https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterM84365

I think the League system is counterproductive to learning languages.

I have competed in the new system since it's inception out of curiosity to see what the end result was to be from all this. I had won a few leagues including last week's Ruby League. I amassed thousands of XP grinding out the lessons to gather the points needed to compete. However, I find that I spent less time actually learning what I was typing out and more time gathering notes on the correct phrasing to be typed out and memorizing by sheer repetition the various sentences. In effect, I was "gaming" rather than "studying". I justified it by saying I would 'get back to it' at a later date. but that really isn't a good use of time, IMO, in learning the language.

I think the Leagues are taking the mission of Duolingo in the wrong direction. I miss the "use this word in a sentence", "Describe what did you do today", etc. challenges from the Club Days. While I admit they didn't seem to get much participation from the larger population, I did them each and every time to make sure I was writing my thoughts correctly. But I am entirely confident in arguing that grinding out lessons in haste for 1000s of XP to win on a leaderboard is not optimal for learning a language. Since there doesn't seem to be anything more after Ruby League, I am taking myself off the League Race and focusing again on working to incorporate the vocabulary and grammar into my speech and writing skills.

One caveat I will admit to is that I rarely log onto Duolingo through a browser. 100 percent of my Duolingo work is through the iPhone app. I may be missing other assets and features of the duolingo system as they aren't on the phone app, such as this very forum I am posting on.

I welcome your thoughts on the matter.

June 24, 2019

132 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derek337251

I have a very addictive personality when it comes to gaming and any kind of league. I ground lessons like crazy last week and won my Sapphire league for a whopping 35 lingots and another league that looks exactly the same except the icon is red. We don't even get a badge in the forums. All seems kind of pointless and I'll just go back to my steady regular lessons this week. Nice idea but poor implementation and little motivation to keep going.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shortalay

Now that you mention it, we should see some badge implemented in the forums if they want to incentivize it more amongst the community, I wouldn't personally be against it.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sahar.EK

badges seem the right choice. Like you have something to show off for your winning all the leagues.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Songve

If nothing else, they are a constant, habitual daily source for Discussions, like the streaks and with the same relative value.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LICA98

yeah I'm getting kinda tired of the people crying about leagues every day lol

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan139433

Yep, and if they were eliminated tomorrow, there would be the same number of discussions on the injustice of eliminating them. Personally, I had my account private for a while so I couldn't see the leagues and then canceled that setting. Lo and behold, Duo gave me a bunch of lingots for "winning" my league (which I wasn't on because my account was private). Perhaps, they were trying to manipulate me to return to leagues to increase their advertising revenue. Yes, of course, they were.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jileha

Just because your account is private that does not mean you are not placed into a league. You just cannot see it anymore. You just happened to have the highest amount of XP in the league you were automatically placed even though you had a private account and you automatically got the lingot prize.

Cf. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/32715106

Hopefully, they'll change that soon.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan139433

Yes, you're right. I finally realized that. Thanks.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonyCab132794

How do you ''cancel'' leagues? I too want to do it, I find it useless

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeyMarlana

I too, dislike the leagues, however would it be fair to say that doing those drills is also part of learning?

I bolted to the top of my league one week with thousands of XP just by doing the intro-skills' lessons in timed practice over and over. Even though it was silly and I only really did it to grind the XP (true story: I didn't mean to win that week, I just wanted to get to level 25 and while I was at it, get ahead of everyone).

But with that said, all of those drills had me basically memorize in a snap how to use those easy words and phrases, so I didn't really lose out.

The downside is now that I've completed to level 25 and competed to the top of my league, I'm purposely dropping out and finding myself demoted each week. (I also wanted to see if it demoted me down one league or started me back at Bronze. I now know it's the former.)

Your "I'll learn at a late date" is where I'm at now. I'm not feverishly going through the leagues hoping to beat someone, and I'm done with repeating easy skills. Now it's a matter of focusing on the skills I struggled with at my own pace.

In other words, been there/done that. However, if I was in a position where I needed to ask "Where's the salt?" or "This is my tea" I can say those sentences and other easy ones like //snap// that. I guess all was not wasted.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterM84365

I agree that drills are a highly useful tool in learning but * racing * through them is, IMO, far from helpful.

Admittedly, I never went back over old material to simply earn XP as I am working to march through all the lessons on the phone app to try and complete everything. I would do days where my goal was to complete a whole section such as past tense or travel or something with the goal that I earned some-thousand XP rather than actually incorporating the knowledge, reading the user notes on an iffy example, understanding the way some element of grammar is constructed, etc. "Whew, I blew through 96 lessons to complete Future tense to level 5 to put a sizeable buffer between me and a competitor. Now on to Nature tomorrow". That's not really good.

I know this is largely self-inflicted. i could have simply stopped and do what I do, but I had to see what the end result was for this feature. I found it disappointing. I also "get" why duolingo put leaderboards in place as I am sure they are making money from so many more video advertisements fed out to the user base (as if we are really watching them). I would also not begrudge others who continue to do play in the competition if that is what they like. I just regret that that I spent my time in that way on this. It wasn't something a bit more sophisticated to encourage mastery in the language studies than simply grinding.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/omlin

When I was (re)learning English, long time ago, when Duolingo wasn't a thing, at some point I stopped doing what you here call "studying"...

I stopped looking up words, writing them down, untangling/memorizing grammar, etc. I was just reading books, hundreds of thousands of pages of fiction books. I still believe it's the only way up to C1+ in learning language: to stop studying it. And instead, make it a part of your life. Somehow.

Everything becomes a hunch, a gut feeling. I don't know grammar anymore, I just know if it sounds good or not. I don't see any difference between my native language (Russian) and English. I think in English, write notes to myself in English, after I read an article, I cannot even remember was it in English or in Russian, etc.

To Duolingo "drilling": it's not perfect, sure. But it's a right direction, I think. It removes concious studying, as you said yourself. And makes language a part of your life. It IS working.

I only hope they can improve it further, make more gamification features, add more achievements, and make more real-life sentenses/phrases.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshorst

Great post.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GittyEng

So true. When we learn our first language as a baby we're not studying grammar, we're learning by immersion. Learning a second language is the same way. But don't you think that the leagues/other XP incentives are encouraging superficial, rushed learning? When the only goal is to gain lots of points FAST, you rush through the exercises without actually absorbing anything. I think it's worthwile to slow down and actually absorb the language by doing things like: -typing in answers instead of using the word bank, -saying each example out loud, and -identifying where you went wrong when you make a mistake.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

Your English is great, so obviously working. I must admit I didn't look up any grammar when I learnt English either, or write down words as I learned them. Then again I was only 2 years old, and had no other language to compare it with. I think that is the point! Repetition and experience of the language from people who do understand it gets you there - and without real people to learn from, books are the obvious alternative (so long as you are old enough to read!)

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anon_Duckling

From a psychology perspective, most people will end up in your situation. And since Duolingo can only give you certain sentences and not the immersion of being a small person in a sea of 'It's sunny', 'Cucumber sandwiches' and 'where's the lawnmower gone?' you don't really learn anything except how to tell people that Bill and Jane have a cat. It's not that the idea of competition is bad, just the way it's been engineered is too addictive. Especially since the league is random. In the end, practicing the same skill 34 times isn't really going to help you remember much better. Sure, repetition is good for your memory, but you're still only learning one thing and essentially cramming. I wish I had the option to opt in/out or choose who to interact with; I know there is the friend's leaderboard but it's a little one sided. I suppose what's what the club feature did back in the day. In the end, language is much more complicated than Bill's cat, the tea, and whether you can conjugate the future tense to perfection, because right when you think you've got it, there are exceptions. Or Bill bought a seal. Tl;DR: Psychologically reels you in but probs not intentional. Removes language complexity.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GittyEng

If you're learning Spanish or French and want more in-context learning instead of random phrases, you should check out the duolingo podcast and stories.

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

As for the advertising...... I find digital advertising stats so jolly misleading (I am from an advertising and marketing background, so it interests me as to how the stats are reported and the reality of what viewers are really doing). Such 'fake news'.

My daughter recently moved to London and I helped her find an apartment to rent. But I listed on a number of UK property sites. Hence I am bombarded with adverts on properties for sale in London now.... We were never looking to buy and my daughter lives there , not me.

However, I regularly click on them and check out the apartments and am constantly appalled at the prices for such pokey living arrangements is positively shabby looking buildings. But all of my interest and 'clickthroughs' are obviously diligently fed back to the property marketers as 'traffic' on which their marketing activities and investments are based.

And I have to wonder.....how much money is being spent where there is absolutely no chance of a positive return..... We could save the planet rather than this headless chicken nonsense!

Just a thought. if DuoL benefits, then I am happy - on we go.

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

HeyM. Off topic but still Ukrainian. Well done brilliant baritone Andrei Kymach who won prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World. He's quite a guy! I chose him right from the start. Bravo Ukraine. Regards.. L

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jileha

I think the Leagues are taking the mission of Duolingo in the wrong direction.

It seems to me that after the initial extreme rush to reach the top of the leagues by any means possible, things have calmed down a bit. I have been in a couple of leagues that were fairly relaxed and offered a nice incentive to just do a couple of more lessons every day, which should be a good thing. Ignore those that compete for the top positions. Who needs more lingots anyways?

There have always been binge learners on Duolingo, be it by using testing out to farm XP, now by repeating easy lessons for hours, or by genuinely just spending many hours a day on Duolingo working through tons of lessons. Some people have lofty goals of passing language proficiency tests within a short time or have a trip planned to the country of their target language and want to learn as much possible as fast as possible. And some simply like to win.

Just don't let yourself get distracted from your own learning journey by whatever Duolingo throws into the mix. Use it to your advantage and don't care about how other people use it.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaelicCat

This is me. I just started with Russian on duolingo 4 days ago. I already have quite a solid foundation because I've been learning from my husband for the past 6 years, but my grammar is very dodgy. We're now expecting a baby and want to raise them speaking both Russian and English, so I want to brush up on my Russian so I can give them a good example. I am unemployed, so I'm spending several hours a day going through lessons. This means I end up with over 1000xp per day and miles ahead of everyone on the league, but I don't really care about the league at all, I just want to learn.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarvelMani1

my son (native english speaker from Canada) married a swedish girl (fluent in both native Swedish and English). With their kids (now 10 and 6) he spoke and still speaks ONLY English to them while she spoke and still speaks ONLY Swedish to them. The kids are both perfectly bi-lingual. good luck!

July 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shortalay

I started out going to Silver by binging the first few practices on German but realized how tedious that is, and coupled with me actually learning and gaining extra XP from missing little to no words in the lessons I started only trying to rush through the tree instead, I now am doing the hover method and I try to get all the crowns up a level in one day so I can begin learning something new the next day, unless I'm having severe issues with a skill (looking at you Acc. Case) I haven't had many issues and I was discussing how much I have already learned with a native German speaker who is a friend of mine and laughing about the differences in grammar.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LICA98

Who needs more lingots anyways?

well I do

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

Sneaky try..... Well here you go then. Dunno what else to do with them. But you get downgraded one for your cheeky request. ;o)

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brettandjulie

If you were a child learning to talk repetition is exactly how you would learn. Admittedly only through speaking and listening. All the repetitive stuff you did has imprinted it in your memory whether you like it or not. Anyway, regarding the rankings. It's easy to cheat. Just keep doing the timed practises, 20 for all correct and very quick to do. It does mean the imprinting occurs though.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdityaKuma797997

I think you are right in some ways but the league still encourages some people to learn who would not do otherwise

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Msanjose1

PeterM84365 -- You are right in that it seems the League system seems to be compelling some to race to get points, and maybe points only. There have been a lot of posts touching this very topic.

I'm not looking to change your mind about getting out of the league race and have considered doing this myself two weeks ago when a particularly irritating person was so obviously racking up points without learning anything new. (I know because I was looking at her stats.)

I have been on Duolingo a while and have dabbled in a little bit of this and that on top of my main language (German). I did not go on the forums to read very often, nor did I post any comments before the leagues happened. Although I had completed my German tree, I also did not have too many points. I had aspirations of someday learning a lot of languages but like it happens to many, that someday was always far away. When the leagues happened, and I saw the daily efforts of some who probably had the same goal as me, I realized what a slug I have been and it woke me up. I started "following" some people who I thought were serious language students and I have used those people as a bar for myself. I don't pay attention to the new people on the leagues so much unless I find someone who is interesting and then I add them to my follow list. So while I think that the leagues are kind of irritating at times, they have served a good purpose for me. Seeing what is possible and is being accomplished by others on a daily basis makes me push myself harder to learn in efficient ways. I did not keep exact numbers but I think I have gotten 30% more XP points than when I started the leagues about a month ago and my Spanish tree is almost a third completed. I credit the leagues with this, but I don't think that it produces the same effect on everyone.

I never participated in the Clubs so I don't know what the Leagues took away. Perhaps Duolingo should consider having both the Clubs and the Leagues but since Duolingo continues to be free, it is kind of hard to demand more when we have already gotten much.

I suggest trying to look at the leagues objectively to see if it can be used to one's advantage. If not, then ignoring the leagues is definitely in order.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moonlancer

I don't disagree with the original poster, and I too find myself gaming vs learning. That's not to say there's no learning value, but it is distinctly different.

There is one huge difference with the League change: Duolingo now lacks the 'learning communities' that it once championed. Within a club, we answered questions, communicated with one another, and, well, had a community within our clubs. That doesn't exist anymore.

Competition is fine, but should by more optional. As it stands today, to have any sense of community, you have to find one outside of the Duo system.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alpha3099

Since Leagues have been rolled out, I have followed my routine, and not wavered from it at all. I somehow get promoted every week, and have been in Ruby for as long as I am allowed, and somehow I guess I won last week. I simply practice language while I walk to work and walk the dog. I never really check the tab to see how I am doing, maybe once a week. The rest is just me doing exactly what I do every other week. There really is no reason to do anything else. I guess since I am in Ruby league, as long as I do anything, I should remain there, and then the rest doesnt matter. I don't need any more Lingots or gems, they are just counting numbers that keep going up with no effect on anything.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

Strangely enough, I also won last week's ruby league. And "in fact", every league since they first came to my attention. Also, when I was in the promotion zones of all the other leagues, no-one in that promotion zone ever appeared again in any subsequent week. The leagues are clearly a con - designed to keep people on the site for longer and increase advertising revenue, which is after all essential to keeping the site free and improving. So, lets help keep the site free by playing the game a little - repetition is good for the memory, after all. But lets not kid ourselves that just doing the exercises will be enough to result in fluency in any language, whether we do them quickly or slowly. And let's never forget that language is for communication with our fellow humans, after all, and we're all losers wherever we sit in any league if we don't use it for its primary purpose.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jileha

Also, when I was in the promotion zones of all the other leagues, no-one in that promotion zone ever appeared again in any subsequent week.

That’s by design. Every week, you get assigned randomly to a new league based on the time you finish your first lesson of the week. And that’s good the way it is, otherwise the same people would constantly dominate the same league group - not exactly motivating.

A con??? Why is everybody so negative about DL making money through ads? I never look at them, whether I am doing a single lesson or twenty. For me, it does not make any difference. But DL can continue to pay its bills and offer language courses for free. And how long you stay on DL every day is your very own decision. What is “con” about that? And if DL somehow should motivate you to spend more constructive learning time online, what’s “con” about that?

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derek337251

I get a lot of value out of DL which is why I pay for Plus to help support what they do, but it doesn't mean I have to like or support every decision they make. The leagues don't bother me, the percentages instead of counts on lessons though ... don't get me started on that!

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shortalay

I hate that it is a percentage on desktop and total on mobile, there is a lack of consistency in both platforms that should be addressed.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LICA98

yeah esp if you use adblock then they're not a problem

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

I think you missed the point. I said hurrah for free Duolingo, lets help them keep it free and if the leagues do that I'll carry on playing the game. The con was in making people feel they are winners or in some genuine competition around learning - especially when you can get 15 XPs for answering 5 just questions in a number of areas in French, and need to get 23 right in say German. In that sense, it is a con, for those poor souls who care about winning and haven't learned how to play the game. As it happens, I only care about improving my language skills. And of course keeping Duolingo free to give me a boost in that aim!

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewKlee1

It’s Monday evening, 26 hours into the new Duolingo week. I have been studiously and steadily working my French level 4 lessons for much of the day, and and I have amassed about 200 XP in my Ruby league, and I am at #25 in the standings. It is somewhat disheartening to see that the leader in my league is: 1) working a different language, 2) at a beginner level in that language, and 3) has amassed in the same time period nearly 2000 XP!

What possible good comes from this?

PS ... I’m a Plus subscriber, so I don’t see the advertising.

PPS ... I would opt out of Leagues, except for the fact that I’m a “Global Ambassador” and I don’t know what impact that action might have on my local group!

Clubs = Good Leagues = worthless (my opinion, and at least until someone explains the value)

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alpha3099

your 200 XP from yesterday, would be good for top 10 in my Ruby league from this week.

But solutions for your 3 issues 1.) you can choose to work on the same language as the leader. 2.) you can decide to work on a language that you are a beginner in. 3.) you can decide to utilize methods to amass large amounts of XP........however, I would recommend you just learn at your own pace and ignore the leagues. Not disheartening if you don't care about it.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

Peter, load both app and Web on your phone. It's good to have both. Happy leagueless learning;-)

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WinterSoldier.

Personally I feel as if I am becoming the member of the buffalo tribe, and not learning anything. @Songve

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinBurnsy

I enjoy the leagues, if you feel like your competitiveness is making your studying worse you just have to be strict with yourself and make sure you're studying the right way and not for the scoreboard. I'm sure the leagues help a lot of people who like an initial boost or incentive to keep learning to make it more fun.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnKing402198

For me I think trying to be among the leaders in the Ruby League every week is a bit too much. I did it once and the reward isn't really worth all the effort, so now I just do enough to keep from being demoted which is less stressful.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slavicmartin

Agreed. It creates the mentality that XP is all that matters rather than learning the language at their own pace.

Not to mention it causes people to burn out hard.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaanda

Without the League I wouldn't have started practicing but instead just plowed through the lessons as quickly as possible. The League "encouraged" me to accumulate XP and I found that this was best done by completing practices. It didn't take long for me to realize that I need to complete the practices to actually learn and remember. I thought making people realize that they need to practice is the purpose of the League ;)

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

jaanda:

Practice feature is good but it's also a way to cheat on the leagues...so if you are doing that for that purpose it won't help you much...you can get easy points by practicing lessons again and again..hmmm and the point of that is???

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/binker52

I have completed the tree a few times and then checked back and Duolingo is always adding new stories and new lessons to the tree. To be honest, it has only helped me learn the language better. I care only about the end result and Duolingo is constantly improving and making changes, so I will continue to stay here as a help to becoming bilingual. I have a lot of health problems which make it hard to sit or concentrate too long, so I am glad that I have this to help me. I never feel under pressure and the lessons are all short with good explanations. I am in a league and I keep moving from the bronze to the Silver, and then get behind, but Duolingo always reminds me in a kind way but I don't care about competing against anybody, just myself.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrostyEisbar

@PeterM84365 - I couldn't agree more. In addition to missing the little mini challenges ("use this word in a sentence", etc.) I miss the camaraderie the old clubs offered. The club in which I was a member was extremely active and the members challenged each other to do better . . . not just more, but BETTER.

The old club style was a much better fit for my preferred approach to learning and I don't find the new leagues to be motivating. Not complaining . . . just offering my two cents worth. I realize we each have a choice as to whether or not to participate.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salesse11

I do not like the league because has many before me mentioned it, it pushes you to gain XP more than really learning. I am really curious about the club though and regret not to have had the chance to try them. The fact that Duolinguo who sell itself as wanting to improve language put the league system in place, just show that they move from a pure teaching/science mind frame to a "here to make money" one. Very sad because I suspect a lot of members will lose time on gaining XP, will reach high rank, they will feel discouraged because it does not translate into actuall knowledge. They will get bored with it and just give up.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stephaniel118925

i agree entirely.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewKlee1

You agree entirely... with what?

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrostyEisbar

With the perspective I presented above and to which she was responding.

July 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cem6898

i agree. great post

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kem420518

I agree.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kejame

I have the same thoughts about the League system. It becomes a game of figuring out the quickest way to accumulate points. Although I won one of the rounds, I didn't enjoy it.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheRealBaguette

There have been many discussions on the forum that share the same views as you, but in the end, I don't think Duolingo is going to remove it anytime soon. Also, it's optional, so people can't complain TOO much if they don't want to participate in it

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

Am I the only one who can no longer see their levels easily or how long until I level up? It is optional for now but I feel like I was automatically signed up and that there are fewer options for motivation than before.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcosNY14

No, you're not the only one. I just found that out while looking at my profile today.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

Yes, it seems they are beginning to focus on gaining XP to get to the top of leagues and beat other people rather than improve our own skills.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

Me neither. I used to be able to See...." Level 'X' and "xx' many points still to go to the next level. Now all I see is my Total number of points.

Miserable about that. :o[

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

I'm surprised there isn't more talk about this. The only way I can find to see my levels is to view comments I've left.

June 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AroounMara

I don't sweat the small stuff I just learn a little more every day and let the chips fall

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterM84365

Well, agreed. I do like games and having more games to learn the language isn't a bad thing. I think there must be a better way to game and compete than something that results in grinidng out correct results quickly and somewhat mechanically.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob_Alu

good discussion!

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gransview

I am coming to the same conclusion. I won two of the competitions, but I feel the time I spent on game strategy, although fun, did not satisfy my deeper need for language acquisition.
I would add that the stories here have been as important as the Grammer Lessons in my experience. Big Thanks to Duo!

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/noel532559

I tend to agree with Peter. I am noticing that particular competitors are totalling a few thousands xps in less than 15 hours. They are either losing their sleep keeping awake all night (very improbable) or else they are exercising the basic exercise that accumulate points with the very least of effort. I suggest that when reaching Saphire or Ruby level, participation should only be only to those who have garnered a certain number of xps.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

Get yourself a life - the leagues are not important. The Duolingo site is there to encourage people to learn languages and it uses a variety of techniques to increase its ad revenue so it can keep going for nothing. I'm very grateful for that and I will not criticise anything the people who give their time to allow that to happen come up with as a way of letting others benefit. We all have different styles of learning languages, and frankly also different capabilities.

You have clearly not noticed the non sequitur in your logic: "particular competitors are totalling a few thousand XP's in less than 15 hours" and "when reaching Saphire (sic) or Ruby level, participation should only be to those who have garnered a certain number of XPs". As you said, anyone can get any number of XP's very quickly if they choose basic exercises.

And actually I don't spend more than 15 hours to get a few thousands of XP's, and I'm NOT using basic levels so your entire argument is flawed.

I've given you a lingot anyway, more out of pity than for any other reason!

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalynaHurd

So true about different capabilities!!!

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

Is that 15 hours in a day or week??? I try not to spend more than one hour per day and the most I can earn is about 100 to 200 XPs...I must be doing something wrong..LOL

June 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4nthonylol

I dunno. I feel like it's a bit silly to be too bothered by. It can be a fun challenge for some, or something just to do. But you don't have to pay attention to it, and your experience won't really be different if you do. Unless you are, for some reason, hoarding lingots.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suppremer

I'm starting to think that the clubs were better than the league system. Just my opinion, but if they qualified me in the league, atleast they should have not removed the clubs. The clubs were also fun.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrostyEisbar

Agreed. The clubs were loads of fun. I miss that aspect of Duolingo.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diane399382

I agree and was thinking about this. I got so discouraged after someone had racked up 8,000 points that I quit doing Duolingo because I felt I was no longer learning but only trying to get points for the leader board. After a few days, I deleted my Spanish and started over from scratch and decided that learning was the goal not coming in first! I made it to Ruby league and now not sure what Duolingo has planned? Thank you for sharing your thoughts. One other point, is the people that rack up so many points it would be impossible to stay competitive. How can someone manage to gain 10,000? So discouraging.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

I find the leaderboards and groupings into Bronze, Silver, Gold,...etc. rather confusing.

On the Total leaderboard I can see how far behind the top leaders I am, but I can monitor how I keep pace with the folks I see regularly in 'my band' of performers on DuoLingo. So I am content with that.

Some of my 'leaders' are racking up 20,000XP a week. I just don't have a clue how they do that, but it is beyond me.

Since the 'groupings' were launched recently I moved from Bronze to Ruby in 15 days..... So that was too super easy to do and I am nowhere near a 'top performer' in my opinion.

I check both listings and carry on being content with benchmarking on 'regulars' I recognise as notable diligent learners that my particular level of effort normally ranks me alongside.

Have fun and don't stress too much

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

If you just do simple math 20,000/7 = 2857 per day??? I fail to understand how someone can do that, maybe it's just me. I spend about an hour and can get maybe 100 to 200 XPs if I really work at it and do mostly practice lessons of easy material. So to rack up that many points would mean I have NO life and ONLY do duolingo for 12-20 hours, WOW, that's called addiction, just my opinion. Before leagues I only spent about 20 minutes a day learning, so the leagues have gotten me to spend an hour now...I guess that's good in one respect, but I refuse to go to the "dark side" and become obsessed. I still say an OPT out feature is needed so some of us who are OCD can get over it...LOL

June 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.YoSoyMarcos.

I was about to write this exact post! This was my experience also. I gave the leagues a fair shake. But after advancing to Ruby I feel like “What now?” - with respect to the leagues. This is not a complaint, simply my observation. It was fun to get to Ruby, though. I love everything else about duo. I did enjoy the clubs and, like you, always did the word exercises. In the end I am on duo for the lessons (which in Spanish are fantastic now), the stories (great listening exercise), and the timed practice (love the pressure).

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StalinSS

Too much cheating indeed. I liked the clubs way more.....

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtyomYabloko

I disagree friend, I find they're a great motivator.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kristen206681

I agree with PeterM84365's perspective. I, too, miss the Word Play and other "games" or extras that were previously available. I miss the clubs. My 8 y/o son established a club and our family, a few friends and then some random strangers joined his club! He was so proud of himself for starting the club and he worked hard to be a good club leader. He cheered on others--even the strangers-- when they won the weekly leaderboard. He tried his best to use his language skills on the extra games or respond when others put up posts. Finally I am disappointed by the League system because it turns out that if you don't get enough XP in the next league, you can be demoted to a previous league level! How frustrating! I am competing with an unknown number of language learners in all languages to get the top 20 xp each week!?! And then with the possibility that the achievements can be taken away. =( I log onto the app each day to practice my skills in 2 foreign languages. I rarely use the internet browser for the lessons, and I recognize that the skills are taught in more depth on the web. But I do love the app and I miss the opportunities available on it prior to this League changeover.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimCinel

I don't really pay attention to the league, it's just a bunch of random people who probably have completely different circumstances and goals to me.

Streak is where it's at.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moira582602

I was there at "Cardiff Singer of the Year" final in St David's Hall on Sat night! We had watched all the earlier rounds on TV and my hubby surprised me by getting returns for Sat night. What a night!!!!

To be honest, although the Ukranian won, he wasn't my favourite. He's good but I thought the tenor was better. His Mozart was sublime. The American bass will be at Bayreuth in 6 years. His Wagner was out of this world. And the Korean colaratura soprano is heavenly. Glad the English girl won the audience prize. We were sitting along from her husband and mum and saw her a couple of years back in "La Calisto" Nice though for Andrei to win and take that experience back to the Bolshoi where he is on the Young Artists' programme. He will be someone to watch in the future. It's how he performs in a whole 3 act opera that will be the testing point. He'll do it though.

Sorry folks - completely off the point!!!!!!! But it was a fab night.

Back to Duo. I use my lap-top because then I can access the notes which mean that you can get to grips with the grammar - necessary to be able to speak properly in another language. (My phone is a dinosaur anyway)

I have no desire to race and get loads of points. My point is learning the language. So I could happily say good-bye to all that stuff. Daily practice is what I aim for. But then I have a life, so some days I'm not at home, and some days I'm doing other things - or on holiday.

I don't bother with streaks and all that jazz. I'm not in a race but want to supplement the course I'm doing here in Cardiff with consistant practice.

It's difficult to learn a language properly when you aren't surrounded by it all the time. Some of the sentences Duo teach are hilarious. You'd never use them in real life. But it's fun.

Good luck folks. Enjoy your language learning.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cal309

The leagues, love them or hate them, will probably be gone in the not so distant future. Remember most if not all are here simply to learn not compete, I say this having finished atop several boards. Where I finish I finish, I just try to be consistent/diligent with my lessons.

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philip616282

Whilst I agree that the leagues are pointless, and probably distract some from learning, you can at least turn them off, so they are not really a problem unless you allow them to be.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhoenixAL

What comes after ruby League if you are in the top 3?

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lori592478

Other than receiving the lingots? Nothing. You remain in ruby just like everybody else who managed to stay out of the bottom five.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henna506949

I think they should try to add one more league after Ruby or change the rules for getting into Ruby. E.g. only top 3 promoted, only people with more than 1000 XPs per day on average promoted or more than five people demoted or something. Outliers out, and the rest could stay in the same league preferable with the same people as well. In every Ruby league I have been so far there have been only 1 to 4 people with really high XP counts and the rest have had XP counts within reach. Seeing the top three does not act as a motivator if these people literally are "out of the league".

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

I think more leagues would be fun, it would give me something to go for. But on the other hand, it would make them increasingly more meaningless.

I just thought it was too super easy to move up the groupings. I went to Gold in a couple of days, so it didn't really motivate me to do too much more than I was originally planning to do.

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

Hopefully, ever improving language skills!

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xW9Ix

I want to create course spanish to Polish. Where i can do it?

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bree294205

The leagues were pretty beneficial to me because it motivated me to study on Duolingo. I'm a pretty competitive person, and my competitive spirit drove me to studying for way more than 15 minutes. I never really got involved with the clubs. I wish I did.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay709846

I agree. I think it should be about learning. Not just lingots. Though the leagues do help me to be better. I think whatever they do is fine, except for big stuff! I trust their judgment, because their a lot smarter than me, or even you. No criticism intended.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morganachan

I think you get out of it what you put into it. You can still study carefully and slowly while using the leagues as an extra incentive to get a few more lessons in, it would just take a bit more time. No one is making anyone "rush through" the lessons. On the other hand, some have expressed that "rushing through" has actually helped them. Maybe it is good to go more slowly on a couple of lessons that are difficult for you, and get those extra XP by doing easy lessons quickly. This could even include lessons that you have already completed, or reached level 5 on, but you are doing them as a quick review to test your basics. If nothing else, it may be the only thing motivating some people to practice on a daily basis, and that is better than doing nothing. It may help some people start a habit of practice.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drewpavlou

Agreed that language learning shouldn't be made into a competition, everyone learns at their own pace

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasSchl381761

I know ..... it's a problem to be competitive....;}, I had the same experience. But once you are in the highest league and your goal is only not to be demoted, it's ok again....

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donald631

i'm on the ruby board and i don't grind thousands? just getting one thousand and your usually a sure in to stay in ruby league. most of the time you don't even need that much. it is a minor nuisance seeing the notifications "oh no you lost 3rd place again..." however in contradiction to what i previously said you can go to notifications and turn them off.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nataki193590

I agree with you. I just joined 3 weeks ago. After my second week, I had completed level 1 and some level 2 sections of the first 74 sections. I realized I had mastered the game and came in first place in two leagues but wasn't learning nor retaining much of the language. When I went back to some of the previously completed exercises I didn't remember any of the content for some sections.

I changed my approach as well, rather than continuing to plow down further on the tree. I've been repetitively cycling through the beginning 10 lessons and repeated those exercises one by one until I can complete them without error.

After spending time the first 10 levels I've had the right foundation to forward slowly and repetitively with two more sections.

Even once you get to the level 5 golden level you still get points for practicing.

In other words you can top the leaderboard by practicing and repeating all the lessons without forcing your way forward through new contents you have a grasped. I came in first place on the leaderboard for the gold level yesterday but much of my week was spent implementing my new retention and practice strategy.

I agree the gamification can detract from the learning but I'm glad that there are some built-in features allow you to still play the game well also prioritizing learning.

I'm dictating this using voice-to-text. Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

Do the timed practice sessions. They mix up sentences from those levels you have completed. A great way to revise even though rather repetitive.

I still have a ways to go to finish the tree, but now I mix up doing half of my sessions learning new stuff and the other half doing the timed revisions. That's quite a satisfying balance I think as you earn more points doing the practice sessions.

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nataki193590

I agree with the discussion about the drawbacks of the gamification. But I found a way to play the game and still learn at the same time. I just joined 3 weeks ago. After my second week, I had completed level 1 and some level 2 sections of the first 74 sections. I realized I had mastered the game and came in first place in two leagues but wasn't learning nor retaining much of the language. When I went back to some of the previously completed exercises I didn't remember any of the content for some sections.

I changed my approach as well, rather than continuing to plow down further on the tree. I've been repetitively cycling through the beginning 10 lessons and repeated those exercises one by one until I can complete them without error.

After spending time the first 10 levels I've had the right foundation to forward slowly and repetitively with two more sections.

Even once you get to the level 5 golden level you still get points for practicing.

In other words you can top the leaderboard by practicing and repeating all the lessons without forcing your way forward through new contents you have a grasped. I came in first place on the leaderboard for the gold level yesterday but much of my week was spent implementing my new retention and practice strategy.

I agree the gamification can detract from the learning but I'm glad that there are some built-in features allow you to still play the game well also prioritizing learning.

On another note I don't understand the point of crowns and lingered since there's very little use for them unless there's something I'm missing in the app.

I'm dictating this using voice-to-text. Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susu581980

Crowns are just a device for letting you know how far along the tree you are. Each tree has a certain number of crowns. Of course the recent updates have kind of messed up this system but you can check your crown progress at "https://duome.eu/susu581980/progress" substitute your name to see your progress.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

Good for you...that is how learning should happen...not by gaining points and no retention.

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pepeleales

I like it this way I put aside this type of webs https://desatascosoviedo.com

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susu581980

I usually keep my leagues turned off so I don't waste time looking at them. I want to be comfortable stopping to research something that I am having difficulty with rather than worrying about xp. Some people are inspired to work harder by the leagues and the gaming aspect so for them leagues are great.

For myself I work harder when they are not on because I am not preoccupied with my standing. This does not mean that I do not check every once in a while. It just feels more peaceful for me to have them off my page.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterM84365

How d you turn the leagues off on the iPhone app? Is that a browser only feature?

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig_1959

I too can see little point in the new league system, It did make me work harder to get to the RUBY league but not enough to compete for the top position as this would take up more time than I have available for study. Like you I felt that I was spending time gaining points rather than learning the language, I even tested out in Danish and Swedish as they are quite like Norwegian in order to gain some extra points. Having made it to the RUBY league I will probably continue to work a bit harder than I was before, in order to not be demoted so it has had the effect of increasing my workload. It would also be better if the leagues contained only people who were studying the same language as yourself and you could communicate with those people. Having said this, Duolingo is a superb concept and tool.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/francesmercy

How can I go back to my classes and eliminate League ?, Duolingo is pushing me into League but I want to finish my tree first.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jileha

What’s keeping you? Just ignore the leagues and do your own stuff. There aren’t any negative consequences for you.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salesse11

The thing is the league are in fact counterproductive to learning as they focus on gaining XP. If we know this, DL know this, it is kind of hard to admit that they focus more on making money than helping people to learn a language.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eqicEvGy

At first, I wasn't a big fan of leagues...I just woke up one day and I was in one. I didn't like the personal exposure or competition. Trying to keep up with the smart crowd is difficult, but it makes me try harder and work many hours longer at it. Now I close my eyes and listen to the dialogue being spoken (no reading) and amazingly, it's becoming quite clear...no longer a long fuzzy run-on sentence. I'll probably stroke out at some point, but maybe I'll be speaking Spanish when I do. Best wishes to everyone.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveMorse4

I pretty much ignore the leagues. I do not complain about the leagues because there may be someone who likes them and their existence doesn't bother me.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HappyMatt12345

I feel like it is counterproductive, especially for someone like me who is a gamer, thus has the gamer mindset to stuff like this, I completely ignore the league system myself and focus on actually learning a language rather than leveling up.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnhTinWIn

It's easy really, you can just ignore it. For some people like me, it does keep me grinding a few more lesson here and there to be competitive. However, they should let people opt out, forcing people into leagues are weird thing to do. It's definitely not for everyone.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thecompost

I had a person on my Ruby league one week get 15,000 points. How can they get so many? I don't get it! Their name is knitterface.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roberto727

There are 192 Spanish stories, each offering 20 -30 points. If you have already read the stories, you can complete one in less than 5 minutes. Let's say 10/hr for ease of computation 192 x 25=4800 xps in 19 hours. 57 hours (reviewing the stories 2 more times) would get you approximately 14,000 in six 10 hour days, a solid work week, admittedly, but doable.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hilary936752

The leagues seem a bit random. My husband is also doing duolingo and he has a different league, so it is not clear how you are allocated to a league in the first place! I think it might be more useful to group people in leagues that relate to the language you are learning - we are learning Welsh, and if our league(s) were just for others learning Welsh this might be a useful way to connect with others learning the same language. I can see how it might be addictive for those with a competetive nature, but after losing my streak because of having a week away with no wifi to log in with I am now only addicted to biscuits and coffee!!

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CecilAngus

What did you get once you won the league?

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterM84365

Some Lingots and nothing else. I thought there would be at least a badge or something. Nope. Just more of the same.

July 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/manorbrand

The thing I hate most about the leagues is that it's competitive rather than collaborative. It's a toxic approach to learning. New tools that are added to the site should foster connections and community, not generate competitiveness.

If they wanted to add a 'game' aspect to the site, fine, but make it something we can opt out of and never see, and balance it with tools to foster connections and communities where we can discuss and learn together. That's what language is about.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Odell980318

I really miss using the words in context from the previous clubs.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Per688594

Yes, to stay in the league you could just switch to your mother tongue language to gets lots of points.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

Per688594: Okay, I am learning English (my native tongue) using Chinese and I suck. It's not easy, in fact I use it to practice what I've learned in Chinese (which I do in English) I find using my native tongue in the language I am learning has helped me to see if I am really learning. I have many more points in Chinese and I'm levels ahead compared to my native tongue English. Besides I don't think there is a way to learn your native tongue in your native tongue that would just be stupid. My opinion...

June 30, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

Peter:

You have stated what so many others feel. I was making good progress until the leagues began and cheating is just too easy and doesn't help the learning. I pushed to get to Ruby and now I'm finding out that once there it will be an effort to keep there and not be demoted...hate that. I just want to learn, so unless Duolingo will give us an opt out feature without having to go private and lose our friends, then it's something that has to be either ignored or done with a sacrifice. Maybe it's just me but I hate it and as a teacher it doesn't promote learning, sorry just how I feel.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

You do realise that it is a self imposed problem.....?

The only reason one chases a top slot or a higher one is one's own personal level of competitiveness. Just goes to show what a competitive lot the DuoL crowd is!

I welcome sheer repetition as it allows me to revise and to get a specific sentence structure stuck in my brain as well as phrases which have no direct translation in English. I find those specifically hard to remember.

Perhaps I am just slow. :o)

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

I just gave you a lingot because....

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PomLearnin

Yay !! I never see myself get a lingot. You made my day! :o))

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roberto727

"Repetitive" lingots :)

June 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PerfectEng554596

I am not sure what to do with them so blessing others is just a nice thing to do...here have another one...LOL Also I like that you are a marketing person, I used to teach that now I teach English.

June 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillWignall

If you’re learning a language at a speed designed to “win a league” rather than “learn the language” then you need to sort yourself out. Who cares if someone is learning more, of faster, or just spamming easy lessons to “win”.

Learning is not competitive. I look at the XP racked up up by people in my league and just think some of them must be horribly insecure individuals.

July 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlaskaNivan

What I have found counterproductive is the lives/hearts. With language learning, one should be free to make mistakes and learn from them, but when you only have a certain amount of chances to get it right, you don't learn as well.

June 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David942660

Oh give it a rest, this is getting boring. No one asked you to participate in the leagues, some of us like it, many don't. As you don't like it, fine, no big deal, many others like it, again, no big deal.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrostyEisbar

Take a chill David. This is a public forum where individual expression is encouraged.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterM84365

Seconded. In one of my responses to a poster here, I did say that I wouldn't fault anyone else for continuing to play. That said, as a regular user, I think I and anyone else should voice what we think is a problematic feature against the stated mission of this program, right? Duolingo keeps reminding me how so many people are studying on this program, how many hours equals being in a classroom course, etc. This feature is arguably not a good direction for this mission.

Also, who is actually forcing you to read and post in this thread, David? Physician, heal thyself.

June 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David942660

First of all, there is not anger expressed in my post. Secondly where in my reply did I write that I am against individual expression, he expressed himself and so did I. Thirdly no one is forcing me to read anything, I read it of my own free will, I suggest you chill and take notice of where you write that this is a public forum where individual expression is encourage. Lie back and have a cup of tea and a slice of cake as I will be doing.

June 27, 2019
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