... Any idea how long it will take to get all of us on the new tree? I'm very excited to get started on the new material
Finally. I learned German in Germany at three different institutions and had no problem transferring in between because of CEFR. I am learning Spanish in California now and went thru a few schools as well. Each time I needed a placement test and the courses were structured more or less the way each school/instructor liked them. This has resulted in unnecessary redundancies and missed contents. In the A1-C2 CEFR system, the syllabus for each level is more or less clear and abide by all, and the student also knows ahead of time what to expect.
Many thanks to all those who put so much effort into the content of the language course and, as far as I have noticed in the discussions, mostly work on it free of charge.
For the first time I see here officially the indication of the CEFR and how this is connected with the structure of the course on Duolingo.
My suggestion to include this explanation in the help text in the section: What is Duolingo
I'm loving the improvements and the challenge. I do feel, though, that as the changes happen I get a bit frustrated and discouraged. I feel as though I've been working super hard and then it feels like I'm working but not seeing progress. If eel like sometimes I get set back several levels (which may only be in my head) and I feel like it's harder to make progress without seeing results. I keep trudging, but the reward of accomplishment seems so far off down the road. It would be cool if there were closer celebratory moments of success. Thanks for considering my idea.
Have you not completed the tree at level 21 yet? You should be working towards being conversational at this point imo.
Excellent work. Does this mean no more sentences like 'el insecto bebe café?
That's good to hear! I think the quirky sentences can often illustrate grammatical concepts much better. There's room for both fun and function.
Bozena, I'm still on the old Spanish tree with 113 skills, how do I get to the new one with 159 skills?
Quote: how do I get to the new one with 159 skills?
Basically you just wait until the system "picks you".
I am studying both Spanish and French and just received the update for French, but not for Spanish. Not sure why that is.
I received the new French tree just yesterday. There was a banner on my Spanish tree, but it didn't update. The same thing happened about a couple weeks ago where I received banners for both French and Spanish but no updated content. Glitches, I suppose.
At least we can dig in to the new French tree while we wait for Spanish!
I'm really confused. I'm doing Spanish, but I still have only 113 skills, and not 159. I've read that some people's trees have been reset but mine still hasn't. How do I know if I'm on the new tree? Could someone give me examples of the skills from the new tree so I know if I am or not?
113 skills is the old tree. 159 skills is the new tree. Old tree has 5 pentagon checkpoints. New tree has 7 pentagon checkpoints.
Some skills in the new tree after the third pentagon checkpoint (that is, after History and Home) are Pref. 2, Work 2, and Childhood.
ETA: because you have 113 skills, that means you’re still on the old tree.
Hi Duolingos - am bewildered with the new French course which has taken me back to zero. Now it seems I have to make my way back to nearly halfway, going through all the basic stuff again. Was there a mistake, or must I get down to doing that and write off all the extra time as practice?
Thanks for the update. Might I suggest that for the phonetic exercises Duo use real human voices and not TTS. It wouldn't be that much effort and would be a great improvement. I've been using Memrise to compliment my German studies and listening to real humans has been very very very helpful.
I was fairly far along in French and the course indicates that I have "tested out" of seven levels (one level to go, though, in fact, I never took the tests). Yet over ninety circles are purple and 150 crowns don't show up on my i-pad (though they show on my computer). I am unsure what's the best strategy to pursue at this point.
@CynthiaWestfall --- I was in the same position. I decided to test out of the purple skills, taking them from Crown L0 to L1. I took notes on any words I didn't recognize (a few, but not momentous). I do not plan on taking any of those skills further than Crown L1.
I'm now working on the skills which, on Duome, show up as missing a lesson or two. (DL appears to have slightly modified the vocabulary in a few previously existing skills.)
After that, I'll focus on the last segment of the tree. If Bozena can coordinate the sticky Forum post we were talking about, my focus will become the B+ content, leaving the rest of the tree dormant.
"Yet over ninety circles are purple and 150 crowns don't show up on my i-pad (though they show on my computer). "
You might want to go to your aps store and see if the duolingo ap has an update available.
There are frequent sound problems with some of the new programs--as in no sound at all. This is occurring in the newer and higher levels of Spanish. It is hit and miss. Any information on this issue?
Thank you! I've been asking this question for about a week now. I'm really looking forward to the new material.
As somebody who has been working towards C1 for two years (passed B2 in 2016) I'm not convinced I'd even be able to get C1 with an app. The vocab needed is huge; you need to understand fine differences in similar words; you need (at C1) to explain an idiom from your target language in your target language; you need to be able to read large blocks of text and answer questions in your target language; you need to be able to write sophisticated paragraphs on obscure topics in your target language; you need to be able to converse at almost native speed (but your vocab will be smaller and allowance is made for minor grammatical errors). This does not sound like something DL has a chance of tackling - let alone C2!
I agree Bozena, I see we have some negative nellies saying what they think can't ever be done, but Duo is now doing stuff with languages that I would not have dreamed possible back when I did languages in University. I think the sky's the limit with Duo as new technology presents new tools. So many industries have said "such and such is not possible" and then boom, within 10 years they are historical curiosities as a technology came from out of the blue to replace them. I think Duo will ride a wave of technological advancement in language learning, blowing all kinds of old paradigms out of the water, and I'm happy to support them by being a premium member and whatever other paid opportunities arise in the future.
I applaud the new changes! I am looking forward to learning the new skills and developing my Spanish in the style more people speak. I am aware that I will need to pay more attention to the complex sentences and proofread more than I did before and not guess at what the structure of the sentence is and follow the directions more precisely than I was before. Thank you!
Quote: I used Rosetta Stone and in my opinion it was a waste of money and time
Sorry, I cannot directly reply to your other nested comment (max. level 6) here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/31573948$comment_id=31714718
I wonder why you do even bother to post the HTTP "buy link" to the RS homepage when you do not even like their software?!?
Wouldn't it be better not to clutter the DL forums and this thread with links like that which you do not want to stand behind it?
I tried their free RS web demo for Portuguese in 2017. I didn't really like it.
You can find some RS reviews here:
BTW as we are talking here:
Brent's above commercial learning portal provides a FREE lengthy (Spanish & other languages) web demo; their demo looked good to me with the phrases and recorded native audio incl. slow audio speaker button (I started to learn my 1000 first Spanish words on Lingvist end of 2017 much later; didn't have any ES experience when I tried their demo as PT is not available), when you already have some fundamental Spanish knowledge, completed your tree on Duolingo and you have learned basic Romance grammar here.
Instead of I started using Mondly on the web in 2017 and 2018 when I could get a premium account with a voucher: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/20450828$comment_id=20527429
Unfortunately their web portal has been deactivated since three months after several deactivated features (conversation modules, native audio recordings, etc.) and you now need a mobile device to use their app or a faster computer for an Android emulator: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29990410
As this is the "Duolingo CEFR announcement thread" I am OK with editing this comment and removing all product HTTP links or completely deleting it on your request if you ask me to.
But then this should be also the case for all users and all previous comments and posted URL product links.
Please feel free to catch me for a private chat on Hellolingo if you want and you feel like that maybe a single Duolingo E-mail moderator message / notice is not enough on this topic.
I will gladly follow your instructions. Thanks.
I posted the link to Rosetta Stone not to endorse the product but so people who were interested in the pricing could know how much it cost. I realize that sounds like I contradicted myself to say it didn't help me and then to post the link and can see how that might be confusing, which was not my intent. I will leave it up to as to whether to delete the comment as it might be inappropriate for this forum. Do with it what you must. Thank you.
Thanks to those who've responded to my question about hovering and repeating. Judit and Bozena and anyone else I may have forgotten. I'm taking your advice to heart and am doing this now.
So a couple months ago I started learning Spanish on Duolingo (from German). Any idea when the framework might be introduced there? I understand it's quite a niche one to go for. I'd switch to Spanish (from English), but I find the current method to be too beneficial.
Sorry this is off topic, but I am amazed by the amount of languages you're learning and they're all at levels 17+! I hope to someday be as proficient as you are with language learning! Motivation :)
Wow. that is amazing that Angelilc12345 has learned so many. A true polyglot.
Yeah, thank you! :) Very excited for this. I just came from six weeks in Ecuador where I greatly improved my skills, but am not sure where to go from there. I have all sorts of methods to increase my comprehension (watching Spanish tv shows, I'm reading a book in Spanish, etc.), but my speaking and writing is much harder to work on now that I'm not surrounded by native speakers. DuoLingo is still one of the best ways for me to practice producing Spanish. I wish there was a way I could jump straight to the higher levels of skills though, where I could begin writing in Spanish immediately instead of needing to go through a few levels of translating in to English or selecting the right sentence.
I am enjoying the new material and appreciate the efforts to improve the course. Thank you.
I am wondering where all this new stuff is. I finished the Spanish tree a while back and the last time they added content, I had Lessons appear for me to do and I don't see any units that are not gold.
Yes that is an excellent question O me these new baubles are like the emperor's New clothes. Everybody talks about them but nobody can see them
My new 159-skill Spanish tree has 7 checkpoints, so it obviously doesn't have a 1-to-1 mapping to the 5 Sections listed in the table in the original posting. Perhaps each Checkpoint in the tree could be labelled with the corresponding CEFR Level, such as "Checkpoint A1.2".
Could you include, maybe in a blog post somewhere as to what tenses & grammar rules are introduced in each section?
The third section it seems is where the past tense is first introduced and section is when the future tense is first introduced, is this correct?
W don't have to reset our courses, right? Does it work as a normal update? Content is added?
For Spanish the content was added after the third section. The first three sections in the old tree are the same more or less and the last 2 sections are also more or less the same.
How does this translate to DuoLingo progress? I have crowns, I have levels and I have XP, but nothing tells me where I am in regards to CEFR. Or am I missing something?
When you finish tree 12, (just 129 skills to go) you have covered the A2 material. I believe A1 is in mixed in rather than having a distinct cut-off (and of course, you should be switching up and down the skills to get them into long term memory).
Tree 12? I don't see this anywhere. In fact, I'm only assuming that the series of circles on my "Home" tab is a tree of some sort. It has no label.
PS. I live in a bilingual (French/English) jurisdiction. All I need is to get to the point to where I can talk to my neighbour. Long term memory will come through use for me, less so through rote.
the naming conventions tree2, tree3, tree8, tree12 only had to be introduced on Duome for the EN->FR courses because so many trees in parallel were becoming for users more and more confusing when posting threads and questions on the discussion forums.
For a short while the Duome author also tried to add the 2nd (detail) V version numbers behind the trees in parentheses as French moderators explained in a longer posting: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29069435/French-Trees-Explained
To my understanding:
We hardly were able to keep up with the informations about constant A/B French tree updates and every time a new user asked a question and different topics he/she was on a new never-seen-before new tree ;)
This was especially true as A/B tree rollouts usually happen without any official staff or community manager announcement / warning beforehand.
IMHO French might be a special case as the contributor A/B tree3 never made it as a stable tree as tree2 was still active until recently.
So far this was not happening to EN->SP courses.
There was one big Spanish (A1 CEFR) update with the 113 skills and I believe everyone should be at least on this tree at the moment.
The A/B testing phase didn't take that long and there were not three A/B trees in parallel to a stable tree.
And now there is another Spanish tree update (A2 CEFR) with 159 skills:
Until now nobody had any clue what tree versions these Spanish courses should be named, so the Duome author could have added it for the 2-3 trees.
Bozena explained above that the newest ES tree (159 skills) is internally labeled: #28.
As it is still probably A/B, we also would have to know the tree version number of the previous 113 skill tree.
Or is the new 159 Spanish tree now stable / permanent for all users, like French tree12 is - including school classrooms?
What were the tree numbers for the previous 61 skill ES tree so the Duome author could include those numbers for the EN->SP course?
duome was developed by some users using the Duolingo API. it is not an official Duolingo feature. Duolingo actually demanded they change the domain, it previously had duolingo in the address
I got the updated Spanish material yesterday. Let me just say thanks. Plenty of new things to learn. The funny thing is that 2 days ago I visited the forum as I wanted to ask how the material in Duolingo is related to the levels of CEFR, and the first post I saw was this announcement.
This is not going to happen. Real exams always include speaking and listening - the real reasons people learn languages. It's impossible to test your language skills by a website or an app. They could test your reading and writing skills, but that's not enough to offer any certificate. You can get a golden owl. For a real certificate you need to book an appointment with a human examiner.
You clearly have not seen the new Google Duplex app have you? That app and others like it will change the game. We will be able to learn to be conversational without the need of another human in maybe another year or two and if these apps get incorporated into Duo then they will be able to do a CEFR test purely online at some point.
No I haven't seen it. It's been long time since I left google and I don't follow their developments that closely. If you're talking about video conferencing than yes, of course you can get an exam remotely. If it's some new AI than not yet, maybe in a decade or two.
A CEFR exam is no minor thing. The written component for those I did was about two hours long. And a problem with tests over the internet is how do you ensure people don't cheat? Sure, you can say "they are only cheating themselves" - but how much will third parties respect a test without invigilators? Further, how will the oral component be tested? Listening comprehension is possible but having a conversation is a bit harder (not impossible - but time consuming and expensive).
Should they introduce exams, I would expect each one to cost several hundred dollars (the equivalent for English in NZ costs thousands).
This update is great! I'm especially excited for the A-2 level content coming to the Japanese course!
Excited for the Chinese update! Will it also use CEFR as a guide or will it use something like the HSK which is specific for the language??
Same for Japanese. CEFR or JLPT??
I must say that having greetings, travel and restaurant toward the top of the treee is a good thing. I started two new languages on Duo and needed those lessons sooner vs later. Looking forward to that being rolled out to other languages (i.e. French > German and Italian), but I’m sure that’ll take a while. So I’ll be back in the position where it’ll look like I’ve lost all my hard work
The Welsh course follows the CEFR levels by being based on standard Welsh for adults courses in Wales
Thank you for the CEFR! It would be great to know where the B1 content starts. The gamification of language-learning would be interesting to fuse with 1960's "Mille Bornes"-like graphics in little conversation groups. And hey the focus on beginning new languages gave me a chance to revive my Swedish (which I took courses in, and practiced in the country decades ago) and to try Dutch (which my granfather spoke, but I never studied). What fun!
How do I volunteer to help make Japanese (and French and Italian) to English CEFR-ready?
This is awesome! My friends want to join from france, Ill tell them all about this one!
Nice update! How do seven checkpoints in Spanish course match with the CEFR levels? Theoretically, after completing 4th section one should be level A2.1? Are sections 6&7 at level B then?
Is it correct that a top quarter of my tree is green (level 2), the mostly next quarter of my tree is red (level 3), which is what I was seeing before the changes. The bottom half of the tree is now mostly purple? According to the update, shouldn't the whole thing be purple now?
Thanks for all your efforts, Duolingo gang! French is really starting to take a hold of my brain and I give you guys a lot of credit for it.
If you haven't already, try the stories. They are a lot of fun, at least they are for me, and a good way to learn new words that aren't in the lessons.
@Bozena - As a user who is using this app to refresh my Russian language skills, can you please tell me where the Russian course stands in the que for this update?
Ok, thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions, including mine!
I would hope soon. According to Wikipedia, Russian is the 8th most frequently spoken language, both in total speakers and native. It has more native speakers that either German (11th) or French (18th). It is a good basis for other Slavic languages as well. Please, we need an advocate for Russian.
I believe it has a bit of B1 - but the whole approach on DL doesn't work well with intermediate level CEFR. You need a much, much bigger vocab. You need to be able to work just in French ie instructions and questions in French on French text and French answers - not translations. You need to be able to handle paragraphs of text. You need to be able to "listen" to a paragraph (or two) of French and answer questions. You need to be able to converse (beyond "Hello, I'm Jayne. I would like a coffee").
"B2 | Upper Intermediate
At the B2 CEFR level, a language learner can:
• Understand the main ideas of a complex text such as a technical piece related to their field.
• Spontaneously interact without too much strain for either the learner or the native speaker.
• Produce a detailed text on a wide range of subjects."
This is great news. I've been wondering how my proficiency is improving with my understanding gained from the courses. This gives much needed context.
I worked through Spanish (never studied it before starting Duo) and French (was pretty good in high school) to the end and was at first upset to find that Spanish is keeping ahead of me -- that is, there were new topics that I was at level 0 in when I was trying to get to level 2 in everything -- so I'm glad to learn that it's a principled approach to course design that's doing it. I almost always work on the iPad app but had a great time with "Stories" tonight. I especially liked that the same story in Spanish & German had entirely different questions to answer.
YASS! I LOVE THE NEW FRENCH COURSE SOOO MUUCH!!! Please do this with all language which CEFR is applied too! That would be AMAZING!
At first I didn't like the change. It seemed like I was set back to earlier material. But now that I've been using it I think it fits better and I'm actually learning at the best rate. I'm glad that its being set up to conform to the CEFR guidelines because that makes sense when you're hoping to use it in the real world. I plan on taking a test at some point to see where I stand on that scale. It will be interesting to see how that turns out and how it compares to my Duolingo level.
Some new sections are full of errors with no efficient way to bring them to DUO's attention. In the past the "report" section allowed for comments. It would be beneficial if this practice were re-instituted with any new section. By way of example the new section on "childhood" will not accept "As a girl" for "De niña." It only accepts "as a child." Also there is rampant confusion on the use of "used to" and "use to" in this section with no grammatical authorities in agreement. I agree with one person who suggested we agree on Webster's as authority. Duo must be clear in any case. When there is no clarity in English grammar Duo must be more flexible.
The previous version of the Duolingo app seemed to be somewhat crippled on my iPad 3. I used to allow 10 to 15 minutes after starting the app before I used it. It was then more or less OK. Now it is too flakey to be useable. The Web version on Safari is now also unusable. If I had the choice I would go back 2 or 3 years for a previous version that functioned smoothly. Perhaps I need a new iPad just for Duolingo?
Does Duolingo German go to CEFR A2.2? If Spanish and French are now at B1 (with very recent improvements), when will German go to B1? If you're going to offer a language, take it to the max of what can realistically be offered in your CALL platform. Why admit that you teach some languages a little less well than others, and others yet even less well than that? I don't get that.
To repeat, the question is...when will German be at CEFR level B1, assuming it isn't now? Also, exactly what CEFR level is it at now?
They improve two languages and you complain that the other languages aren't also improved?
I'm saying this with no malice whatsoever. Your post sounds rather entitled. They've given you a free (or cheap) language course. Why not be grateful?
I'm grateful for Duolingo. I thought I was not cut out for language learning and wouldn't have spent money on Rosetta Stone and risk failure and wasted money.
Duolingo taught me how to teach myself.
If I realize Duolingo didn't spend enough time on the subjunctive, I'm grateful. That means I have learned enough grammar to understand what I'm lacking and seek it out. I don't need Duolingo to spoon-feed me everything anymore. But I still use it because I'm still learning from this app.
Of course, it always depends on how respectfully you express your criticism or suggestions for improvement. And whether these wishes are also realistic.
However, I can also understand a certain annoyance about the hints that it's free after all.
I don't think so myself, just because something's free, you can't ask any wishes, ideas, criticism or questions and you just have to keep your head down and be grateful.
Can't one also be grateful and still point out weak points? I can imagine that over the years Duolingo has learned from user feedback and improved its product.
What would be, if we only always express our thanks and never wishes, questions, suggestions or even justified criticism? If Duolingo were what it is today, wouldn't it be possible to do exactly that?
Yeah, well I'm glad I was taught to be grateful but to also speak up for myself, ask questions, and have certain expectations. You must get rolled a lot.
You're a cheap date. It's the "better" that I'm interested in, not the "free". I thought Duolingo was supposed to be better. If you're advertising yourself as this truly great language learning website that's different, and at least as good or better than the others, than you'd better be all that. Don't tell me later that some other common internet language courses would have taken me further. Or if I had just had the good fortune of choosing a different Duolingo major language, I would have been better off.
Well, you can always take DL to the end and then supplement it with a more advanced course I suppose. And they may beef up German, and some of the other languages, to BI soon. It does seem pretty thorough now if you go at it hard enough.
They should introduce pictures into the stories and a lot more pictures into the regular learning modules though. Might help to bring the AI chatbots to Windows and Android too.
You're right. They should teach to C2 level and wash my car too. It's pretty dirty and who else is going to wash it. Certainly not me!
We're all consumers. Duolingo makes money from advertising, and the rates they can charge depends on the amount of their traffic --- us. Plus they sell our translations for money. If doing that allows them to provide a free service, god bless 'em.
However, that gives us the right to expect certain information upfront, and also to make realistic suggestions for improvement. Be grateful, but don't be too easy to please.
My question was whether anyone knew what CEFR level Duolingo German went to, and when (if) it might go to B1, if it doesn't now. If you have no information on that, don't bother replying with worthless snark.
We don't actually sell your translations for money. Our current business model relies on ads, the Plus subscription, and the DET (https://englishtest.duolingo.com/).
As for the German course, we haven't done any CEFR evaluation of the current content, so we don't have any information about how far it goes.
It isn't at any CEFR level now. You can learn things in different orders not just in the order that they are on the CEFR level exam. Duolingo was not teaching toward the levels before so they taught things in the order the contributors thought made the most sense as opposed in the order that the CEFR levels cover materials. So if you finish the German program, you will know some things above the A2 level and not know some things that are in the A2 level. Duolingo wasn't trying to cover those levels before. That doesn't mean they weren't doing a good job. They were just taking a different approach.
Even now, finishing the Spanish and French exam doesn't mean you can pass the A2 test. It just means Duolingo is covering the material that is in those exams. If your speaking or listening isn't good enough, you still won't be able to pass the A2 test. But now, Duolingo Spanish and French tree will cover the grammar (implicitly) and the vocab that you would need for those levels.
Oh that's nice supporting the same 5 languages at Duolingo, so cool I'm so excited rolls eyes.
Well, 3 of the languages mentioned for improvement – "up to A2-level content in other courses (like German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese)" – are languages that you are learning. Duolingo is a company after all, so the most popular languages will always have the most support.
Also, trying a new thing out first on a course taken by more people means they could get more feedback than if they try that new thing out first on a course taken by very few people.
While I usually hate that aspect of their policy (because I think minority languages should not wait market demands before they are approved for vehiculation on the internet), I think for this it does make sense as it is what most people here are after, and changing their programming probably requires a lot of new effort. Therefore, it makes sense they'd try to see if that adds any return in revenue.
I mean, I think it is quite obvious that a lot of new announcements like Hawaiian, Navajo, Latin, Finnish and now this are an attempt to try to make old users less angry with the changes to the site's appearance and navigation with a distracting marketing decision, but I don't think we should be angry with the fact that they're trying.
[Extremely off-topic rant: And it's not like they should waste their workers' time and money with those new projects once the community rejects them, it can come across as very mean, even though it is ultimately something that could just... have been avoided? Duolingo is famous enough as is and I truly don't understand the purpose of this. But certainly not the fault of the people who got bossed around, and who are most likely to see our disparaging comments.
As both a communist and a nitpicky and cynical person (that Saturn in Pisces vs Mars in Virgo opposition) it is a complicated situation.]
Lmao I had 2 upvotes. Got downvoted. Wondering if it was because of my nuance, the fact that I'm critical about the new look, that I'm cynical about why they are adding new resources, that I identified as a communist or that I believe in astrology. :P
EDIT: lmao y'all some haters. and quite comfy in not actually showing any arguments or fiber to your disagreement.
I don’t think people like communism and one doesn’t really need to explain why. (Don’t confuse that as hate for people living in communist countries.) But I think the majority probably come from the fact that you’re critiqueing Duolingo when they’re trying to give better and free education. It could also be that people feel insulted by the assumption you made that you think Duo is pandering to people by added long requested languages like Hawaiian, Navajo, Finnish and Latin.
This is my best guess. I intend no malice but merely the explanation you wanted.
True - Duolingo seems to be adding less-widely-spoken languages for more than one reason, not only for pandering to angry users of this forum.
Oh, I don't defend the exact ideology that exists in real socialist states (in fact not only am I not Leninist at all, I am very much so in doubt whether either revolution or reform work - which is called post-leftism), I only identified as communist in the sense that I respect other people's work and recognize the relation of submission in the greater grind so I will empathize with them even if I personally dislike their work.
As for the second point, there is no such thing as free on the internet. If something is free, you are the product. Wikipedia is constantly begging for donations for this very reason. And, as Reichsritter14 said, "Duolingo is a company after all".
But it does make sense that other people wouldn't quite understand so many implicit assumptions in my line of logic, thanks.