Final Observation re: Leagues
Having been forced into a league I gave in and did it. Here is what I have observed and why I am opting out.
Before having to do a league I would spend about 20-30 minutes a day learning, I'd usually do 4 or 5 lessons. This pace fit my schedule and me. Once I was pushed into a league I found myself having to do 10-15 lessons per day just to keep out of the demotion zone and forge on.
Last week I made it to Ruby league only to discover that there is nothing more after that. I also found myself not learning as much, and even feeling pressure to just keep up. This morning it hit me, I was working just to not be demoted. I wasn't learning I was just trying to keep myself from failing.
I hate that feeling, it is so counterproductive to the learning process. As a teacher I would never use this system in my classroom. I use positive reinforcement not gaming gimmicks and tricks. I constantly have to remind parents to stop comparing their child to anyone else and to encourage not scold. Learning isn't a race, it's a process. Some of us can learn some things quickly whereas others take more time.
I learn language at my own pace so as of today I am OPTING out. I can't change my setting because I still wish to see the people I care about...but I no longer choose to be in a race I can't do. I will not compete with people who cheat and somehow manage to get points that are impossible for me. I am comfortable with 40-50 points in a half hour of learning. I am going back to what was working for me and ignoring the rest.
I share this because just maybe someone will finally listen to the multitude of voices who have said similar things. I hope DUO will end the forced competition on those of us who have chosen to learn at our own pace and not be placed into leagues we never chose.
I am a fairly new Duo user (about 4 months) and I am happy with the progress I have made in that time learning Chinese. I don't want to stop but I no longer find it productive to be in a league. So I am resigned to the demotion zone (how demoralizing to be honest) and to focus solely on the goal of learning the language.
To the rest of you out there who have felt the same...I wish you well. To the others who find gaming useful I wish you all the best too. Learning is something that has no right or wrong path...it's your journey however the journey tends to be better when you are encouraged along, not beaten and made to feel bad that you can't keep up.
BTW this will be my last post on this topic! LOL
Ah, "troubleshooting" as a forum for this conversation is perhaps not the best place to be seen (and it is worthy to be seen I think). You have the option to move this to the "Duolingo (English)" section via the edit button, or repost anew in that section (I think moving it makes it as if it is new but I am not sure).
Anyway, your post is well written and important.
However, while we cannot apparently opt-out entirely since we are put in leagues whether we want or not even if we cannot see the leagues anymore, and people see us and compete against us even when we make our profile private; you can however make the leagues disappear from your profile and still see your friends (though not their progress through the "friends leaderboard" (and I am okay with that) and we cannot be followed by others (including those still seeing us on the leagues).
Personally I think spending time googling what I've learned on Duo and reading the sentence discussions are far better use of my time than mindless rote memorization of some silly sentences so I can get useless points that no longer mean anything.
I wasn't totally sure where to put this post but I felt if I put it here maybe one of the Duolingo "staff" would at least read it.
Thanks, that means a lot to know I'm not alone in feeling this....and thanks for the lingot.. :)
I totally agree with you, PerfectEng554596. Who are our "friends" on Duolingo? The people who have helped us in the forum with a good explanation or a contribution. In the leagues the people are just randomly put together and change from week to week. I do not see any point to compete with these to me anonymous people. So, with a sad heart, I switched to full privacy now, not being able to see the good helpers in my learning process anymore.