https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

Out of my Leagues.

(I'm generally out of my Leagues - friends, family, significant others, etc.)

I acknowledge and appreciate that some people love and benefit from Leagues.

For me, they were stressful, stroke-inducing. I found myself losing my love, my fun, my joy, the very curiosity that lead me to language-learning, and I was focussing instead on the board. So I got rid of them on my DL page.

So I dropped out, and WHEW, I was better off immediately. Different strokes for different folks. What 'chu talkin' 'bout Willis?

I got back to MY fun. I keep a spreadsheet. Each page gets a language. The left column is a list of the skills. The next column is for the dates I worked on or reviewed that skill, color-coded by the level. It's pure hillbilly spaced-repetition, but it works for me.

I do a little new learning every day; a little more - maybe five lessons - of review.

I wish everyone the best, for whatever works for them, Leagues or no-Leagues. This is just one person's experience and opinion. But it's two days in, and I got my fun back.

Thank you, as always, DL.

June 7, 2019

59 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

I looked back at this post.

Now THIS is a terrible misuse of Hemingway, but language learning is a moveable feast. In a COMPLETELY different context. In the four or five years I've been at this, I've changed methods ten times. Something that works for one person doesn't work for another; something that works for you one month doesn't work for you the next; and so forth.

I coached kids in recording sessions for some years, and the metaphor that I latched onto was that there is no key that fits every lock. You have to dream up and shape a new key EVERY time to unlock the potential in that child. Same for language-learning. The method you were sure of yesterday may not work tomorrow.

PLAY is the key.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/b_Josh

You are absolutely correct that different methods are crucial for overall learning. The benefit from leagues is to fiercely review what you already know.. but if anyone hopes to continue their language journey and learn new things they will need put leagues aside.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/folm235

Agree.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Devinja1

Yes, absolutely! Not only in language learning and not only with children.

No matter what challenge someone takes on. Often it is the very own path that leads to the goal. Others can say what has helped them and what they have come up with. From these many possibilities, everyone can then bind their own bouquet of flowers and find their own way.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner

Great post! I’m glad you are learning something new everyday!

Also, I enjoyed the “Different Strokes” reference ;)

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

You take the good, you take the bad.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DrJohnHouse

Are we referencing Facts of Life now?

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TARDISToni

I think that The Facts of Life was actually a spinoff of Diff'rent Strokes, based on the character of actress Charlotte Rae, who had appeared first on Diff'rent Strokes in some capacity (she had been a maid for the Drummond family, or something like that). The Facts of Life then followed her character, Mrs. Garrett, to the girls' school ... so the two shows are related. Trivia: the show originally featured among its ensemble cast a then-unknown young actress named Molly Ringwald, who was promptly canned after the first season. This all feels like it happened about a million years ago ... :-)

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AndresGarner

Thank you, I have never heard of that show before. :-)

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Nelson-James

Wow having had a crush on Nancy Mckeon the actress who played Jo, on the show, I feel really old right now.

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Great post Bryan. Good to hear that you're upbeat once again. Currently feeling much the same and suddenly revising the subjunctive at my own speed is enjoyable again instead of pounding the keys willynilly. Absolutely, different strokes etc... Have a stressfree happy day :-)

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

I spent a glorious stress-free day, language-wise. Life is already hard enough.

We share the planet. And then, in this itty-bitty way, we share speech (and reading). How lovely to share those too.

You take care.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/hmada993

I had a similar experience and therefore I gave up on that stressful and unhealthy habit of one upping the other players, I wonder If I would feel the same about the leagues if the winner had a better prize than a bunch of lingots.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

If my prize was a night out at a good Indian restaurant, I would have stuck with it.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/hmada993

I thought of a free week of Duolingo plus but your idea is better.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ronald-B-Weasley

I'm pretty indifferent towards the leagues. The way I look at it, you can be in a league and still go at your normal language learning speed!

That said, I can totally understand why someone would love/hate leagues... after all, leagues push most people to doing more lessons for more XP, which can be good or bad.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life. The facts of life. ("Then you've had" would've been a better lyric. For the rhyme.)

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Your thoughts similar to mine and what I've read in my travels on the Internet highway. "Fun" is a theme that I see frequently in language learning. And "language learning to be effective is more like a marathon than a mad dash".

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

Lingot for you!

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

Yep, whatever works for you.

And I've just learned some new music trivia because "out of my leagues" put that 80's tune in my head - "She's like the wind" was sung by the actor Patrick Swayze. Well I never.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

Sorry for that - ear-worms are terrible. I meant it merely as a pun.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/susu581980

I've turned off leagues as well. My problem is the reverse. I was enjoying stories a lot because I was learning how to use phrases and more vocabulary. The tinycards interface also felt like it was fast and fun. Maybe duolingo should only give 1 or 2 xp for completing a deck so it would not be awarding too many xp for the time spent.

Suddenly now I don't get tinycards anymore. I think I was getting too many xp and duolingo turned them off. I haven't seen any threads where other people have been complaining about having this problem, so it must be me. Now I have lost something I was enjoying long before leagues were on my page.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

This should always be challenging, but spiritually and intellectually fulfilling. I'm sorry for your loss. Life is hard ENOUGH.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/hardrockhamster

how did you turn off the leagues? I can't find an option for that

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/susu581980

Go to Settings, then to Privacy and uncheck "Make my profile public"

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/hardrockhamster

what about the people I am following then?

June 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/susu581980

That seems to be the choice duolingo gives. You are all in or all out. I would be in favor of opting out of the leagues but still being able to see our followers.

I had one follower that did 3 to 7 times as much xp as I did. It kept me humble.

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/7.Julia.7

I've been doing this since last November or December, and I don't know what tinycards are....now I'm really curious! I wonder why I've never seen them? I used to only use the app on my tablet, but then I started doing it on my laptop, because when I do it on my laptop I get things that don't show up in the app (like Stories). But I haven't seen tinycard anywhere.

June 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/susu581980

Tinycards were an option that came up after you finished a story. They were flashcards that went over most of the words used in the story.

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/7.Julia.7

Thanks for letting me know what they were. I was really curious. I don't know why, but I've never seen them at the end of a Story. I enjoy the Stories, though. I learn new vocabulary, and sometimes I also learn a phrase I wouldn't know otherwise.

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnTozer2

It may be an incentive but it encourages speed rather than thoroughness.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/susu581980

Both speed and thoroughness are important goals when learning a language. As soon as I try listening to a full speed conversation on a Spanish tv show, I know my speed is not there. That is why I liked tinycards so much. I found myself just knowing answers without stopping to think about it.

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/BLRT2000

What an interesting post! Glad you were able to rekindle your passion for language-learning in a genuine way. That's what it's all about. And thanks for keeping it respectful!

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

You are kind. Again, I didn't mean to denigrate ANYONE'S preference. Have a lingot - ('cause they're worth so much).

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jeff.kiplinger

I don't understand the point of leagues at all. They only encourage getting many XPs, whether by cheating or by doing lots of lessons and stories is unimportant. Duo used to insist that a little language practice every day was better than doing a lot - burn through the tree too fast and you learn demonstrably less than a slow and steady learner. So has Duo's philosophy and understanding of language learning research changed?

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/7.Julia.7

I personally think I learn better slow and steady, so I think I'll just ignore the Leagues. A lot of times, I use the app on my tablet, which doesn't even show the Leagues, so that works out. I only use my laptop when I want to do a Story, because Stories also are not on my app/tablet.

I admit - I did pay attention to the Leagues at first, but I didn't like my reaction to them; I didn't like how they shifted my focus from learning, to competing. And I do not like the idea, at all, of a "demotion zone". So I will just not pay any attention to them.

June 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Edward190348

No need to that suffering take yourself easy don,t rush because we learn a language fir our ability and fun no bidy dosen,t push us to this way

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NetAndyCz

I like leagues, because I get few gems or lingots for testing out of skills, I would not get any otherwise. That being said, I do not need any more lingots as I am getting more than enough with my streak... Really indifferent to them, will probably drop out of them once my French tree is golden...

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

Cool. As I said, I am 100% appreciative of people getting value out of leagues. No bad blood intended.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HeyMarlana

I didn't drop out of my league, so much as I just stopped noticing it enough to want to compete in it. I can't help but see it in the Learn tab, and I was only actively competing because I was just wanting to get my level 25 in my language already. (My tree was L5, I just wanted to max my level already because it was bugging me.)

The funny part is how two people in particular were chasing me. When I basically stopped/slowed down, so did they. Is that the usual in leagues, to come out like a rocket in the first 2-3 days? Because that's what happened, but the coincidence is that when I stopped, they only slowed down after passing me and both being ahead by about 1000XP. Now they both have settled in their respective 1st and 2nd places with a 2000XP gap between them.

The leagues have made people go bananas here.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

You are correct. And why I got out of the game. 'Cause it wasn't a game anymore. I missed the fun.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DirtyHarri3

lol, I also keep a spreadsheet, but I think I could add to it by using some of your options. Thanks for sharing your experience. I may not opt out of leagues, but I may just cool my jets a bit and lighten the load of stress about keeping up with strangers. I have been studying more and learning more, but I miss the opportunity to write down enough stuff to help my memory retain what I have learned. I do find that I am able to write sentences better than before though, just because of repetition perhaps? Whatever, I'm so glad you are feeling more love for your journey....very cool.

June 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

As I hope I made clear, I wasn't looking to denigrate or promote one side or the other. If Leagues work for you, fantastic; I discovered it wasn't my thing.

In addition to the spreadsheet, I keep a journal. Hand-written. Here's how that works (for me): 1 page per language. For me: French, German, Italian, Spanish. 1st mistake: hand-written in the journal. One page/two sided. I get about 150 entries per page. When a page is full, everything gets entered into Flashcard Hero (so I can practice wherever I am) and I start a new page. As I'm drilling each day, I look to the journal, or to Flashcard, but the hand-writing part of it really helps me. I keep 4-page templates set up in advance, so I always know where to look.

Thank you for your story, I appreciate your journey.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/themissroya

thank you for this!

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/IgneousGeologist

How does one drop out of a league? I feel like it will help me a lot.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainBob3

You go into your settings and make your account private. You will get out of your leagues, but you will also stop having friends.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

bryanlouiselle,

I'm really glad you realized it was becoming a drain rather than gain for you and you adjusted to what worked best. I've enjoyed Leagues myself. Though, I don't fixate on coming in first. Im casually interested in staying above 14th place. And find myself checking in after I've completed a lesson or two to see where I am. I like to try to gain a place or two ahead of where I started before I hop off. Though, my level of energy (or lack there of) is king when it comes to how much I put into studying each day.

When I first got leagues, I tried for 1st place and within 2 days I was enjoying it less. The more casual approach has been a better fit for me. Would you feel comfortable sharing a screenshot of your spreadsheets?

I like to see when people discuss what is and isn't working for them personally. We're not cardboard cut-outs. And people can borrow ideas from one another to test and see if they find something new that works. :)

Edit: btw I didn't realize one could turn off Leagues! I'm off to investigate now.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

https://imgur.com/a/FGpajMk

Not very interesting or complicated.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Simon427206

I'm only posting so I can see my levels

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulSteadm

I kind of agree. The leagues make it much more stressful and I am not enjoying it as much.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Stergi3

Why don't you use duome.eu/your-name/progress instead. I think it is a very informative webpage. You can control and monitor your progress and most likely these data seems to be more useful than any League thing as you are competing with yourself only, but if you like your progress is compared with some peer who is in the same level of streak.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/paul.ens

How do you get out of leagues without making your profile private? Leagues are so incredibly stupid and pointless.

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/7.Julia.7

I don't know if there's a way to do it without making your profile private....but can you just ignore them? I mean, if you don't care about Leagues, just don't pay attention to it. I don't care about Leagues at all, in fact, I don't like them, because I think they shift the focus from learning to trying to beat people, which is stupid, so I just totally ignore them. Sure, I see the little Leagues square on the left-hand side of my screen, but since I don't care about them, I don't care what I happen to accidentally see if I happen to glace over at the Leagues square.

One other thought: I can't see the Leagues on the app on my tablet. I don't know why. I suppose you just can't see everything on the app. I can't see Stories on it, either. If you don't want to see Leagues at all, and you don't want to make your profile private, and you don't want to just ignore them, I suppose you could try the app, if you're not already using it. (Of course, I don't know if the app is different on different systems, ie. Android, etc.).

I prefer the app. It's different. I don't know why. I get more questions, and better ones, on it. When I do it on my laptop, I get much shorter lessons, and questions that are overly-simple, and overly-repetitive , plus I get all these "what sound did I just make" type of questions that I don't feel are helpful at all, and I've never once gotten one of those types of questions on the app. Only downside to the app, for me, is that I can't do Stories.

June 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Paul422022

Bueno, Bryanlouiselle. Estoy feliz de que seas mas feliz.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Thistleclaw

How do you advance in leagues?

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Thistleclaw

I’m 1st in gold league and can’t advance.

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Caleb128118

GIVE ME LINGOTS!!!!

June 8, 2019
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