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Am I the only one who doesn't think that leagues are beneficial to learning a new language?

I believe that I see where Duolingo was coming from when they added leagues. They believed that by adding a Worldwide contest people would become more interested in learning a new language. But leagues are corrupting most of the people who are learning by encouraging them to cheat and/or do whatever it takes to get to the top. This makes learning a language stressful and most people won't even learn anything because they just want to beat everyone else. In my opinion, Duolingo should add back clubs and make leagues into a thing that learners can do IF THEY WANT TO. I am so passionate about learning Japanese to learn more about my culture and to be able to communicate better with my family who still lives in Japan (It is frustrating getting letters from them in all Japanese and not being able to communicate with them when they come to visit). But lately, I have been noticing that I only practice Japanese now to get to the top on the leagues' charts. I get worried and stressed out when someone passes me in the charts. I find myself only practicing lessons I know so that I can get more points and get to the top quicker. By adding Clubs we can share with others what we have learned in lessons and continue to encourage others to keep practicing if they find that the language they are learning is getting too difficult and stressful.

I'm sorry this message came out so long and I apologize if I offended anyone in any way. I just wanted to share my opinion. I also want to personally apologize to anyone that was unable to pass me in the bronze league because I kept doing lessons I already knew to win. This was unfair of me and I am truly ashamed of myself for not being fair to everyone else on Duolingo.

June 10, 2019



The leagues are meaningless unless you pay attention to them, or am I missing something? For some people a little competitiveness can add to their motivation to learn, but they don't have any impact on your learning if you just ignore them.


Nope. You're not missing anything. I think the real debate here, is the fact everyone wants clubs back ;D


What were clubs?


Clubs were a part of Duolingo were you could have conversations with people who were learning the same language as you. You could share the experience you have learned and play games such as "How do you say this in Japanese" to play against others for fun.


That sounds like the most helpful thing in the world. Students helping teach each other and conversing using the language being taught is perfect. Of course, Duolingo is hardcore in teaching keigo Japanese... although I suppose that would keep things civil.


;3 To be honest... I don't really know XD I mean it only existed on mobile anyways, so there was no way I'd know. I think it was a bit like a group chat where you could also discuss exercises. Don't quote me out on that though! ;D


"it was a bit like a group chat where you could also discuss exercises" - SASSY


The biggest flaw is that XP is not properly aligned with effort. For example, you can do a "hard practice" of hiragana and get 25XP in less than 1 minute. Meanwhile, taking a new lesson in later levels can take more than 15 minutes and nets only 15 XP. The easy lessons get you 25x more XP per minute than using duolingo properly.

Then there's cheating. If you choose a language of a reverse tree you already know ([known language] for English speakers) then pick an easy lesson (with listening exercises off, word bank on), then duplicate that tab 60 times, you can keep redoing those lessons at a rate of 1 lesson every 20 seconds or so, netting you 1000XP in about 20 minutes.

All leagues is, is a competition for who can find the best XP exploit.

Not to mention, other people in the leagues aren't even learning the same language as you.


Yeah I agree. Leagues encourage people to cheat instead of actually learn.


So we meet again? XD Tell me honestly, have you never over practiced or over-done your lessons over the league? ;D I have but I've learned quite quickly that there's no point ;) Leave them be!

Also, I know how some people cheat but I'm not gonna do that because it's stupid and pointless. But not everyone cheats, some people are hard-workers from the first place [which is honourable] and some people might've worked [possibly too hard] for the leagues


I've actually never done the same lesson over again for leagues. I just can't be bothered to cheat. I can't be bothered with the leagues.

Yeah, if it's hard work then no problemo. It's just the cheaters ruining the experience for everyone else


I don't really care personally ;D But if we had like a league with everyone in it at the same time that'd be better, cus then I'd be able to see you there [other than on the friends list] no?


Nah I don't have you on my friends list. I'll add you :)


o.o I thought I added you agessss ago! ;p


U guessed wrong. Imma go sleep before Isha. Goodnight :)


In that case, it should lock you out of the most fundamental lessons needed to comprehend anything (such as learning Japanese hiragana and katakana). Otherwise it's simply reviewing material, and doing a little review every once in a while isn't bad.


Please don't assume that anyone with a lot of XP or at the "top" of the league has cheated or repeated easy lessons so that you need to do the same. Some people have mentioned that they've cheated, been tempted to cheat, or are just stressed out by the leagues in general. Cheating does happen apparently, but others might just have a lot of time on their hands to do lessons or maybe they have previous experience with the language and can test out easily. Even so, XP is not necessarily a good measure of how much someone has learned as you probably know.

Please don't worry about not being unfair to anyone else on Duolingo. In the end, anything you've done doesn't truly affect any of us. Whether or not someone is still in the bronze league doesn't matter. It's just a game.

However, feeling that you've cheated and that you are ashamed of yourself is not a good feeling and unfair to you. Learning to communicate with your relatives is far more important (lucky you!). I sincerely hope that you can put things in perspective and prioritize the lessons that help you learn more so that you can talk to them! Imagine how fun that will be and how proud you would be of yourself.

Good Luck! がんばってね = Ganbatte ne = Do your best!


No, I also find them beneficial though and they´re also fun:-)


The leagues have consumed me. I used to do a few lessons a week. Now, in my insatiable need to win at meaningless things, I find myself pumping out however man lessons I have to in order to top the charts.

I've seen people bemoan the competitiveness of having to get 1500xp in a week to be competitive in their league. I did that in a day, and then again the next day, just to secure the #1 spot, and I'll do it again tomorrow if I must.

In the past week I've been doing this, my home has become dilapidated and I've contracted several wasting diseases from the local fauna that have taken up residence in my crumbling abode.

I don't work. I don't sleep. I don't eat. I learn. I duolingo. I lingo duo.

I must return to my lessons now. I've already spent too long away.


LOL ! Yep, you described my first few days after discovering leagues pretty well, you also probably described the person that broke me of my obsession. This person obviously didn't sleep, because even when I woke up in the middle of the night to crank out a few lessons, it wasn't long before I noticed that they were back at it again, and I realized we were on a course of mutual destruction, and went back to my normal routine.

I don't bemoan the existence of leagues like a lot of people; everything can be done in moderation and anything can be taken to extremes. When it comes to competition there is always going to be someone who wants it more than you do, and if they're willing to honestly put in the work then they deserve it, and the truth is that competition does motivate some people.

It doesn't make them bad people as some would like to paint it.


Man, I want to be like you.


I agree, the temptation of just beating everyone on the leader board is very self-gratifying, but not really practical.

Don't worry too much about how you relearned lessons to gain quick and easy XP, I'm sure that almost everyone does it on some level or another, and it really gets in the way of embracing Duolingo as it is: a platform and community to learn and share a passion of languages, instead of XP grinding and conquering the charts.

It's probably easier to just ignore the leader board and not get too mixed up in it.


Leagues is a convenient way to increase ads. More ads, more profit. There were no ads in the clubs. It could be a solution to add some ads into the clubs, but they prefered to demolish clubs, as it is an easier solution. I tried hard to save the clubs. I even made a petition in https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/please-save-duolingo-clubs But they didn't made their mind. Okay! You can deactivate clubs if you want changing privacy settings. I will do it next week after reaching at the end of leagues, Ruby one, after that, it is meaningless. Or if I just got sick of the leagues this week. I am already at my limits about this stupidity.


Instead of 1 lesson ever 3 days, I use my time practice on duolingo rather than mindlessly scrolling on my phone or watching YT videos. I appreciate it very much. I assume this will last a couple weeks at the most but am enjoying it nevertheless.


We are proud of you for your efforts. Your time is valuable.


I feel completely different about it. Before the leagues, I was doing the bare minimum, one lesson a day. Now I've caught up with quite some courses I had been neglecting before.


I agree. Those leagues are very tempting and i fell into the trap in a first time. But, now, i doesn't care. However, i'm very interested in those clubs you're talking about. Why did they disappear ? What exactly did they consist of ?


Clubs existed in the mobile version only. There were many phases in club development.

  1. In the beginning a club was a group of 15 learners. They were learning the same language. You could choose or even make your own club, you could choose your own club name and you could declare something common. For instance a club of Spanish learners who are from Boston :) Or whatever. These members could interact just sending simple words to the members to motivate or challenge them. There was a leaderboard where one could compete with the other and finally every Sunday there was a winner. You could stay or leave or even banned from this club according the rules or the will of the administrator.

  2. In this phase the number of members increased to 50. Meanwhile they stopped giving you the right to choose a club with something common but they had been chosen a club for you. This is was really bad of course, you could be in club of inactive members. But you could choose to leave or the administrator remove you.

  3. This phase was the most interesting. I don't remember if it happened before or after the previous but I think I am right. Clubs opened a real Forum. You could write texts in any language. Duolingo also proposed some exercises to write simple phrases in the language you are learning and earn 2 XPs for each with maximum 6. So it was a real Forum where friendship developed and could wish each other or announce something. It was the administrator who was keeping the order in the club in case of abuse. The leaderboard always was giving the winner each Sunday. There were clubs of extreme competition and clubs almost dead, but you could choose if you wanted to stay or go. Clubs were something that promoted social character in Duolingo. It was a Facebook-like platform where you could stay or leave in a group of learners according your will. Of course there were clubs completely inactive or even there were in absolute disposition of the administrator, but it was a kind of freedom.

Now what is left? Either choose competing with some learners with whom nothing is common to collect XPs, even cheating or choose to deactivate clubs selecting being a private learner. I am going to choose it, it is really ridiculous to compete with names in a leaderboard. Just names!


Thank you for your answer. It was very precise. I agree with you, it's a shame they stopped.


I only got to use the clubs one day before the were removed. Just sad


I think they should try giving more points for lessons further down the learning tree. For example, it might take me 15 minutes to earn ten points completing a higher level French lesson where I'm translating something like "When I got home from the arts cinema, I saw that a robber had stolen my favorite necklace". However if I add Portuguese or Italian and get asked just to identify "boy" or "mother", it is easy to rack up points. I noticed that a lot of the people with lots of points have fewer than 5000 XPs in their target language, or a few points in a lot of languages.


You know. I noticed how you all were saying how amazing the Clubs were in the good old days, and it got me wondering: Why don't you just make your own clubs? Duolingo doesn't have to make the move for you.


I honestly think it would help me. I have been wanting to try the stuff I have learned on another person who would likely understand.


I completely agree with all the above because I feel the same way. I want Duolingo to be out of cheaters and encourage only the learners with good motivation to learn and explore the language. I also study Japanese and what I have noticed a few month ago, that Japanese takes more time to be advanced to the next league. I usually go back to practice and memorize Japanese words and therefore my XP is not multiplying as , let's say , I go with the German language and German stories. I applaud to Murasai さん for taking time and revealing some behind the scene a competition force. Duolingo, do you hear us?


Personally, I find that if you want to learn properly, just do your normal lessons and ignore the leagues. They don't matter. It's seriously not the end of the world if you're bottom of the bronze league. I was bottom of the bronze league but at least I remember what I did yesterday. I couldn't care less if anyone has more xp than me, why should I care? :o

Do your normal lessons and learn properly. Let them cheat or over-learn [if that's even a word] for all I care ;D At the end of the day, you've won and they've lost. Good Luck with your Japanese! And don't apologise because I guarantee everyone [including me] has done it at least once, but what is important is to learn from your mistakes! ;D Have a Nice Evening! Cya ;)


I would rather have Clubs back, and also introduced to the website, so that it would be easier and more convenient to use them as chatrooms. A lot of people were asking for that. No-one was asking to have this stupid xp-competition that has nothing to do with actually studying and learning languages.

They could have added so many more options and possibilities within Clubs. They could have made them even more efficient for sharing learning tips and communicating together with other learners, they could have added all kinds of mini-games to Clubs, and found some actually interesting ways to spend Lingots there. But no. Leagues. Have us compete for glory and useless Lingots.


XD And here you go. More useless lingots! XDD I agree [though I was never lucky enough to know that clubs existed] but I guess there's no point complaining as [I'm assuming] that Duolingo owners or wtv don't look at the forum so really we're wasting our time arguing this; instead, we could try to adapt to these annoying changes ;D


Thanks man! Now I have 2268 of them. And believe me, I spend them any way I can. Still, the day they finally allow us to cash lingots in for real money, I'm going to be rich!


sassy you are very toxic xd


Oops! I'd better start saving XD You'll have 2268p Lovely! IHow much sweets you can buy! ;D


Here's a lingot to help you on your way to financial security :)


I understand what you´re saying, but there is something good about it, it actually improves the usage of this platform, if it is in a vicious way... well... that´s good I think because it promotes to read lots of sentences, which is a way to learn, repetition after repetition, until you stop analyzing the language and just think about it, like a musician with his muscles... And I truly believe that there are much more people not cheating in those rankings instead of really doing the exercises... There are some really desperate people living abroad trying to learn as fast as they can.


It's rather impossible to say what is or isn't beneficial to another person and how they learn. Human beings truly aren't monolithic, and it's scientifically proven that we don't all learn the same way, and it's certainly a fact that we don't all learn at the same speed. This is one of the major drawbacks of the public education system here in the U.S.

One of the benefits to Duolingo and online learning in general is that each individual has the opportunity to learn at their own speed, and ignore extracurricular additions to the main program if they don't find those options useful.


So it seems that some folks like the leagues, and others, similar to me, dislike them. I hate having the league list be at the top of my page each time I open my Duolingo site. It is hard to ignore the list and it is a senseless list to me. I have friends I follow and enjoy chatting off-line about our Duolingo experiences, but I do not need or want a competition with people I do not know. I do what I can fit into a busy schedule and find it distasteful to be compared to others.


I've never cared neither about leagues nor my streak or anything like that. I just set up a goal about how many lessons I do each month and I do them. Everything is optional in Duolingo. If you don't find a feature useful, you don't need to pay attention to it.


The league thing gives me some incentive, even though it is completely meaningless. As for lingot and crowns... not so much.


I must have been learner on Duolingo for a year or more and never knew about the existence of Clubs or Leagues, just that streak which I tried to maintain by studying at least once at some point each day.

Then one day I noticed it. I didn't find it hard to do a few more lessons during work, or during any free time I had, so being naturally competitive I benefited a great deal from it.

Don't really know how one could cheat, or why one would want to, because in this case you really are only cheating yourself, but it's the only vicarious connection I have with any other people on the site studying the languages I'm working on.

That is until I also discovered the discussion boards and topics.


I've made it up to the sapphire league without cheating at all and I personally like the new experience compared to the clubs. Maybe it's just me.


I don't think it matters that much. People that are here to learn, surprise, are here to learn. The leagues are most likely just a pleasant addition to you learning a new language. Just don't pay much attention to them, that's all.


I agree how ever I do feel leagues do encourage users to practice more (I earned over 300 xp because of the leagues


i am also learning japanese. i also participate in the leagues. japanese is hard. i don't consider it 'cheating' to review earlier lessons, whether to increase my xp and/or to relearn. i need the repetition to remember characters, pronunciations, and usage. don't be ashamed about the bronze league: be happy you fought for your position; if someone wanted to pass you, they should have fought as well. ... going to review some kanji... because i NEED to.


Yeah, I probably agree... at first I was so nervous when I had to move up to the Silver League, and I was super nervous I might not get into this league, as everyone was just so much ahead of me, and I thought I wouldn't be able to make it to the Silver League. I did make it but it was so hard, I did so many lessons every day but now I'm realizing it's kind of useless, people are just trying to compete: who can do more XPs in a week. Everyone should work at their own pace, and learning a language not for school isn't a competition, it's for fun. I so agree!


I think the league is a competitive format in which you can show your skills and become a competitive feeling. the competition to grow is good but if they do it for traps and bullion I think it's not worth having the leagues


Honest. :)


i think leagues make boundaries between learner rather than increasing communication


Well, to begin with, Duolingo always had elements, which would usually be used in videogames (exp, skills, an ingame currency + "item shop", ...). In videogames such elements are used to give the player the feel of having accomplished something and the feel to become "stronger" over time. Leagues on the other hand add some competition. The combination of being rewarded + competing with others is greatly motivating. A good move might be tho, to give the user the option to hide the league, so it won't distract those, who don't like the feature.


Theoretically, the reason why Duolingo added League System is to encourage we, the users to use it more. By adding an element of competitive, this will make people feel worthy to be at the top of the leaderboard. However, this could indirect hurt the main objective of this application.

Just saying.


If you are cheating on the language learning in the free app there is clearly some "problems" with those individuals. But to be able to disable league is clearly will reduce number of people who are disappointed/discouraged by them. I see as an option to have leagues solely for one language , some benefit for consistency ( streak ) 1000 xp per day is not the same as 100 every day , etc


In short: I agree with you.


Yes I agree with you. Leagues add stress for me when i'm not at the top or in the promotion zone.


Exactly. Good point bacon. ☜(˚▽˚)☞


You just need to focus on your purpose of studying Japanese. Follow you heart. If your heart says waste time on no meaning leagues, well that means something too.


Sounds like your family should make more of an effort. Why would they send you letters in Japanese if they know you can't speak it? Do they not have Google Translate up there? Can they not try and learn a bit of English instead of expecting you to do all the work? I imagine it would be easier if they knew a bit of English along with you knowing a bit of Japanese.


Honestly though guys. It really isn't worth arguing about. We should all accept the fact that there will be some 'cheaters' out there. We can't change it. All we need to know is that we're doing our best to learn a new language. That's all that matters. Arguing, complaining, and stressing over it all will end with more conflict than before. And, not trying to be rude Kanna, but these kinds of posts are not beneficial at all. It was just asking to become a problem. It was just a complaint that couldn't really be fixed. Getting rid of the leagues could upset people, and keeping them there obviously has. But we can't expect everybody to be happy about the choices others make. Somebody will be upset. It's our job not to be those that complain, and set the example for others to follow.

I appreciate everybody's efforts to learn :) That, in itself, is a great example.


Foreign languages provide a competitive edge in career choices: one is able to communicate in a second language. Foreign language study enhances listening skills and memory. ... The study of a foreign tongue improves the knowledge of one's own language: English vocabulary skills increase.


I don't think that leagues are necessarily a bad thing, but people should definitely keep in mind that learning the language is more important that placing first in the league.


I agree with you that it creates this pressure to earn more XP rather than learn the language properly, and I think the clubs were much better, though I suppose having both as options would be best. Since that's not the case, I find myself actively fighting the urge to "cheat" and grind XP, so at least for me it comes down to self discipline. Regarding repeating lessons, though, of course there can be exaggeration, but I've found that a few times did me more good than continuing, and I now have a better foundation. But overall, I do hope they bring back clubs, or something similar.


Languages are best learned at whatever pace you can absorb the material. If you're just closing rings to win points and badges, you're missing the point. I like the leagues, personally. I can comfortably gain levels or stay at the same level. But I feel for those who are struggling just to keep their place in the league who are actually taking their time on purpose.

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