Gold Skills and Spaced Repetition
A little bit of history
On July 2018 we introduced a big change to Duolingo: Crown Levels. This was a critical change that allowed learners to select the level of mastery they wanted to have on certain skills.
What have we been up to?
We’ve been analyzing data and listening to feedback from lots of learners since that change, and although the results have been overwhelmingly positive, we noticed this change did come with a few drawbacks:
Higher levels often create too much unnecessary repetition—which on occasion would cause the feeling of too much grinding and/or boredom.
With the exception of Global Practice, opportunities to use spaced repetition were reduced.
The glorious return of Spaced Repetition
To address this, we’re announcing the following two changes: The number of required lessons to level-up levels 3 and 4 have been reduced. Note that we’re not changing the required number of lessons to level up for levels 0, 1, and 2. We’re excited to announce the reintroduction of spaced repetition at a skill level! When our spaced repetition algorithm deems it’s time to review concepts taught in a skill, the skill will turn from Level 5 gilded to a Level 5 cracked skill. The crack on a skill will not reduce the number of crowns earned, but rather signals to the learner that it’s time to review that content. Doing a practice lesson on the cracked skill will restore the skill to its full glory.
This change will launch to all iOS users over the next few weeks and will be implemented for Android and web learners after that. We hope that you are encouraged to keep your tree refreshed and by doing so, cement that hard-earned knowledge!
Sorry, but this was a terrible move. If you don’t want to do the number of lessons in the higher levels, than just... well... don’t. No one is making you. Skip it and move on. Or test out of it.
For those of us who like the higher levels having more, longer and harder lessons, we now have no choice. A couple of higher level lessons and it’s done. And we are no where near being close to the recall-ability from before.
Why not make them longer with an easier and faster way out of them as an option?
New to Duo, but I was an iOS user that grinded through all those lessons from 3 to 4 and 4 to 5. I love and actually prefer all the repetition. I would like to see maybe 6 practices from 3 to 4 and 8-10 practices from 4 to 5 instead pof the now 3-4 practices per level. The 3 or 4 practices are not enough to learn the language well enough. When I do practices on gilded skills, they are too low level (0-2), and I would rather see levels 3-4. I wonder if there is a way to implement a difficulty slider as a user preference for how much practice someone wants. Love the idea of the cracking gilding, and would love to make sure that it is not just a single practice that refreshes it. tl;dr - buff the level 3 and 4 practices a bit more + make practices harder for gilded skills. <3
You are asking some excellent questions merkavar.... cause if the space repetition only comes in at level 5.. that would be bad as I still then would have to go outside of here and got duome to look up what I need to review anyway. It would make the new change useless to me.
Exactly what I was looking for in this chat - I'm in the same boat, I'm just using the strength score, regardless of what level it's at, and I find that this gives me a good balance of lessons (apart from the ones in French and Spanish that are totally busted for me and don't progress at all).
After couple of weeks with the changed number of lessons per level I can say for a fact that my material retention has dropped significantly. So, I'm not a big fan of this change.
For those who wonder how it worked before. Each lesson had a base number of lessons that were different to each other (let's say 7). This number of lessons was repeated once for levels 0 and 1. Levels 2 had 2 cycles of those lessons, level 3 - 3 cycles, and level 4 - 5 cycles. So, you had to do 14 lessons for level 2, 21 lessons for level 3 and 35 lessons for level 5. It was a bit of a grind, but practice makes perfect, right?
Now we have only 1 cycle of lessons per level, which means you get same 7 lessons for each level in our example.
What does it mean? It means higher chance of not getting a specific task at all. For example, I observed one of the tasks only once before getting to level 5 this week.
Probably, lowering number of lessons to repeat is not bad, but definitely not down to one cycle per level.
Yes, you are absolutely correct. This new change is horrible for content retention. The "grind" is exactly what cements new information in your brain. If less serious learners find the old system unappealing, at least let the more serious learners opt out of this nightmare. Golding out from 4 to 5 in four lessons is insane. I am so pissed off at this change.
I feel the same way. For example, I just gilded Positions in the Japanese course. I don't feel I've mastered that at all and could definitely use a lot more practice. I liked the number of lessons before the changes because if I guilded a level, it meant I really had a good understanding of the lesson. I know many others thought it was a grind, but to me that repetition is absolutely necessary in order to really understand a language.
I am very grateful to Duolingo for continuous changes. I know that every change is to provide a better experience for users, but this change, you made a mistake. please don't make things easy, because that will only be counterproductive. and please DO NOT reduce the number of lessons or don't do this before there is a better way.
I used it for about 40 minutes to read all the comments on this post. I must say that many people really don't like this change and I also DON'T LIKE IT.
I agree that learning a language needs a lot of time to practice, and Duolingo is killing the process and making learning worthless. and I agree that learning language algorithms should be smarter, allowing more difficult words to get more practice. and also, I agree that the user should be notified in advance of upcoming any changes.
About three days ago, I use the duolingo web to learn a language and I got two Gold Skills in one day, it never happened before, It is so easy, and the next day, I found that I don't remember the words I have learned. so I emailed Duolingo customer service and asked what happened. they told me this post and about the change, but didn't provide me with any workarounds.
If a smarter algorithm can go online soon, I think I can wait. but, if not, I hope that Duolingo can return to the old version or give us a choice to continue using the old version or the new version.
I have to say that the spaced repetition algorithm is really good improvement, it can reminds me to practice again, I think I like it, just don't reduce the number of lessons because of it.
In the end, I really appreciate Duolingo for making learning languages fun and free, but, don't forget that the people come here is for to learn, not just for fun.
It's not at all boring for me because I do lessons like this.
I did 4 lessons for Lv 4, 3 lessons for Lv 3, 2 lessons for LvI 2, 1 lesson for Lv 1 and 0 so they're all proportional in terms of progress percentage. In this photo, they're all at 20% and it's so satisfying. Now, I only have to do 1 lesson for each level to make them look that way. I personally liked taking more lessons as the level goes up but oh well, I guess I'll just use the Practice feature more often. And I hope I'm actually getting harder content as the level goes up.
I do something kind of similar, but within a level. I work my way through a section+level, working on 2-3 topics(skills?) at a time, with 2-3 lessons apiece until I'm done with those topics. Then I move on to the next 2-3 topics in that level. It gives me enough variety to keep things interesting and not too repetitive.
But it's gotten much harder to do that, because earlier this year they stopped showing the lesson count in the topic's start bar, and instead showed the percentage complete. It was a bit of a nuisance, but there were 12 lessons in a level 4 topic and 20 in a level 5 topic, so I could use the percentage to deduce how many lessons I'd done. Fine. But then, recently, the percentage has become this weirdly variable number, and I can do the same number of lessons in two topics and get different percentages. In Spanish section 1, I'm working my way through the adjacent Level 4 topics Travel 3, Leisure, and Activities, and they're at 93%, 92%, and 91% respectively. I have no idea what's going on, what the percentage is based on, or how many more I should do today to keep up my daily number-of-lessons target.
I think I need to start keeping a note sheet at the side of my computer to mark down the lesson count as I complete them so that I can keep track. Which I can do. I just wish they'd show me a simple number again. All this stuff with experience points and leagues and competitive gaming -- if it works for some folks, that's awesome. But for me, it's just complicating and confusing what used to be a fairly simple study process.
I agree, percentages are very confusing. The earlier system was much better where the lesson count was clearly shown. After all, it depends on the lessons you complete when advancing to higher levels. The percentage goes up when you encounter same words on other topics. But that won't help with advancing to higher levels, you still need to get through all the lessons.
Thanks for the reply but, begging your pardon, I can't tell if you're serious or just making a joke.
If the latter... Hah!! :-D
If the former... You mean the number they're showing me no longer has any bearing on my progress through the current lessons, and instead is an abstract number relating to some separate measure of progress that will matter later?!
Maybe that's useful to some people, I don't know. I just need to know if I've hit my target number of lessons for the day. It was nice when that was clear.
Not a joke.
I think they have some number of times you should review (or use) a word before you complete a level. In the old system 8 lessons from level 2 to 3 gave that amount of review. Now using the word in a later skill counts.
I'm not sure how grammar fits in, but the more lessons at higher levels gave more practice with the grammar.
I also prefer counting lessons and not xp.
In my learning French from English tree I am doing that as well. I recently noticed not a change in the number of lessons needed, but in the length of the individual lessons. Not sure if that is part of this specific change or not. I am glad about the cracked skills though.
I want to add my voice to the mix. I have been learning more effectively because of the high number of repetitions. I was able to space out the repetitions my self by rotating through the tree. Please allow us to go back to the high repetition approach. Without this, I do not see a need to remain a plus member.
I just gilded my first category since Duo implemented the new changes and now I can say for certain that slashing the lesson count was an absolutely terrible choice. My grasp of the grammar, vocabulary, and spelling for that category is tenuous at best and way below what it was for the previous categories. I feel like a struggling kid in math class when the teacher introduces a new unit but I never completely figured out what was going on in the last one.
Honestly, I'm not even comfortable moving further into my tree because I feel like I'm going to be rushed through it before I'm ready. I guess for now I'll just meet my daily goal with practices until Duo fixes what they've broken.
Complete the whole tree at level 1, then go back and complete the whole tree up to level 2, then level 3 etc., instead of going from 0 to 5 on each individual skill before starting the next one. Unless you space it out over time, a skill won't transfer from your short-term to long-term memory.
Completing only the first level (referred to level 0) at each skill on a tree means you will only be introduced to the new terms and concepts but not learning them at all at first. I don't think that would ever work for me as the new info would be quickly gone (as it likely wouldn't even sink into my short term memory) and then when I would get back to do the 2nd level (really level 1) after finishing all the other 27 skills on that tree, I would have to essentially be reintroduced to it all again. The others that have said not to get a crown (don't complete level 4) and leave it open at that level may be on to something as maybe, just maybe, Duolingo will change their mind again and if I don't get a crown on a level, they will reinsert all the level 4 lessons that I need to really get to know the words, concepts and the spellings! If I get to a crown and they change their mind, I think I will be out of luck as I will be shown to have already completed that skill and I would have to hope they make the level 5 practice more difficult. Personally, I would rather learn it in depth first and then practice it every now and then at an easier level similar to what it was before (although slightly more difficult practice would be good).
Duolingo recommends an approach in the middle. Don't go too far in depth before picking another skill and don't go too far down the tree before reviewing.
Here's their blog post. https://making.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo
This is sort of the approach I'm taking but leveling 4 skills together instead of two. So I have slightly bigger groupings. I found that going too far dow the tree was not solidifying the vocabulary before picking up new terms.
I would most definitely not recommend going all the way dow the tree for each level. That will not help retention.
Also, not sure if anyone from Duo is reading this, but I want to give the reason that I'm canceling my Plus at the end of the cycle. This isn't out of spite or anger... I will continue to use the app as it exists, but I feel that I'll need to supplement my learning with another service now to get the repetition that I need. I just won't be able to afford both. Not sure where I'll go that will be a good complement (suggestions, anyone?) so I'll likely need to shop around.
I have started working with LingQ which I like a lot. However, it is not a structured/guided learning program like Duolingo. It is more of a tool to use as you see fit. I find it is helping me greatly.
There is a problem with the review of lessons after reaching level 5.
The review only brings up parts of the lesson no matter how many reviews I do. Example, The other day I did about 8 reviews of Shopping 2 and did not get one sample of the main objective of the lesson, This One, That One, These Ones, Those Ones, nor the use of "aussi". This happens all the time on all of the lessons. It seems only the simple sentences come up. Can this be fixed to make the review a more effective use of time.
I am working on the English > French program
HORRIBLE HORRIBLE idea. Absolutely woeful decision. Do you have any idea how pointless you've just made this app??? For most people learning by repetition works. You've just taken that option away. People may think they're leaning more quickly but the reinforcement just isn't there any more. Completely ruined Duolingo for me. People could previously 'test' out of every level if they were bored, so what was the problem?
Only four lessons to get through level four??? That's ridiculous. I've been nurturing my tree with lots of orange left so I could come back and grind and practice them, and now everything is Gold. I get that I can see when some of them go cracked, but that's a poor, poor substitute. I had multiple levels I knew I had to come back and do to get the repetition, now I have one cracked gold.
Look through these comments. Lots of people liked the repetition. It's good for learning. If some people don't like it, they could move on and leave stuff at orange or red, or they could test out. They had two options, and now you took away ALL our options to do different. Zoom up to gold just for the kick of getting to the gold, it seems like.
Terrible, terrible change. Please change it back.
Hey Terry603870, I was wondering how purposefully nurturing your tree with lots of orange left enables you to come back and grind and practice them? I'm an old Duo power user coming back for the first time in a few years, so I'm just trying to understand how the new updates are affecting people. Sorry to hear about the experiences you're having :(
These improvements seem good. However, I would suggest that, once you reach level 5, the practice lessons should only have level 3 and 4 exercises (i.e. listening and typing).
This would fit well with the reduction of lessons for level 3 and 4, since people who are willing to do more of the harder exercises could do it after reaching level 5.
Hey Ernestasera, I was wondering what you were referring to when you said that "practice lessons should only have level 3 and 4 exercises"? Does this refer to the global practice lessons? I'm an old Duo power user coming back for the first time in a few years, so I'm just trying to understand how the new updates are affecting people. Sorry to hear about the experiences you're having :(
In all the changes that Duolingo has made since I have been using it, this is absolutely the worst. I deliberately didn't complete my lessons to gold for the last 15 lessons or so, so I could go back to them at a later stage and repeat the content. The difference between level 4 and level 5 was an indication of how much I need to practise so I TRULY know the content and I do mean grammar with this much more than vocabluary. If you crack lessons based on vocabulary, the grammar skills won't improve. This will be much more of an issue.
This Is what I’ve also resorted to, PURPOSELY not completing the level 4 lessons (quitting with one question to go) so that I can repeat them more times so as to actually stand a chance of retaining the information.
It’s so ridiculous that users are having to do this!
Hey James.vii, I was wondering how purposefully not completing the level 4 lessons enables you to repeat them more times? I'm an old Duo power user coming back for the first time in a few years, so I'm just trying to understand how the new updates are affecting people. Sorry to hear about the experiences you're having :(
Since Duolingo is presented as a game, reducing the effort to raise your crown level is equivalent to making the game easier -- aka. "nerfing" the game. For new players this is great, but for long-time players this de-values the effort that they've invested in raising their crown levels.
From a learning perspective, I didn't mind the "grinding" on levels 3 and 4. The repetition is how I learn best. The spaced-repetition is nice a addition, but I periodically practice my whole tree, so I doubt any of my skills will every crack.
I'm in the same boat as you. Apparently the admins are working on making level five much harder and comparable to level four, so we can "grind" to our heart's content. The reduced amount of lessons is crazy though. Apparently their "engagement metrics" are behind this change if you read their latest blog post.
I have had this change for a few weeks now. My thoughts :
- When first implemented, some of my skills went from Red to gold. I did not get to do the more advanced work in about 20 skills. I also had about 20 skills about halfway done with orange that also jumped instantly to Gold.
- All skill levels for me have the exact same number of lessons. If the introductory level has 4 lessons, then there are 4 lessons all the way to Gold, making a total of 20 lessons.
- The broken skills is not very well implemented. Most of the lessons after them incorporate the skill. Doing lessons below them, also increase those skills. As a result, "fixing" the broken skill is insanely easy, and I have ignored it, due to being able to learn more by advancing, rather than practicing already mastered skills.
- There isn't nearly enough repetition. For me personally, I need a lot of instances of a new word being used before it sticks. 5 times through, isn't enough, at least for me.
- I don't see how this increases "opportunities" to review material. Global practice was not the only area. You could always click on the skill you wanted to use, and practice it specifically.
Just my humble experiences and thoughts.
I love Duolingo and am thankful for the reintroduction of SRS and other possible improvements but..
CROWN LEVEL 5 IS BROKEN, FIX IT PLEASE!
So, with this update, with the good (SRS!!!!!) comes the absolute worst: the 80% reduction of typing exercises (=crown level 4 lessons) is inevitable for all users because the crown level 5 is kept for some weird reason as easy as crown level 0-2?
Why do you expect that someone with 20-30 lessons on his belt in a specific skill needs the same super easy exercise types that someone with 0 lessons on his belt in that skill??
Why do you take away the better learning opportunities from us by forcing us to Crown level 5 that is not challenging like Crown level 4?
Do you think it would be efficient for a high schooler to do Elementary school’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classes on the side?
I don’t understand this logic of lowering the challenge after Crown level 4.
Here’s a comparison between crown level 5’s practice lesson and crown level 4 regular lesson exercise types I did recently. In order to make the picture clear (red vs green) I used the skip button for all the exercises that were other than typing in the target language exercise.
Crown level 5 skill practice lesson
From the 20 exercises, 5 were typing in the target language exercises. 5 were typing in English exercises. 10 were multi choice exercises which of 5 were Mark the correct meaning and 5 were Select the missing word exercises.
Crown level 4 skill regular lesson
From 20 exercises, all were typing exercises with 1:1 typing in the target language : typing in English ratio.
Needless to say the supposedly challening Crown Level 5 is not really challenging at all if you’ve went through the same material on Crown level 4 with 100% typing. Naturally the challenge should become higher, not stay the same, and especially not become lower.
So what the problem here is, is that the challenge is not increased as you get better and proceed, but taken away from you.
Can you give us exercise type options on the settings page, so we can uncheck/check specific exercise types? That’s the best way to fix these issues! And if you are afraid that beginners will get discouraged by deactivating the easy exercises too early, why not make it available after a certain requirement is met?
Can you please fix crown level 5?
Can you please make additional crown level 5 practice lesson mode where you can choose A) 50:50 typing exercises only (suitable for all tree types: regular trees, reverse trees and ladder trees), B) 100% type in the target language (best suited for a regular tree), C) 100% typing in the user interface language (best suited for reverse trees) along the regular easy practice and timed practice which both consist of the easy exercise types and not so much typing in the target langue.
Can you have the crown level 5 "algorithm" respond to the user’s success or lack of success: failing the questions knocks down the challenge and make it feed you the easy exercise types to build you back up, and on the contrary, increase the amount of typing in the target language exercises if you successfully get them right time and time again.
Can you please make more crown levels so that you get typing exercises in the end if it is necessary to feed the learners these easy exercise types?
If you can not make any of the things above,
CAN YOU DO AT LEAST SOMETHING TO FIX THIS ISSUE THAT MAKES CROWN LEVEL 5 SUPER EASY, UNINTERESTING, BORING, WASTE OF TIME, ETC.
LOVE YOU DUO, BUT YOU’RE NOT HELPING US RIGHT NOW !
Forcing me to do super easy exercise types like
- Multiple choice
- Fill in the blank
- Select the correct word
- Match the pairs
...after going through 20-30 lessons of that skill already, really took out my motivation to use this platform. From 400+ XP / day to about 20 XP / day.
Have a lingot, I swear you are in my head. You said EXACTLY what I was thinking! I actually decreased the amount of experience points I needed daily from the highest to the lowest cause I assumed with the latest update a bug had been released as it was way too easy to progress to the next level and I wanted to wait for them to fix it before I continued any further with my lessons. Exactly one day before they changed it I had bought the PLUS version as I was learning really well and wanted to support DUO, if I had known this change was going to happen I would of NEVER purchased the PLUS subscription. I now find myself being promoted to the next topic/category before I have all the previous lesson skills fully memorized. I do not learn well with the shortened versions. I need that repetitiveness of 4, 8, 12 and 20 lessons of each level to move up the lesson chain. I now find myself regretting purchasing the plus subscription and looking at other apps that have the repetitiveness. I am thouroughly disappointed that I wasn’t given an option to opt in to this new way of quick speed learning. I used to want to use the app all the time but now I find myself not even wanting to continue... 80 bucks down the drain. I feel like I just paid them to rip me off and dumb down my learning . I’m sorry if this comes across as harsh but I’m just venting how I feel. So discouraged and disappointed with DUO
Ok now that I’ve had a chance to calm down a little... while reading all these comments I found out that the app and website versions on my iPad are a little different. So I decided to do a little experiment. I took the exact same lesson on both the app and website to compare the two. I was on a Level 2/5, Lesson 4/4. So before I finished the lesson on the app and was at my very last wrong answer I closed it out and started again on the website version. On the app version 6 out of 16 questions were WORDBANK questions with NO ability to use the keyboard. On the website version all 16 questions were either strictly keyboard or optional to use the wordbank. Also on the app a few questions are listen and repeat using my microphone while on the website version there were no listen and repeat questions. Also on the app version I have my Latin keyboard enabled so when I’m typing I have the ability to just tap the right word whilst on the website the ability to tap the words is not accesible. When you have the ability to use the Latin keyboard it’s kind of like cheating cause it helps you find the right variation and spelling of the Spanish word that your looking to type next. With only a handful of times it being wrong. When using the website version you not only have to know how to spell the Spanish word but also memorize where to put the accent marks as well as what variation the word is. Also if using the website the excersizes that use the listen and repeat with my microphone are replaced with just regular questions cause let’s be honest even if i pronounce it wrong and butcher the sentence it usually marks me down as correct anyways so that’s better for me not to use that as well. So with my work arounds I should be just fine. I hope by sharing this I’m able to help others who feel the same way as I do. 1. We can use the website version and not have ANY mandatory wordbank questions 2. By not using our Latin keyboard we are writing out the words repetitively which builds on our memorization. 3. By not using our microphone to repeat sentences we get more regular questions 4. I also realized that if I am having a lot of trouble with a particular lesson instead of finishing it out all I have to do is when the first question that i got wrong comes out at the end of the lesson I can just exit out of the lesson and start all over. We can still learn through repetitiveness we just have to restart it on our own. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I no longer use the app I should be fine. Good luck amigos!
Lol, i also wanted to add when I installed the Latin American keyboard at the very beginning of my course it was because I had mastered all the easy words like Niño, casa, mujer, hombre etc. So just tapping made it so much easier and quicker and didn’t feel like cheating but now that I’m at a section where I practically know none of the words I’ve just realized by using the website version with my experiment that this has been hampering my ability to learn and retain new words. I’m just grateful that I noticed now instead of way down the road. Ditch the keyboard if you have trouble retaining new words.
Wow, thanks for illustrating this so effectively. And I love your proposed solution, to let the user choose their exercise types! I'm probably not a typical learner, I use the platform WAY more than the app, and I turn off the word banks pretty quickly in favor of typing. But for those once or twice a year times when I MUST use the app, I appreciate the opportunity to NOT have to type. I'm not like one of those millennials who can type 100 wpm on a phone... ;) Kudos, kudos, kudos to you! I hope they do this!
Vita flumen est. Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.
As someone who mostly uses the app, it is terrible being forced to use the word bank for EVERYTHING. I used to have a choice, but as of last week now I cannot turn the word bank off.
It makes learning with the app much less effective for me.
I don’t like being forced to use the web browser version on my phone just to be able to turn off the word bank.
Txs dfala, but please note that the problem is not limited to whether Level 5 Practice requires working in the target language but expands to the selection of exercises that one is exposed to. As I noted below, I am getting Level 5 Practice exercises which are very simple, which represent a limited range of what is available in the lesson and which DO NOT relate to the main objective of the lesson. I gave the example of completing 8 Practices of Level 5 Shopping 2 with not one sample of the target objectives of the lesson. Txs for looking into this problem.
Another update. Just finished about 8 practices of At Work 3. Did not get one sample of two of the three main objectives of the lessons, "venir de" and the use of "donner à/demander à" It seems that after reaching Level 5 part of the lessons become unavailable to users. Hope this helps.
While you’re at it, it would be nice to see the levels correspond with the goals specified in the Duolingo Crown Level blog post linked in the topic. It seems like Duolingo no longer follows that pattern of focusing on certain skill types each level and that’s a shame.
I really liked reading that blog post and seeing that certain levels were focused on different skills (learning vocab, retention, listening, practicing in the target language, etc). However, now I don’t see this focus being followed.
For example, in level 4 I don’t get any questions where I can answer in my target language.
This is on the iOS app, but I know that Android users have reported the same issue (only getting word bank questions and never getting to type in the target language).
Interesting dilemma with level 5, which in theory should be the most difficult one. I always struggle the most at level 4, with the increased difficulty and not having fully learned the subject yet.
So at level 5 it's just hammering in the info to my thick skull until it sticks, which means either I complete all the exercises one-by-one, or test out if by luck the topic is not that complex to grasp.
@arthur932834 They just mean another courses from other than your mother tongue/current user interface language. For example, you are learning French, Spanish and Italian from English, a reverse tree/course would be the English for French speakers, or English for Spanish speakers, or English for Italian speakers. A ladder tree would be Spanish for French speakers, or French for Spanish speaksers, or Italian for either French or Spanish speakers, and so on.
I definitely have that option on desktop versions, but I don't think it's available in my app version... I'll double check this in a few mins.
I do prefer to type in the answer as the level increases. I can tell if I've retained the spelling, grammar, etc. better that way.
Thanks for the reminder that the keyboard option is available in some formats!
Off to see if it's available on my app. Sincerely hope it is.
Edit: In the German from English Level 4 lesson it showed typing not selecting the correct word order from a word bank.
Also level 1 did NOT offer a keyboard option only the word bank. I am on my Samsung using the app.
Hopefully levels 2 and 3, in the app, will offer a keyboard option like it does on a desktop.
Just wanted to provide this info for anyone interested.
I think the problem with this system is that the difficulty in level 5 drops significantly for not reason. Once a skill is gilded, you can't really practice it at the same level anymore.
Shortening levels 3 and 4 don't really make sense, as they're the hardest ones. The solution to this problem would be increesing the difficulty of level 5, which wouldn't slow down users who complain about the "grind".
This. The current system is terrible now for internalizing new information. There is so much less repetition that you can't properly embed new concepts and vocabulary. The "grind" is a GOOD THING. Not only that, once you cap a skill to 5, the difficulty goes way down and you're back to multiple choice / picture questions with only a couple full-on writing exercises. This just rolled out into my account today and I am immensely frustrated.
I wholeheartedly agree, I can’t believe that the lessons have been reduced. It is pathetic and devalues the learning experience. It is difficult enough learning a new language as you get older and with the new system there is no chance that I will be able to retain the information. Please bring back our lessons, if some learners don’t need the extra practice they can skip the extra lessons and jump to a new skill, practice makes perfect.
For the people who complain that Duo doesn't listen to their user as much as they should: When crown were introduced, there was a glut of people in the forums screaming about how they "had to" grind through an immense number of lessons in order to get to gold. Now there is a decrease of the number of lessons and, you guessed it, a glut of people in the forums screaming about how they don't have enough of a grind.
It's not about getting little gold pictures. It's about becoming familiar, competent, and eventually fluent with a new language. If you want a golden tree, just test out of everything and google the answers. Learning a language requires repetition. Lots of repetition. The people who are angry about not being able to rapidly earn a shiny gold tree seem misguided to me. I get your sentiment of a dichotomy though.
Those who got bored with the repetition in levels 4 and 5 have the option to skip (at least for the plus users). That’s what I did when I felt I had mastered something before I finished all 20 lessons. I really don’t like this new change and I’m sure others feel the same way. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I am also really disappointed with this update. Apparently this is for locking in new people or give motivation to people who just want to play a "game" and would like to use duolingo as such. For people who are interested in actually learning a language and improve in it, it was the worst they could do.. to be honest i am not learning it as fluently as before and it is not as appealing or motivating to me to earn points or whatever. The true reward comes when you can understand and use a language. Why oh why, when you already have something perfect you try to mess it up by trying to make it better... This was the worst decision/update in the history of duolingo! If duolingo doesn't bring back the normal quantity of lessons which is essential for a language to actually settle in, many motivated people will stop using it...Period...
Ok, you got feedback that lessons were repetitive, so why not make them more unique and reduce redundancies instead of just reducing the amount of lessons?? I liked putting in the work and doing 20 lessons on level 4. The repetition is what helps me retain what I’ve learned. Now I’m concerned I won’t be able to retain as much. How do you algorithms address this?
Four lessons in 3-4, is this a joke? The grinding helped me because I actually had to type and know the proper conjunctions and when to use which verb or adjective. Sliding right along and now I just have to pick the proper word from the word bank, and the wrong sentences are often VERY wrong, so there's no difficulties. No "tricky" questions with similar words but different conjugations. I feel like I'm not learning, just memorizing
Please do not reduce the number of levels. A sense of repetition, even and especially to the point of boredom, is absolutely necessary, and it was extremely helpful to have a goal to work towards before moving on to the next level, even if that goal was a little too high at times. Instead, having to manually keep track of how many level-5 practice lessons I do, or otherwise continuing to practice until I feel I’ve learned the lesson sufficiently, is much more inconvenient and inexact. Those who feel bored can still proceed without finishing the last level; those of us who prefer the repetition and goal-setting are left out to dry with this latest development. I recently became a plus member right before this adjustment, and am really beginning to regret that decision as this has made it less convenient to use duolingo and has left me much less confident that I am learning the material. If it is at all possible, please consider undoing this change.
I have five very simple points to make.
I have never actually gone through all the lessons at level 4. The grind is so boring, repetitive, and demotivating that I test out as soon as I get there. I usually know the answer before reading the whole question because it's the same question that I've already answered ten times. I don't think memorizing the answers to questions is the point.
Levels 1-3 are way too easy. You may as well skip from level 0 to level 5. If the system was a bit smarter to avoid asking questions that you consistently get right, or to focus more on words that you get wrong, it would reduce the grinding feeling.
I just lost my 79 day streak today because I was so board with answering the same questions over and over again. Sometimes I get it wrong despite knowing the answer because I'm just so board that I lose focus and make typos. This has happened a few times. I don't learn if I'm board, so I don't really see a reason to force myself to continue.
There needs to be more variety in the questions. It can't just be typing. It also can't just be choosing words. There has to be more kinds of questions.
This has to do with spaced repetition. What if you had an option to practice all lessons at once? If you could select from ALL cracked lessons and randomly order the questions, it would be more difficult, and also less repetitive. Maybe have a concept of crack severity. Some lessons could have a small crack, so you only have to answer 4 questions from there to fix it. Others could have large cracks and require 16 questions. The worst could be "broken" requiring 64 total questions to fix. If someone left and came back after a year, half of their lessons would be "broken", and all of them would be at least slightly cracked. Now they have choices. They could choose a particular lesson to fix it, or if they clicked a general "repair lessons" button, it would select questions from all lessons at random, and they could fix several cracked lessons at once without getting board.
If you're going from level 0 to level 5 on a skill before moving on to the next one, you will get a heck of a lot of repetition. Try doing only one or two levels, moving on, then going back again. You'll be less bored, and you'll be surprised at how much you forget, even if you think you have the sentences memorized.
The changes you propose would require the work of language specialists. Duolingo retains a staff of engineers, web designers, marketers and the like. The language input comes from volunteers. They cannot just start hiring a bunch of linguists and pinkslip all their engineers. By the way, a person who must do a boring activity gets bored. A board is a thin, flat piece of wood. Just sayin' =D
This is no longer true, jairapetyan. The language input for some languages already comes from a group of paid people. So far, French and Spanish have been taken away from the volunteers and given to the professionals (the results don't look much better, so I understand your confusion), and Duo is openly planning to do the same change for at least a few other languages, such as German.
So, 130418's proposals make sense (and can be agreed or disagreed with), but the problem with their implementation are not primarily the volunteers.
I personally guess, that the spaced repetition will be a bit more like what 130418 suggests than like before, based on the blog posts by Duolingo describing some of their plans with interconnecting the skills. But we'll see.
Mereade, I know that Pearson have some of their people working on Spanish, so that the skills can correspond to one of their textbooks. They are paid by Pearson, not by Duolingo. And by the shoddy work they produce, Pearson does not seem to have a way to evaluate their employees' qualifications for the job.
I am not disagreeing with what 130418 has to say -- he has a lot of good points. I only stated that his suggestions would need linguistic input rather than an improvement to the programming. I could be wrong, but I don't think that Duolingo currently has the resources or interest to expand or improve on linguistic input.
Vita flumen est. Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.
Hi @jairapetyan, I've noticed these posts recently:
Levels 1-3 are not too easy for new learners at all. There are some skills in my Spanish tree where i literally have to watch youtube videos and google to research grammar rules just to get through it. Even when i switch from typing on a keyboard to using the word bank it takes me an hour to get 1 crown level on some of these skills.
This is why Duolingo really needs to separate their product because people like this user who probably isn't learning the language for the first time is demanding harder content while new users are leaving the platform due to the grind and how hard some of the content is to get through.
I have no clue about the Hebrew course but the Spanish course has skills where they don't inform you on proper use of prepositions or when to use a specific tense but yet is combing it all in every sentence when new learners are still trying to get the hang of conjugating the verbs & some skills are too difficult as is imo.
in regards to your point 5. Duome actually shows which of the spaced repetition things needs doing the most as it shows fallen percentage rates. So this new set up is not as good as duome info as if we have a lot of cracked ones, we dont know which we should be working on first.
Bored vs board.
Bored - (adj) feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one's current activity.
Board - (n) a long, thin, flat piece of wood or other hard material, used for floors or other building purposes.
(Verb) on or into (a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle
- to live and receive meals in a house in return for payment or services.
It's only boring because you do each skill from 1 to 5 all at once. If you would leave some skills at various levels (you would stop when you felt you knew them well) and then just do some lessons here and there of each skill as you feel you have mastered them, then they would not be boring anymore and you would take still full advantage of spaced repetition learning. The problem with previous system is that people like you were using it in a wrong way.
I really, really, really don’t like this new system. It would be great if I had gotten on Duolingo to earn points, but I didn’t.
I don’t understand why Duo is reducing the number of available lessons when people already had the ability to test out if they felt like they’d had enough. With the new system, those extra lessons are unavailable. I used to have to do 12 lessons on level 4, and at least 10 lessons on level 5 before I felt ready to test out. That’s a total of 22, which has now been replaced by a total of 8.
I’m a subscriber. I didn’t subscribe to a point system, but to a language learning platform. Please don’t optimize the point-earning opportunities at the expense of the language-learning opportunities.
No system is perfect, and in your own words, this one was working great. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
I liked it better when it took longer to complete the Crown levels. I liked having the repetition, without it I don’t get enough practice. The other way if I already had something down I could just use the shortcut to finish the level if I wanted to. If some users don’t like the “grind” could not complete every lesson of every level. Could you please switch it back?
I agree with others here...I like the added challenge of extra lessons in the higher levels, and I feel that it allows me to learn a subject more thoroughly. PLEASE don't change this! People who think it is too much of a grind at one time can move on when they get bored and then revisit higher levels later when the material is less fresh in their minds.
Sure, the previous format was repetitive but the object of Duelingo is for people to LEARN a language. It is a fact that repition improves learning and retention. The trouble is that everyone wants to learn something super fast these days but few of us have the ability to learn without repetition. Reducing the number of lessons is therefore a backward step and whilst Duolingo learners will progress much faster, they are deluding themselves if they think that a faster pace will lead to increased learning and retention. Even the great Bruce Lee wrote that "he fears the man that has practiced one punch 10,000 times than the man who has practiced 10,000 punches". I'm sorry Duolingo but from an educational standpoint, you have diminished your product considerably.
I agree that it felt somewhat repetetive, but to go from 20 lessons on level 5 down to 4 is a HUGE and unnecessary drop. Even going a little bit down to maybe 10 lessons would be to meet in the middle, no? I love this course and it´s a great way to learn the language, but I miss the repeating, even if it felt too much, I would leave the skill for a while and come back and be challenged again with more lessons and eventually I´d get to golden. I think it benefits everyone to repeat something a lot, even if it feels boring, thats how we learn!
I join everyone in being disappointed with the latest update.
Reducing repetitions is the worst thing that one could do with a language learning system. Because repetition is the most effective system of memorizing and honing language skills. I don't see the point of trying and doing this a lot of the time now, because half of my lessons were completed without my participation. And to complete the lesson now I do not need to try and spend time on it. This devalues all the efforts previously spent on bringing the lessons to the gold level. And I don't understand, why it was nessesary to do. If everyone has the opportunity not to do all these 5-50 iterations, but simply pass test and make a lesson gold immediately (for 5 lingots or for free with subscription Plus).
In order to satisfy users' requests, it was possible to increase the variety of examples at levels 4 and 5. This could be done, so people do not get bored every time to write sentences that they already know by heart.
A reminder with the form of cracks in the skills - is wonderful idea. It is a pity that it is not yet introduced in my mobile application for Android.
I really hope that developers will listen to such a huge number of disappointed users who appreciate their own work and patience in learning languages. And finally they will bring back all the levels of exercise back.
Your big problem is not the upper levels. It's Level 1. Until 2018, each skill consisted of small set of specific sentences. A learner who had difficulty with a particular sentence could do it over and over until mastery. This stopped when Crowns came in. I understand the reasons for Crowns, but when Crowns came in, we lost access to the advantages of the old system. I never understood why the sets of specific sentences didn't survive as Level 1, thence a transition to the Crowns system on subsequent levels, with an option always to return to Level 1 in any skill for review. The software for the sentences was already written. What a waste! When Crowns came in, I stopped using the platform after a 1000+ day streak. I am back on now, but I am not learning nearly as efficiently. I have been a teacher since the late 70's, and I know shaky instructional design when I see it.
OOF! because I’m a iOS user. But are there still levels? It was a bit hard to understand at some bits. Please don’t take away lvl 3 and 4. It is more of a challenge with those lols. Without them the lessons would be very watered down and it will be very hard to get fluent. I’m trying to get my whole tree gold but it’s getting harder and harder. But it’s worth it if I get fluent! Please don’t take away those levels duo. I bet our comments won’t be cared for but at least think about it. I feel like I’ve wasted hours doing duolingo as a challenge and now it won’t be. OOF! Seriously duo. I think it will be better to make all the people that spend money and time on duolingo then to just make them waste all of that.
Is this why it suddenly seems to be skipping lessons? I actually really liked all the drill in levels 3 and 4. We had languages drilled deep down into our skulls back in high school and those are the languages that have stuck with me, rather than the quick gloss over of new languages I later added in university.
I'm not worried about getting gold, just about learning. I am just slowly making my way down the tree and using duome to tell when to go back and review (spaced repetition). Fewer lessons just gives me less review before the skill maxes out. If the level 5 practice exercises are easier than the level 3 then I don't see a need to reduce the number of exercises.
I agree with Gh0stwheel. I was alarmed when I discovered that the number of lessons I had to complete to finish a level had been reduced. This appears to be a very retrograde step as people need constant practice especially if you are not in a position to hear French being spoken on a regular basis. In the initial stages of learning a language repetition is vitally important. There are changes that could be made to improve the learning experience but reducing the number of lessons in order to reach the next level is not one of them. Some of the exercises are very repetitive and rather facile and thus they become mind numbing with the result that you make careless mistakes. It is for that reason I rather enjoy the Heart Practice exercises where I usually have to think more. From reading former forum posts it seems that the learning experience over the past few years is constantly being downgraded, I urge you to re-think the changes you are making.
I also agree. To borrow from another one of my comments, Level 4 content has been far and away the best way for me to subconsciously cement new knowledge into my head and avoid making stupid mistakes. I'm at the point where I am deliberately not completing my level 4 lessons (backing out at the last moment) just so I can keep repeating content at that difficulty.
The reason why level 4 is so effective is because it forces you to engage in active recall. There are no word banks to choose from, no multiple choice questions, just you being forced to think completely on your own to formulate the answer. As @nickbii commented below, the continuous repetition of this content is called "rote learning".
There is currently a debate happening on rote learning in education. Detractors are saying that we need to prioritize deep understanding over the mere recall of facts. I wholly agree with this sentiment, and of course just memorizing lists of facts (or words) doesn't lead to mastery. BUT, rote learning does have its place.
It's true that spaced repetition is very effective when learning a new language, but it's not the only tool that's required. People keep throwing "spaced repetition" around like it's a magic word and the only way to language mastery.
After spending 6-8 hours each day on this site, I have a pretty good idea of what works the best for me. I personally believe that a balanced combination of spaced repetition, active recall drills, and rote learning is the most effective (as I said later down this thread).
Reducing the lesson count was a well intentioned, but big mistake.
Unfortunately, as read directly from their blog, Duolingo primarily measures "user engagement" above all else. And their metrics apparently indicate that 4-6 lessons per level is the sweet spot. So I don't see them reverting back to a higher lesson count any time soon.
I was at the beginning of level four in the first 7 exercises when suddenly I was advance and crowned at the end of level 5 in everything. Was that part of the new upgrade? I was looking forward to learning what was in those lessons instead of being advised I already learned it. Made it next to impossible to get passed the checkpoint (which was impossible to get passed u til after a bunch of times restarting it looked like the older lessons and not a foreign language
[In meanest, most cruel voice possible] Newbies.
[Normal voice on] The way it worked until July of '18 was there were no levels. Each Skill had a certain amount of lessons. Once you did every lesson once it was gold. You'd basically be at Crown Level 1, and the skill was gold. As time went the Duolingo algorithm would decide you needed to strengthen certain words, and when there were a couple in that lesson it stopped being gold, and then you had to click on it and hit "strengthen." A word's decay rate depended on how often you'd earned it, how often you got it wrong the last time it came up, etc. In other words you weren't actually done with a language just because you officially finished the tree, you had to keep going back to lessons to keep them golden.
This was called "spaced repetition," and a lot of Education PhDs say it's the best way to learn a language. It also had the advantage that you could go back to Lesson 3 in Impersonal Verbs if you wanted.
Then they added crowns, and Duo stopped telling you which words need strengthening. It did start insisting you do 57 lessons to get to Crown Level 5. This is called rote practice, and very few education PhDs think that doing the same lesson 57 times and then going on to something completely different for 84 lessons is a good way to learn. Doing all 141 lessons is good, but they need to be very mixed up, both with each-other and other shit, so that things actually sticks in your brain. With Crowns Duo lost a lot of that.
It can still tell you what needs strengthening. If you log in on a prior to last July Android version you'll see immediately which lessons aren't golden, and if you hit the barbells the words it chooses are your weakest words, it just does not tell you on current versions.
So this is mostly good. I still hate hearts, so I'll keep my special Android with 3.6 in my pocket.
Then they added crowns, and Duo stopped telling you which words need strengthening. It did start insisting you do 57 lessons to get to Crown Level 5. This is called rote practice, and very few education PhDs think that doing the same lesson 57 times and then going on to something completely different for 84 lessons is a good way to learn.
The importance and efficiency of rote practice is still very much in debate. Rote learning is widely used across numerous subjects in our education system today. Examples include phonics in reading, the periodic table in chemistry, multiplication tables in mathematics, anatomy in medicine, cases or statutes in law, basic formulae in any science, etc.
I agree with you that spaced repetition is an efficient tool/procedure when learning a new language, but it's not the only tool. I personally believe that a balanced combination of spaced repetition, active recall drills, and rote learning is the most effective. Repeating level 4 content over and over again, for me, was immeasurably effective at eliminating stupid mistakes and solidly embedding new learning content and vocabulary into my brain.
I am spending 6-8 hours here a day, and I am really mourning the loss of a high number of active recall drills (level 4 content). It's at the point to where I am deliberately backing out of lessons right before completion so I can keep studying at the same level. It's just not ideal at all.
I really appreciate your thorough comment though.
I like the repetition. Especially as it becomes more difficult. Please keep the extra repetition. It can be alternated with different areas at our own pace the way it is set up now, so it isn't a problem. And if people don't want to do the repetition they can keep moving forward once they have opened up the next item. Some of us need lots of repetition as we get older
I like the crack skills addition. However, I don't think that the number of repetitions should change for levelling up 3 to 4. I think levelling up from 4 to 5 should change. 35 repetitions for level 4 to level 5 was a little tedious, but now it's only around 6 or 7 repetitions, and that's not enough for the content that's meant to be the hardest. Maybe reduce it to 20, but 6 repetitions seems unhelpful.
I was just hit by this update a few days ago, and I must say I'm not a fan of this change. I thought that the 20 practices required to get from Level 4 to 5 was a bit much, but I'd rather do that than have 4 practices and not remember what I learned. What I'm learning doesn't cement itself into my head anymore. I personally learn most of the stuff pretty quickly, though I don't think it's enough to guarantee that I'll remember what I learned two months from now. I agree with the others who have already brought it up that there should be a choice to use either the old system of leveling up or the new system. While it isn't good to make us practice unnecessarily, it's worse to not give us enough practice.
P.S. Oooh this is comment #666. Eso es malo juju.
This change does not work for actually learning the language. I have to say I am extremely disappointed in the change.
The people complaining about the higher levels being a "slog" to get through are here to simply play a game - not really learn a language!
Learning and understanding a language can be boring a repetitive at times....it is work! That is why is is so rewarding to actually accomplish it (and why so few do) Simply pressing the icons to match the words on the newly "cracked skills" does not equate to the actual writing/thinking on the former repetitive higher levels. Many times I have gotten to the beginning of levels 5 with little comprehension, but by the end of 20 rounds understand the whole lesson (this does not happen in 4 rounds). Comprehension comes from repetition - that is why actual conversation is so effective.
It is disapointing to see Duolingo change to suit the needs of those who want to have the ILLUSION of learning rather than ACTUAL learning and comprehension. I was considering buying the full version to be able to use while travelling-but now have been convinced not to since this seems to be changing into a game as opposed to a legitimate learning tool.
It is a shame
I am glad about the evening out of the crown levels, I usually stoped at level three because so many repetitions I found myself just memorizing sentences instead of learning. I am not so excited for the cracked skills. That graphic looks really demotivating and a bit ugly. Is there a way to visually represent the need for a touch up, like maybe have gold skills sparkle and not gold ones just loss their shine, that is a bit friendlier looking? I also think it would be better if the general practice button just worked better, and if timed practice was available in the app.
I agree that I wished the general practice button worked better. Through the app, I've found that killing my hearts to 2 and building up is how I can practice.... unless I go online. I would love to see a practice button somewhere on screen though. Maybe just scrolling to the top or clicking where the hearts are?
Too little, too late Duo...
I've already abandoned your courses and got rid of your app with no tips and notes, and re-enabled the adblocker. I finally figured out that your goal is to keep us on your platform as long as possible - you don't really care if we're learning anything or not. Spaced repetition was supposed to be your main asset and you took it away just like that. And it took you a year to realise your mistake? LOL! Hilarious!
Honestly I think the number of repetitions required for the higher crown levels really make sure that you grind in the content, and I think that's ultimately the goal. Speeding through the entire training is not valuable anyway. Additionally you can test out of the level anyway if people are confident they know it adequately. For me the pacing seemed good.
I think the crack in the skills is a brilliant idea!
I agree with Gh0stwheel. It should be hard to get a Gilded status and while I may not be as smart as some. I need the reputation and grinding or really learn. I was doing really well and worry this will make it a bit harder for me to focus a lot more on really knowing and correcting mistakes over and over. By then end I almost always had it down but it took up to the end of level four to get there don’t let the complainers it’s hard (or too much time) to commit to learning a language. It’s better to get right. Some things should be not so easy.
Even after I got all the words, I like to keep insisting on them to make sure that I won't easily forget them once I move on with the course. Now I can't say that I'm confident that I actually "absorved" all the new words before moving on to the next module. This change is really concerning to me.
Not only I dislike this change because the number of lessons was too drastically reduced, but it also seems to be buggy.
Note that we’re not changing the required number of lessons to level up for levels 0, 1, and 2.
I assume that I'm experiencing a bug at least, because the number of tests for my levels 1 and 2 did get reduced too, now they all take consistently the same number of tests to get to the next. Another bug I found is that by completing a level 4 to 5, it then on 5 shows that a different number of lessons were completed. I leveled up a level 4 to 5 with only 1 test, which I find ridiculous, but it now shows while on level 5 "Completed 5/5".
How can you say the response to Crowns was "overwhelmingly positive"? I was reading the threads, and the reaction was largely negative. If Duolingo has descended into using corporate happy-speak, that would be terribly sad.
BTW, Crowns are OK, but we lost some control over what we practise. Above the basic/casual level, users want control over what and how we practise. Usually, we know better than the software. Suggestions are appreciated, but not force.
Please do not reduce the number of lessons in levels 3 and 4.
They are more challenging than levels 0, 1 and 2.
We learn so much more from the opportunity to write ourselves rather than just pick from a word-pool.
Users that don't like the "grind" can still progress down the tree without it.
But the rest of us that do want the thorough practice won't be able to get it.
Once golden (level 5), the exercise difficulty drops to that of the initial levels,
rather than remain as in level 4. (Full on typing.)
Thank you for the rest of the great improvements!
EDIT: in order to pin Admin response to the top
Take a look; our pleading has been heard.
An Admin has just responded:
"This is really good feedback. We're working on increasing the difficulty of Level 5 Skill Practice. We'll be discussing this feedback with the team!"
I'd like to thank everyone on this page talking about this issue and adding their contribution to its solution.
I would love that. Level 5 is too easy, because when you get it to level 5, you should know everything, and get almost everything right, not just review the basics. Another thing is that I don’t think it being cracked is enough. They need to find a balance where you don’t review it every 3 months (I already have it and it doesn’t crack much) and practising it every day, which is impossible. Maybe it gets cracked with a full month of no review, or maybe a fortnight.
And they should make the lessons harder, longer, and less repetitive; level 1, 2, and 3 are almost the same, level 4 is hard, and level 5 is way too easy.
They need to find a balance where you don’t review it every 3 months ... Maybe it gets cracked with a full month of no review, or maybe a fortnight.
I very much like your suggestion of Duo fine-tuning the time it takes for skills to crack.
I suspect that if they see your post, they'll probably run an A/B test to do just so.
It just makes sense!
I haven't noticed the cracking on my account yet.
(I Duolingo on the web)
Personally, I use my Duome page to Know when I've practiced what, and take a refresher lesson in each skill about once a month.
(Not all in the same day...)
Take a look; our pleading has been heard.
An Admin has just responded:
"This is really good feedback. We're working on increasing the difficulty of Level 5 Skill Practice. We'll be discussing this feedback with the team!"
There is also a problem with restoring cracked skills, I reported it here today, and learned that it is actually a problem that has been repeatedly reported in the past.
EDIT: Apparently, the problem has been fixed! At least in the Latin tree, when I clicked on my cracked Latin skills (there were three) there was a button to "restore cracked skills." I only needed to do one lesson or one timed practice (I beat the clock) to restore them. This novelty might only apply to Latin though.
Yes, motivation is key! Many of us are motivated language learners. What interests me would be to find a way to motivate myself to do things that don't enthuse me much, like mop the kitchen floors every morning. Or motivate certain students of mine to do Duolingo. =D
That varies a lot between languages. English and Spanish words often have the same etymology. For languages that are more distantly related (or not at all, as far as we can know), it is much harder. I wish Duolingo took that into account and tweaked the amount of repetition for the courses, so more repetition was needed for harder languages and less for easier languages.
True, one of the elements that goes into making a french lesson too "easy" for an english speaker at certain levels is how many questions involve English cognates. I always assume this must be Duo's way of making users feeling like they're learning a lot because they're getting a lot of things right, but I tend to find it a boring waste of time and would rather get a lot of things wrong because they involve words that aren't also used in English.
Hi @dfala, given how important it is that the skill practice is a one size fits all and serves the majority of users in the most effective way possible.
Just wondering if it would make sense, if Additional Skill Practice B, at crown level 5, would be introduced as an unlockable at the right time. Only after a certain requirement within that skill is met so it isn’t there to discourage the learners away:
- At least X amount of total lessons completed within a skill
- Last Y amount of CL5 Practice lessons completed with Z% accuracy.
If the requirement is met, the Skill Practice B with greater difficulty unlocks. (high % of typing in the target language exercises)
- X amount of Crowns would unlock Skill Practice B for the skills up to check point 1
- Y amount for the skills up to check point 2 and so on.
This way it wouldn’t become available too soon so the probability of it discouraging the user who starts to use it is very low and the probability of it engaging the user even more would be high.
It would only unlock for the right user, at the right time.
I would of course love the customizable exercise type options (check/uncheck) at the settings page the most but am not sure if it is something that would happen some day.
That's a very interesting idea. Another option is to adapt the difficulty of skill practice to the strength of the words in the skill. E.g. if the word strength in the skill is really low we could serve an easier lesson, but if the word strength is high serve a more challenging lesson (e.g. if you just gilded a skill, level 5 skill practice would be basically a level 4 lesson in difficulty)
Nice! Adapting the difficulty to the strength of the words in the skill sounds good. It would make CL5 skill with high word strength at least as challenging as CL4 skill if not more, and with low word strength it would build you back up instead of throwing too difficult exercises! I like that.
I think that instead of modifying the system of difficulty levels, which has been working for many years, you can consider
introducing more language pairs proposed by users to the Incubator.
For example, some people find it too difficult to reach level 4 because of too many sentences (not word puzzles) in the language of the course. It is tiring to type the same sentence several times, for example, if you mistake the order of words in a sentence, use a present simple instead of a continous, or forget about the article. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's worth looking at different points of view that you can't see at first look :) Thank you!
P.S. Here is one of the extreme examples in which English-speaking users themselves recommend copying the translation: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/19391636
Would it be possible to have the "general" practice cover only those lessons which are golden/level 5? It could be the highest level of practice, one which is outside of practice within a completed skill, i.e. level 5.
I have been studying on Duolingo on and off for a long time and would appreciate a general practice but only covering the skills which I am studying/keeping current, i.e. the ones which are golden.
Thanks again for your attention to these user issues.
That's good advice, and indeed I Duolingo¹ on the web.
Personally, I switch to typing-only from level 2.
But I can understand that different people do it from different levels.
¹ "Duolingo" sounds like it would make a nice verb;
In English and even more so in Italian...
You can also use an Internet browser on your smartphone. Duolingo website adapts very well to mobile browsers (at least in Android, which is the mobile OS I use). That way, you get the section 'Stories' and the forums as well. Just in case you didn't know it.
If level 4 is too long for you, you can always test out once you've reached what you deem is enough practice.
Thus, you'll reach the golden level 5 without denying those that do need the extra practice of that opportunity.
Alternatively, I don't mind shortening level 4,
as long as it doesn't mean having less of a variety of sentences,
and that we get practice in the same difficulty once we maxed to level 5.
Both of these solutions don't cost Duolingo more,
and give both fast and slow learners what they want and need.
If and when Duolingo think they can dedicate the resources to offer more levels, great.
But what would be the difference between them?
Are you suggesting a new kind of exercise that duo doesn't offer?
In level 4, we get to type what we hear, translate and type to our target language and the reverse, on app you also speak.
What other types of language use are we missing that we need more levels for?
Yes, you say if level 4 is too long you can always test out. Well users could anyway and that's how most people liked it, so why has Duo reduced the number of lessons making it less about learning (and most learning is done through repetition) and more about gaining pointless crowns? Terrible idea that will come back to bite them!
My point was that since those that have felt there are too many lessons per level had an easy built-in solution,
the new reduced number of lessons that denies the rest of us of the opportunity to get enough practice (while spending more time on Duolingo...) is indeed a terrible idea.
Note that an Admin (Duo employee) has responded and said that they'll work on a fix for level 5 that should help us get the extra practice we want.
Let's hope it will happen soon...
It's usually easy to distinguish a bad app (lots of low grades and no good ones) and a good app with a couple of warts (lots of high grades and a few ones from people whose pet peeves haven't been immediately given the red-carpet treatment). For this later class of apps, the lowest-level grades can safely be ignored.
"Fill in just one word." - this type is unecessary at all!
"Multiple choice questions." - it's good in moderation, but not in 50-70% of total lessons.
"Choose the right picture out of three." - it's good only in 1-2 levels.
Idk why devs want to ruin education on DL. I think that we must have choice. I want to turn off "fill in just one word" lessons for me in my profile, for example. It would be an exellent option, an exellent devs' decision. And everyone would be happy.
Speaking about profile pictures, yours is very beautiful as well. It reminds me of the cover picture of a French role playing game, Rêve de Dragons, by Denis Gerfaud. The lady who illustrated the game also illustrated a beautiful book... I must still have all that wondeful stuff somewhere...
I agree with you, I hate that they reduced the number of lessons in levels 3 and 4. To a point, it should be a grind, learning a language is not easy. Also right now I'm in the hardest part of the German tree so far, and my skills are up to 4 but I barely feel like I know any of the content, whereas my earlier skills have been hammered in.
Ditto. I made a separate account and then tested up to a hard lesson so I could start that lesson over from the beginning. I was surprised that the hard lesson seemed much easier in my new account than in my first account, or maybe I learned it better than I realized? I've been in the group that received shortened lessons for several months now so that could be part of it too. In any event, I plan on resetting the tree in my second account and testing up to the harder content anytime I want to redo a lesson. Of course, I'd rather Duo didn't shorten lessons in the first place. :)
I've tried suggesting (in other comments) a couple of ways to solve this to the satisfaction of both slow and fast learners without costs to Duolingo.
I kind of repeated myself, so I'll save the forum from doing it again. Take a look at those couple of suggestions if you're interested.
Gh0stwheel's comment is perfect, and I concur. Please, please put the extra lessons back at the upper levels of a skill. Four lessons is not enough to ingrain a concept, especially when we are starting to work with irregular verbs, phrasings, and grammar. One could always "test out" of repetitive lessons, but if the repetition was useful it was there for practice. Since each crown was reduced to four lessons, I've found myself making more mistakes.
Having just discovered this change on the app, I logged in to make a similar comment but Gh0stwheel already said it and said it better. I find myself learning more, having better recall, and more spontaneous and generally appropriate responses after doing more lessons. Please keep the option to follow the path with the larger number of lessons instead of this new, more streamlined model. Thank you.
HOW ABOUT just... just.. having two practice-buttons on the golden skills? One that goes again through the basics, one that is hard?
A BASIC-practice and a PRO-practice?
That would be so simple. Perhaps you could get more XP from the PRO one? Or something like that. I hope you like my idea!
Yesterday I finished a skill to level 5. Today I remember hardly any of it. Maybe reducing repetition works when you are learning basics 1 or something. But when you're learning a completely new tense, the repetition is needed. And if people don't want to do the repetition, they can test out. I'm now going to have to go back to the skill that is already level 5 and practice over and over again, which I haven't needed to do much in the past when it took more practice to reach level 5. The update is terrible for me as I'm not learning as well.
I totally agree to this (and many other replays on here). I didn't get the change yet, but I think the many lessons in Level 4 are what it takes to bring it to the long-term-memory! And of course Level 5 should be the difficulty of Level 4 - otherwise it doesn't make any sense..! But I do want a long Level 4 too... And as many others already said - if you don't want that many Lessons in Level 4, you can always test yourself out of it! I do that in lower skills sometimes, but I'm happy with the long Level 4 in higher skills and in languages I didn't tried before...!
Please reconsider this change!!!
In topics where I feel I've had enough, I'll simply test out.
Thus, I still get to gild that topic to level 5,
while others who need the extra practice, get it.
As to your suggestion, (definitely a welcomed improvement)
My fear is that less sentences in level 4 might also mean less diversity in practice.
If it doesn't, then either keep level 4 full of sentences and have us test out when we've had enough,
or shorten it (like you suggest), but make the level 5 practice have the same difficulty level as in level 4. (Purely typing exercises.)
I think both ways work.
How about you?
Do you ever get 15 point for level 5?
On the web, I only get 10 points per lesson,
and for levels 4 and lower, if I answer everything right,
I get 5 bonus points.
Maybe in languages where you have 'stories' or on the app people get more points per lesson?
Either way, Level 5 means you've finished the Duolingo course for that skill.
Levels 0-4 are different levels of learning.
Level 5 used to be a chance to keep on practicing in the same level as 4.
i.e., full-on typing. Now it is less, and the discussion was about restoring it.
Duo does not give bonus points for skills that we've completed, so that people don't over-abuse this in the leagues.
If Duo is going to make it harder than level 4 somehow, then I agree.
But if it is either going to be the same as in level 4,
or even less hard if the skill has been deemed to have deteriorated even more, do you think it is fair to give more bonus points?
I'm not necessarily disagreeing here, simply trying to understand.
I get 15 points for level 5 lessons very often (10 plus 5 bonus points). Level 4 on the other hand is almost always 12, and sometimes just 11 (10 point for the lesson, the rest are bonus points) due the the typos that come from working on Duolingo while commuting.
Now that I think about it, Level 4 should also preferably give us way more points since the lessons are longer and tougher (ideally 20 points), and in case they make level 5 as tough as 4, we should be getting 20 points for it as well.
Wow. I only get 10 xp for level 5 lessons.
Even when I get everything right.
I Duolingo on the web (laptop), not the app,
so that's probably why.
I completely agree that level 4's increased difficulty should be reflected in extra bonus xp.
But, I think that maybe it should look something like this:
- Extra points for a new skill - to encourage us to advance, rather than stagnate.
- Then, less points for the next level. BUT:
- As the lessons' difficulty increases from there,
so should the bonus xp increase to reflect that.
Once we reach level 5 (gilding that skill),
I think we should get less than in level 4 even if the difficulty level would stay the same, as it is not subjectively as difficult as it was when we've started that difficulty in level 4.
Also, if level 5 would award us the same bonus as a new skill, some may lose that extra incentive to continue on.
BTW, there is an A/B test going, in which people stop recieving xp for level 5.
I guess Duo is trying to test ways of combating exploits by league competitors...
I only get 10 points for level five and I use the app. I sometimes use the website but I still only maximally get 10 points perhaps it depends on the language. I have noticed a slight difference in the points that can be achieved for the stories. On the app there are fewer questions to answer but the number of points received is the same and in fact occasionally a story on the website will receive fewer points even though more questions, some requiring writing in text have to be answered. Rest assured on the app only 10 points received for level five. The problem with the leagues is that you start orientating your practice towards exercises that achieve more points such as the stories. If points are to be given they should be given for mastering skills, I signed up to learn a language not collect XP points. I understand Duo is trying to motivate people but learning should not be about collecting points and being downgraded if your schedule is tight or you are indisposed for several days. Motivation is good but it has to be the right motivation otherwise it is counter productive. The league tables and decreased number of lessons is motivating me to look at other platforms.
Thanks for sharing you being in the same proverbial xp boat.
I keep reading how different people get different xp per lesson, yet we all compete in the same league.
Don't get me wrong, I get how some competition could serve as a positive drive to do a little more.
But, I agree, the current way it is set, seems to have too many flaws that give the wrong type and amount of motivation.
Advancing in skills does seem to be a better measurement, but probably doesn't have enough sensitivity between users to be implemented in the current league system instead of xp.
I personally ignore them now.
But it is still a good to hear that others feel the same.
Doing that, (ignoring) I can still look at my xp as a measurement that shows (to an extent) how much effort I've put in, in a given time.
I do like Duo's platform in other regards.
So, I hope level 5 practice will get fixed,
(as dfala, an Admin, responded and said it would. It might take some time though.)
and that I won't be added to the shortened lessons per level group until they do fix level 5.
(In your continued French learning.)
That won't work, because once you reached lvl 5, your mind accepts as completed and wont bother with coming back to level 5 anymore. Just think about games with level cap. You don't want to make something to gain xp anymore because you can't actually receive that xp because you are already capped. The level 3 and 4 "grind" is actually necessary to remember the lessons. What DL should do is put a lock on lvl 3 and 4 from time to time to make people go further down the tree. Example: do 20 level 3 lessons, than you lock that and you have to make 20 more from the next checkpoint to release the previous locked one. This would push people down the tree and make them come back from time to time WHILE still not sending the brain the wrong message that you already completed everything because you reached lvl 5. Sorry for bad english.
Obviously, the preferable option would be to bring back the same number of lessons per level as before, and have those who feel the need to reach Level 5 sooner, test out.
But, if Duo won't do that,
I was hoping that at least they will fix the difficulty of level 5.
(And it seems they will work on a fix for that.)
Maybe, as time passes, they'll also notice that they should increase the number of lesson back.
(As you've said: "once you reached lvl 5, your mind accepts as completed and wont bother with coming back ".)
We can hope...
Sorry for bad english.
No need to apologize.
Your English is fine.
To reduce the feeling of repetition, I would do five exercises on each skill and then continue on down the tree completing five exercises on each available skill until I hit level one on the last two that were available and then began again at the top completing five exercises. I found it to be an easy way to not get tired of repeating the same exercises and phrases but also as a way to refresh what I had learned in the days prior when doing the five exercises. It eventually solidified in my mind. Reducing the number of exercises will prevent me from using this approach and I feel will give the appearance of completing the skill when in fact the ideas are not totally cemented and will open the door for forgetting the details of the skill.
I actually really prefer that they decrease the number of lessons, because it doesn't help to have to review 30-40 times to level up. You basically memorize the sentences at that point.
But I do agree that once at level 5, it should be purely typing exercises, as the original Duo platform was before crown levels was introduced. I don't know why the exercises would be dulled down after mastering them.
Before crowns, my approach was to get each skill to gold before moving on, and periodically go back and regild as things decayed. It made progress down the tree slow, but I felt I learnt thoroughly.
Since corwns, I have concentrated on completing trees at CL1, and intend to go back and repeat to L2, L3 etc. I made this change because there are so few sentences at each level that as others have said, I am perfect on the given sentences, to the point that I don't actually read them...
The problem with too much repetition is that it becomes easy to memorize the answer and not have to think about it.
If that sounds counterintuitive, and you're thinking that the goal should be to memorize it, you have to consider the purpose of a given lesson.
For example, if I'm studying German and the lesson is on dative pronouns, there might be no new vocabulary for a question, even the first time I see it. My goal would be to figure out the correct form of the pronoun based on the gender of the noun, and whether it's a direct or indirect object. If I've seen a sentence 10 times, I might remember that sentence. But if you change the noun, the fact that I repeated that sentence 100 times wouldn't prepare me. I'd have to think about the gender of the new noun, and its role in the sentence. So repeating the sentence might not be helping with the topic of the unit.
For that particular example, if the system reused the sentence but threw random nouns into the position of the ones I memorized, then even a dozen different sentences, with constant substitution, could assure that I am using the correct corresponding pronouns.
At other times, repetition will help. If it's a unit that introduces new vocabulary, it might help.
As an extreme example, if I wanted to know how to say a given sentence in a language that I didn't know at all, I might be able to do it if you show me the sentence 50 times, and I might not know what a single word means in the sentence I learned. Repetition without considering the goal of the unit is too short sighted.
I agree. There was one iteration of Duo (about 2014) where practices didn't repeat sentences you got wrong - they just continued presenting sentences at random from that lesson until the strength bar filled up, so you could see the same one again, or you could not, It could be frustrating - I think once I had 70 sentences presented before I finished the lesson - but what a great way to insure you were actually THINKING about the content. And given the way a lot of people go through the tree, the memorization upon repetition effect is strong.
One issue is that there's no framework presented as guidance. Some people would go through that and go through each level until getting to the maximum before moving on. But the fact that Duolingo unlocks future lessons when you finish level one implies that they think that moving forward makes sense for some users.
The fact that you can do the minimum and keep going doesn't mean that you should, and I imagine you would end up with a superficial understanding. But sometimes finishing a lesson for the sake of finishing it when you have a very strong understanding might not be the best use of time.
Ideally you should be able to go back to any units and strengthen your skills. But there are no suggested strategies, such as getting to level 3 or 4, moving on, going back after a certain number of lessons to build up strength, or any other possible way of navigating.
Ideally the system could make recommendations based on progress, tell the student who got the last 50 in a row that testing out might help, etc.
For ones that someone gets wrong several times, instead of repeating the same one at the end, it might make sense to go from filling in the answer for that particular one to picking words, or going in the other direction when that makes more sense.
What you described sounds frustrating, but then the question becomes whether the students should keep going and come back to it. In a language class, I don't think that many teachers would assign every question in the entire chapter as homework and not move to the next chapter until there's not a single question that hasn't been answered properly.
The problem is that many students get pretty far without even knowing that there is descriptive content for each lesson, that people can test out of things, etc.
If people go into it thinking that a given approach is the only one, such as moving on when the system says that you completed a lesson, then it won't occur to that person that there are options.
Replying more to Wayne, but there's no room / reply blink.
Duolingo does have a recommendation in the making duolingo blog. https://making.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo
I think they are moving towards making it more effective with fewer lessons at higher levels.
It would have been nice if it was included in a welcome note.
In topics where I feel I've had enough, I'll simply test out.
Thus, I still get to gild that topic to level 5,
while others who need the extra practice, get it.
My fear is that less sentences in level 4 might also mean less diversity in practice.
If it doesn't, then either keep level 4 full of sentences and have us test out when we've had enough,
or shorten it (like you suggest), but make the level 5 practice have the same difficulty level as in level 4. (Purely typing exercises.)
They're not reducing the amount of sentences, but the amount of times you have to exercise each one of those. If you have a set of (just for an example) 20 sentences and every lesson has 30 "sub units", you'll have to repeat each sentence multiple times, thus making it boring
I love this idea. I would only say that the idea of the Leagues runs exactly counter to this. Typing sentences out makes XP gathering much more time consuming. And for people who mostly use the app, it's so easy to miss one letter on your phone and blow the whole sentence. I guess it will come down to what Duo ultimately finds more important: having users spending more time on the app nonsensically racking up points (as I admit, I can't stop myself from doing) or actually promoting a fun and effective learning environment.
Unfortunately one gets sucked into the leagues and scoring points. I don’t think that they are helpful, this week I decided not to progress by racking up points. As the people in the league are different every week they are non-entities and there is no sense of community. I find myself doing stories to rack up more points than the lessons and ignoring the podcasts because they don’t score points and they are time consuming and difficult. Learning a language has become about scoring points and that isn’t how it should be.
Agree, it would be nice to be able to connect with the people on this site in some way.
I only have access to the mobile app. I am also disabled with peripheral neuropathy which makes typing almost impossible and very painful. Please give mobile Android users the ability to toggle to the word bank. You have no idea how much that one change would improve my quality of life and learning experience. I could easily have learned twice as much as I have.
Try doing your lessons on your phone while commuting to work in a crowded train with everyone pushing and shoving you. I work crazy hours and the only time I get for Duolingo is when I'm commuting, and typing in that case means more typos. The app doesn't even give you the option to increase the font size which is even worse. It would be nice to have the option of toggling typing and selecting from a word bank because different things work for different people.
I agree that being able to choose word bank or keyboard entry helps the learner. If the goal is to write in the target language than typing is critical. If the goal is to understand and use the spoken language than typing may be useful, but is not essential. Providing the option to choose typing or word bank allows learners to work toward their goal in the way that meets their goal. Duolingo meets the goals of more learners by providing a choice.
I expect someone may chime in to insist that typing is the "BEST" way to learn. That may be true for many people. That may be very true in light of the individual's personal experience. That may have been true for the family and all the ancestors of the individual. Nevertheless, it simply is not true that all learners need to type to learn. Some typing is useful but it is not the best way to learn for everyone.
BTW: I take notes while completing Duolingo exercises on my tablet, including copying the word bank exercises because I know that helps me.
This week when using my phone I kept misspelling two words. In order to complete the lesson I had to take screenshots of the correct answers.
As an iOS user the system with decreased amount of exercise made completely impossible to learn anything. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/34420869 (Kind of shame really - I just started the last topic on elementary level in the course and I was happy I could have finished the course in few months after kind of a long streak :) )
The way to mitigate this is to do either regular or timed practice on the skill that you completed and select "Use keyboard". Some of the examples will be choice questions, but most will require typing them out and you can do as many as you please instead of the two dozens you would need to complete level 4.
Timed practice is optional. I haven't looked lately, but you had to buy it with lingots, and even then had the option to use it or not. For me, it helped skip the translation hesitation and the I've got to make sure it's the right word before I type it compulsion, but if you have problems with stress on a timer, you don't have to use it.
I know, and I'm quite thankful for that. I just wanted to point out that having mostly typing exercises in the timed practice alone wouldn't solve the problem for everyone.
If normal practice sessions were like level 4 is now, the problem would be solved in my opinion. ;)
I'm already using that mitigating method.
The problem is that it is but a very partial solution.
If you take a look at the quantified break down of the practice composition done by Fuurinkazan. lower in this discussion, you'll see what I mean.
I've suggested in other comments here a few options to solve this to the satisfaction of both slow and fast learners without costs to Duolingo.
I kind of repeated myself, so I'll save the forum from doing it again.
Take a look at those couple of suggestions if you're interested.
Thanks for the link to Crown levels. I had pretty little understanding of what they are. I still don't know how to interpret my level. (Currently, I have 414 crowns, but that tells me little.)
ON the other hand, it doesn't much matter to me. I just keep at it, learning.
I'm happy to have spaced repetition and practice. I also agree that level 3 and 4 could feel like a grind. I ended up testing out of level 4 after five to ten lessons, depending on how consistently I was answering with two or fewer mistakes. But I think reducing the combined number of level 3 and 4 lessons from 40 to 10 is too drastic. Those lessons are where sentences started to sound right to me, without having to think it through or translate word-by-word. Blasting through ten lessons won't cut it.
I so appreciate DuoLingo’s continued effort to enhance language learning. With the new changes, I’m zipping through the modules. But, alas, not learning as much. I’ve been glad to pay for the plus version ... always felt like it was a bargain. But it feels like you pruned a bonsai with a chainsaw. With the cuts to levels 2, 3, and 4, you’ve reduced the total number of questions for each module from 48 to 20 ... more than 50 percent. Are you also reducing the price of the plus version? Because I no longer feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.
I have to say I disagree with you on the point of repetition. I need that drilling into my head to solidify that word and it's meaning. For people who learn faster than me it's their fault if they want to get to golden. They could always stay at 3 or 2 or whatever it takes for them to learn it. The thing is, when I start a new lesson it takes more than 10 questions on a single word to get me to remember it. If someone doesn't want to do 15 lessons on level 4 they can stay at 3. And as far as I can tell their score won't suffer in the slightest. Please duolingo, you created a way for people who learn fast to speed down the tree, mastering a language. Now all you have to do is give those who don't have that gift a way to learn a language.
With the new system we've lost out on 28 levels for each golden circle, it's too easy now and I'm not doing enough repetition to memorize the new words. I've tried repeating and going the dumbbell tests but these have also become easier. Please put it back how it was, I was actually learning Spanish quite well now I feel that I'm not achieving anything.
After practicing with this reduction for a month, I have found myself having to slow down, go back, and just do timed practices of a recently finished lesson multiple times in an attempt to feel familiar with the lesson plan. However, I have not completed enough timed practices to make up for the loss of 35 lessons for each gold crown.
Every person learns languages differently. I learn from continued repetition. When my long finished French tree was reset to zero, I was frustrated to once again have to go through every category after years with Duolingo - however, through the redundancy, especially with the more difficult levels, I found my knowledge base really improving. I hope Duolingo will read all of the above posts advocating for more repetition - if not going back to 60 lessons, then something much more than 25 - to finish a crown.
This is annoying and completely threw off my language learning schedule. 4 lessons for every level isn't enough, you don't feel totally comfortable once finished and you only need 1 lesson to "re-master" the skill if it cracks. It's not a game, it's not about completing everything. People complaining about the grind clearly have the wrong objectives. People using the old system properly would slowly progress through level 5 in accordance with their personal spaced repetition plan.
I'm very sad that my intensive 20 lesson grind at level 4 has been reduced. This is the section in which I begin to feel proud of what I have learnt and am able to resite it without the prompts found in earlier lessons. 20 lessons is a hardcore routine, but it is necessary to ingrain all of the correct grammar and iron out mistakes. Now, if i would like to continue my 20 lesson grinds, i have to use the dumbbell and learn "manzana = apple" again. My progress is going to be greatly affected by this update and I am very frustrated.
I am currently getting for lessons on all levels. This renders the product un-usable. I agree that level 5 is too easy and would rather be able to repeat level 4. What is the new number lessons per level. Again I am only getting 4 lessons per level an must stop doing new material until this is fixed, I am on a 285 day streak ad don't want to stop. I am on IOS and web.
I read the entire Crown level post and think that the system it talks about is perfect. However, it seems that Duolingo no longer divides crown levels like this. I just finished level 4 of a Chinese skill in the iOS app and didn’t get a single question where I had to write Chinese without a word bank. In fact I never get questions where I have the option to write Chinese without a word bank anymore. I really hope this can be fixed as this is the most effective way to learn. Being forced to use a word bank makes it too easy to guess even when you wouldn’t have been able to answer the question on your own.
I understand the administrator responded as to making the practice for level 5 more difficult but that is not good enough. We still need more than 4 lessons at each of levels 3 and 4 to learn the new information and words. 4 lessons at each level just isn't enough, especially when you are not able to include enough lessons that require us to type things out ourselves. With only 4 lessons at each level, I leave the subject matter not really even knowing it. Those that thought 20 lessons is too many always had the opportunity to test out of it. Why not just continue with that approach so that the rest of us that need those more difficult and additional lessons to learn it the first time still are able to? Thanks! Also, on a separate note, I love the 2x XP 30 second challenges, as it is fun and a quick way to move up the leader board, but it doesn't seem fair to everyone else in my 50 person group/league as I can gain points so quickly and they may not have this feature (I know my sister doesn't).
I have no idea what the 2x XP 30 second challenges are but perhaps it does explain why people can move up the leaderboard so quickly. Clearly like your sister I don’t have this feature perhaps it is only available in certain languages which should mean that people who don’t have that feature should not be put in the same leaderboard as people who have the feature. Of course learning a language should not be about moving up a leaderboard, if anything moving to a higher level should reflect level of skill not how many lessons you can cram into a week as everyone has different schedules. Unfortunately one does get sucked into the leaderboards and having topped my leaderboard on more than one occasion I am somewhat miffed that it doesn’t show up in my profile under achievements. By a rather queer stroke of fate I am registered twice so each week I have to compete in two leaderboards, which is exhausting, and I have decided that in at least one of them I am simply going to maintain my position and aim to move neither up or down unless the leaderboard is changed to reflect level of skill. I wholeheartedly agree that the réduction in number of lessons is ridiculous, whilst there may be some language geniuses out there who only need five lessons to master a skill, most of us mere mortals require far more lessons. I can’t imagine what Duolingo was thinking when they changed the format, I am now looking at other platforms because the réduction in lessons is inane.
I want to start saying that I love the Duolingo app, it is an excellent way of learning a new language, which is french in my case. I use it around 15-30 minutes every day and has done so since more than one year.
I want to request one thing. You often introduce changes without prior notice. It leads to confusion, speculation and frustration. Is it a bug or a planned update? In this case there are a lot a forum posts speculating a lot about this change, the conclusion tending to be that it is a bug. So, couldn't you inform the users about significant changes with a popup in the app? You did that when moving from clubs to leader boards, and clear information is always much appreciated.
Please consider my proposal, I think your whole user community would appreciate better information a lot.
Thanks once again for an excellent app!
Am canceling my plus membership due to this. I can tell learning and retention of information contained within lessons has declined without level 4 & 5 containing harder content and repetition (more exercises than previous levels) which reinforces learning.
Am finding skills are no longer as thorough nor proficient. This is hurting users who are serious about learning a language. May as well take a class instead of paying Duo for a plus membership.
Why not allow ones who want causal learning the ability to test out of the level as before? The opt out tests contained simpler content. Or have an option for casual learners to skip level 4 & 5 exercises.
Serious learners using advanced lessons and modules the repetition reinforces lessons learned. The simplicity and reduction of harder content in level 4 & 5 on complex subjects is hurting users. Has actually decreased desire to use Duo. As 5 lessons with 5 questions each isn’t enough to learn harder content as one gets way further down ones tree.
The ‘cracked’ modules are awful. Even if one practices old skills one never gets original advanced content that was provided/contained in original lesson. Therefore doesn’t refresh one on advanced aspects of the lesson.
We are here to learn a language(s) and become fluent. If one wants to be a casual learner great! But don’t punish serious learners. This is not a game but has become one by making levels competitions.
The new stories and listening modules are good. Thank you. The new learning concept has lost Duo a plus customer.
Things just seem way too easy now. As of the update almost everything in my tree has turned gold, while I did not feel I was finished with these lessons yet. I actually liked having to go through 20 to 40 lessons to complete level 5, at least then I felt confident that I would not be making many mistakes anymore.
I do applaud the return of spaced repetition.
Here we are several months later, and countless complaints with no regard or consideration from Duolingo. My usage has changed from 6 lessons per day minimum, to 1-3 maximum. What does this mean from duolingo: a significant decrease in ad revenue (I also stopped clicking on ads for extra hearts), I will no longer make any purchases through ads like I had done in the past, and I will no longer refer people (5 confirmed new members from me) to duolingo. I do intend on continuing to do the bare minimum because my original goal was to finish the whole tree. Hopefully duolingo wises up and provides us with options or modes such as (easy, moderate, difficult) so fast learners can blaze through and moderate to slower learners can go at a different pace. Also, please don't say "you can just go back and practice the crowns you've completed" it isn't the same and the lessons are very easy when you go back and practice.
Also, it's not a picture of the current Spanish skills. There is no Animals skill, for example, not on the website. Unless they will be changing the skills too. ??
It also shows number of lessons completed, instead of the current percentages. 25/25?? Not the current number of lessons for Level 5.
Maybe the picture is just Duo's mock-up for illustration purposes. Not an exact picture of what things will look like.
Gee, in Danish there are dolphins in the bathroom, a whale in the swimming pool, the duck reads the paper, the bear has a drinking problem, the dog helps people get a drinking problem by getting them booze, and I can't even remember what the penguins and turtles do. Oh, and there are hedgehogs and probably some I missed. I can't imagine Duolingo without animals.
For what it's worth while I'm at it, dolphin is delfín, whale is ballena, turtle is tortuga, bear is oso/osa wolf is lobo/loba penguin is pingüino, duck is pato, a chicken in general is pollo, hen is gallina rooster is gallo, cat is gato/gata dog is perro/perra, hedgehog is erizo though I´ve never seen one of those, lion is león, tiger is tigre, fish is pez if it´s alive, pescado if it isn´t as in the kind you´re going to eat cow is vaca bull is toro squirrel is ardilla, lizard is lagartija. Most animals that are in the masculine also have a feminine and yes, it´s used. Hope that helps some.
I'd recommend it. Here's an illustration it inspired me to make when I was bored, in case you do:
The bear steals all my pies before we eat them.
An owl animation inspired by duolingo too while I'm at it, though that was inspired by someone's comment.
I wish there was a way to just go straight to level 4 and skip all the grinding of easy questions that you can do in your sleep.
I wish there was a way of saying "I'm done with this tree. Until/unless you add NEW, more advanced content, just keep it golden." In French, I'm at a point where I feel like I gain more from reading books/listening to audiobooks/etc than from practicing well-trod content on Duolingo, but I get obsessive about unfinished/broken trees, so I'll grind endlessly and pointlessly just to keep my tree golden.
Could you please make web, android and iphone that way that it would be the same? It would be nice if all of the platforms would have the same rules. Otherwise it is awkward. With the current state I do different type of tasks in the phone and different at the desktop or sometimes I even open the web version in the phone.
Or: Please, make duolingo more adjustable. So that I can select the rules...
This is really annoying because my aim lately has been to be to get my trees up to level 4 in order to have good practice sessions available whenever I need them. Now the difficulty level will be reduced and they will be less valuable:( I welcome the return of a spaced repitition indicator but level four is the best level, please don't take it away!!
And please get rid of the single word answer questions. They are a waste of space and since they don't open the keyboard on my phone I have to abandon lessons to get around them meaning I can't do higher levels on my phone at all which means I can't access speaking practice as that doesn't work on my kindle:~
Levels 1 and 2 focus on passive skills (reading, listening) via multiple choice, word tank exercises, etc. They introduce the material but do not lead to mastery. Levels 3 and 4 introduce active skills: writing out the material from hearing only; translating without any prompts from word tank or other means. Levels 3 & 4 are crucial to mastery. Dumbing the material down by dumbing down levels 3 & 4 will only dumb down and negate the entire goal of DUO!
I don't have a problem with reducing the lesson count at levels 3-4, so long as there are plenty of lessons in level 5 so you can keep practicing until you feel confident to test out.
Perhaps the UI should do a better job of signalling to people that they can test out of a skill once they feel they've learned it. I was several months using Duolingo every day before I realized I didn't have to finish every lesson in a skill through to the end of level 5. Now I test some time after reaching level 5, which seems like the intended workflow.
I love this update but it comes with one major problem.
Why am I not getting the option to type my answers anymore on iOS? Now I am forced to only use the word bank which is way easier and much worse practice. If I do the exact same lesson/level on the web browser I can still turn off the word bank, but now on iOS I am always forced to use the word bank instead of Chinese pinyin...
Makes the app useless for me even though I would rather use the app over the browser. Hope this can be fixed/reverted.
I do use the web version on the phone. But I meant that it is weird to have to use the web version on my phone when there is supposed to be an app for it.
I'm just wondering why Duolingo highlights the old post about the Crown system when it seems that none of the level breakdowns work like they say they do in the post. I don't see more speaking lessons in a particular level and then more typing lessons in another. In fact, I don't get any chance to type my answers in the language I am learning in Level 4 even though Level 4 is supposed to be all about typing your own answers according to the blog post.
I like that you're trying to encourage review, but I feel like this new system will be discouraging to a lot of users -- there's a delicate balance between reminding users that they should practice something and using a visual strategy that indicates the user that their prior accomplishments have been invalidated (which, breaking them in half seems pretty invalidating, even if it doesn't reduce the number of crowns earned). It's a good intention, but the visuals need to be executed much more tactfully to avoid discouraging learners.
On some of my trees the number of lessons per level has reduced to ONE this is simply not good enough and common sense tells you one lesson is not enough to actually learn. Please give us more levels and any of the courses which have fewer than five lessons per level need to be updated to have at least five lessons per skill (and more for level three and four tbh to encourage learning)
I think that we should be offered a choice whether we want these shorter levels or not. This is one update that should be optional. I don't like it. I'm all for spaced repetition, but shortening lessons feels like I've only just begun to get it, and I have to move on. Some of us may need more time to cement the new concept in our minds. And I dare add, some of us don't mind the "boring repetition" of so many lessons. So, PLEASE, stop this nonsense.
Another option to reducing the lesson count would be to force ALL users to take a test at each level.
Instead of completing x number of lessons before automatically progressing to the next level, everyone would repeat the lessons until they opted to take the test (or 'fight the end of level boss' to use Duo's game-like way of doing things). Strong users could jump straight into the test (as they can now), while others can practice a specific level as much as they like.
The circular progress bars around each skill could be updated to display a more personalised representation of how well you know the material, and how ready Duo thinks you are for the test. It could take into account the total number of questions answered at that level, how much of the material has been covered, correct vs incorrect answers, as well as other things.
I've tested out of a few skills, and I think that having the added pressure of limited lives (and maybe even a timer) every now and then would be more fun, and would also ensure that learners know the material before progressing (which seems to be the main reason for complaints here).
Please give us the option to have the higher reps on levels 3 & 4 like we used to. Upon completing all 20 sessions of level 4, i really knew the material. After only completing 4 sessions on level 4, i dont feel like i really know the material. Please give users the option to have the higher reps like we used to. Thank you
The change basically makes it impossible to learn languages with a complicated grammar, since it is seems not to be possible to write in the language you want to learn in an amount that is even close to what you need if you really want to learn a language. At this point it seems that you do not even want to enable serious progress, because you seem to think that this makes your company somehow more valuable, since the issues with not being apple to practice writing and the problems this causes for anyone who is serious about learning must be well known to you, which is clear when you go through the comment section. Guess if you would enable somewhere an hidden option to enable focus on writing practice, you could do it without getting rid of the people who are just here for dopamin kicks whom you seem to value so much. I am thinking about cancelling my subscription since it doesn't seem to be useful to continue if this does not change and I am sure there are many people who think the same...
After couple of weeks with the changed number of lessons per level I can say for a fact that my material retention has dropped significantly. The higher number of lessons and repetition in level four is what has really enabled me to cement new information in my brain. 4 lessons for every level isn't enough. It's not a game, it's not about completing everything...I'm trying to LEARN A LANGUAGE here. Repetition is key.
And the practice sessions are a joke. They have mostly level 1-2 exercises, with only a handful of sentences to translate to the target language.
Please bring back the higher lesson number!
I just fixed some broken crowns, I think (I really have no idea what you people are talking about). I thought the practice was too easy, silly, worthless . . . Need I go on. I see the need for spaced repetition (I'm an ex-Spanish teacher) but I don't see what you're doing as being worthwhile.
Exactly! I don't understand all the complaining about the cracked skills.
They are a review on a very easy level. I wish they would crack the skills and make the review much more difficult - equal to the highest level of comprehension.
So what if it takes time to do...the repetition is what enables you to learn to speak a language without thinking.
Too many people are worried about XP points and gaming aspects as opposed to legitimate learning.
I see constant complaints of not wanting to go back over the lessons they have completed because it is redundant and boring - completely ignoring the fact that the redundancy is how the language becomes instinctual.
Everyone wants to move on to "mastering" the new skills and ignoring the completed lessons as if getting to the next level means real comprehension. If you believe that simply getting your skills to gold on these lessons will equal being able to fluently speak with a native speaker of the languange then you are fooling yourself.
I've noticed the same thing in German. Especially, the skill "stuff" which I have no trouble with at all!
Is there any way to make this rehash more meaningful. I don't get much benefit repeating the basic lessons when I'm on a 446 day streak. I like the idea of repetition, but I would prefer later, more current lessons. The very beginner ones seem disproportionately represented.
I have to agree with you. The later lessons are harder and definitely require, at least for me, more practice. There are also grammar concepts that I struggle with and surely if the algorithm was working practice lessons on these concepts should recur more regularly but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Revision is great but it should be more targeted on weaknesses.
I too am annoyed by the "over-repetition" of skills. I have quite a large streak and there is no way any smart algorithm would have me repairing the very first skill in the tree 3 times in a month...why introduce a feature that hasn't been tuned finely enough to actually benefit users? I think the cracked skills is excellent in theory but it needs major work in practice. Nine months since it's release and I was hoping for a remedy by now!
I think the idea of lowering the amount of exercises to complete the skill is a really good one, some of the skills were getting ridiculous. However, you seem to be removing the best part.
Are you also adjusting the exercise mix in each level, to not lower the learning value?
I usually find the early levels really boring and not too useful (even in a language I am a real beginner in), because they do not include the most valuable type of exercise: typing the translation, just the easier ones. Typing the whole sentence is challenging, it comes with the lots of work for the team with alternatives, but it is the main advantage of Duolingo over similar products. It is active recall, not just passive recognition, and active recall was scientifically proven to be the most efficient review method.
For the review after level 5: one user counted how many times was a certain type of question used at teach level, and found out that the review was actually easier than the last learning level. Which makes it rather pointless. Is the reviewing at level 5 really gonna be that easy? Couldn't it be only (or mostly) translation based, to make the feature more worth using, please?
It's great you are bringing back space repetition but please please do not reduce the number of lessons in level 3 and 4. I find all the levels quite challenging (except the 5th which seems to be often easier than level 4 as it doesnt make one think as much so I dont get so much out of level 5.. level 3 and 4 I find the best levels for learning) and find that repetition very useful for my learning. There is an option for those who want to to test out if they are finding things too easy.. so I don't understand why some complain about the repetition.
Duolingo catered for the slower learners and those learners who have disabilities with memory issues (like myself).. with those repetitions. Also the elderly learning languages may find themselves hampered with repetition cut backs. Please keep catering for those of us with learning disabilities and dont make it harder for us to learn.
A better way to do things for cut backs is have the system only cut back the repetitions only if people doing well on their exercises and allow those struggling to keep their repetitions. It can take me 20-45mins just to get through a single lesson as I'm often getting the answers wrong over and over, ..ohhh so I'll be in trouble if I end up being put up levels before I have the hang of it (that would be quite stressful). I'm only just starting to gain some confidence at the end of all those repetitions, I've never found them boring as I "need" them.
(note that I was unable to learn a language as school and failed though I really tried but with duolingo I was learning... please please keep your site so that the slower learners can also be successful here).
I am a quick learner - but I find Duo's model and flexibility (yes, it's quite flexible compared to many other sites) to be VERY useful. And for all of those complaining about the attraction to non-serious learners - they might not be doing languages at all without the gamification, and any exposure teaches you something. I do recommend using this with other sites, just as I'd recommend using other sites with other sites and with Duolingo, because they all have different emphases and slightly different methods, and focus on different vocabulary. One I've found for Spanish, Wlingua, (not free beyond basic), has lessons that specifically cover idioms using various verbs, adverbs, and prepositions This isn't something Duolingo does, but Duolingo is better at drumming basic grammar into your head, and the Wlingua site doesn't make it as easy to review.
Then PLEASE give us the option to have repetition that mainly consists of translating into the target language (including on the apps). After I've learned the vocabulary, tapping on words or typing in single words just doesn't give me the practice necessary to improve in the languages I'm learning.
I do like that duolingo will tell me which level 5 skills I should practice, but if you don't make practice more challenging, I will really miss the practice opportunities level 4 gave me (I didn't mind the repetition at all).
I'm a strong proponent of spaced repetition and use Anki daily. This, though, I've no idea why anyone thought it was a good idea and requested its return. I have a conversation with a French native speaker every week, no I don't need to practice how to say 'hello' in French again, native English speakers know that one to start with anyway.
What will the algorithm be like? How often will skills crack? If, for some unfathomable reason, I'd put 'bonjour' into Anki at the start, it most likely wouldn't be me making me 'practice' it again for at least two years now, and the interval would only increase.
Certainly we can ignore cracked skills -and I will- but having them there on material we know still means the site is being designed to tell us to do something that isn't useful. This is not what spaced repetition is intended to keep doing.
I'm not persuaded of the necessity of spaced repetition on the site. Since Duo teaches a basic starter vocab -for the more developed languages, a good one-, and most of the words are very common, once you move on to native media and real conversations, you practice it that way. Duo actually seems to do a good job of reinforcing the vocab while teaching, by using the words again in later lessons - when the courses are structured well it already acts as spaced repetition. And props to the developers of the French tree, in that respect.
The words don't give me too much of a problem. But putting them together in sentences with the correct grammar and verb tense is a bit more difficult. Hopefully the cracked skills will remind me to go back and re-do that lesson a couple times. This might not be as useful if the crack is based on word strength and there is enough repetition of all the words.
I would assume that the spaced repetition on Duo would work the same so that the really simple words will make an appearance or two at the start but then fade away as soon as you consistently answer them correctly.
On the other hand, I often find the lesson with various pleasantries one of the harder ones just since it doesn't recur that much in later lessons.
This is great news, but there are two gaps.
(1) A simple crack doesn't show you how weak the skill is, which is less information than before, where there were 4 levels of strength. Duolingo still carries this info, so why not expose it?
(2) I don't get why this feature has to be limited to Level 5 only. Why can't the cracked feature be available on previous levels? But I think there's a much easier way to re-introduce spaced repetition across the whole tree, regardless of crown level:
FEATURE REQUEST: I would like the "Practice" button in the bottom right of the screen to scroll to and identify the curently-weakest skill in the tree, no matter what crown level it's at. User then has the choice to either test out to the next level or do a normal practice.
That feature is already present. You hit the barbells you get 20 questions from your weakest lesson. This is how it worked before crowns, when you got clear visual feedback on which lesson was weakest, and it still happens today. I know this because I have one phone with a very old version of Duo, and when a skill get degilded in Swedish on my Experia the next time I hit the barbells that's the skill it teaches me.
After reading some responses, it seems Duo on a phone is quite different from Duo on a laptop, where I do my lessons and do not have the option of speaking the sentences. But since my goal is primarily to read rather than speak German, this is not a problem, and the web version provides plenty of experience typing. Those in charge of 'steering' Duolingo forward in the most productive way should keep these differences clearly in focus as they make decisions. I am with those who would like harder content as one moves up in each module, with more variety to the sentences. All my modules are golden before I leave, because my old brain needs the practice, and I'm glad Duo provides access for unlimited repetition once it's finished. Again, it's a question of depth versus breadth, so don't cut off either end of the spectrum, please!
I was working through level 4 Spanish on the lessons through “People” when suddenly I saw that I had been advanced and crowned through level 5 completed. I did not complete these levels and now I can’t get past the checkpoint due to unfamiliar content. Can this be fixed?
Hmmm ... now each skill will be reduced from 60 questions to 25 questions. That’s more than a fifty percent reduction of time spent learning a series of skills. Hopefully that doesn’t reflect in fifty percent less retained knowledge of those skills. Time will tell.
Réservations aside, thank you for giving us a heads up on this change.
You are right on the money. Like many others, I am so frustrated with the new lesson count reduction. Learning a language requires repetition. Lots of repetition.
Level 4 content has been the best way for me to subconsciously cement new knowledge into my head and avoid making stupid mistakes. I'm at the point where I am deliberately not completing my level 4 lessons (backing out at the last moment) just so I can keep repeating the content at that difficulty.
I agree. The more repetition of lessons the better my retaining and using new words, phrases and grammar in the real world with French friends. On a side note, I was rarely bored as my knowledge base was growing rapidly. Now I’ll spend more time on the speed quizzes to retain each lesson.
Instead of cracking up the golden badges, please consider having a global practice mode like before. Cause the lessons being cracked up, is just another mental discourage and grinding under psychological force. Just have a global practice mode like before. I remember I loved using it. It was whenever I felt the need to. TBH Duolingo fading algorithm doesn't function well. I had to refresh the Basic 1 Spanish once a month. Typing I am a man. He drinks milk. over and over again.
I'm honestly disappointed that you all did away with the leveling system for the languages in general. I like to see my progress and what level I am at on a specific language. I've been searching up and down to see what level I am at on French or Spanish and I can't seem to find it. So I'm assuming that's what you meant when you said that levels create too much unnecessary repetition??? I also like to see those charts of how often I have been studying, but you guys got rid of that a LONG time ago... Oh well... I don't like Duolingo as much as I used to, but it's free. I won't be renewing my DuoPlus subscription though.
In my opinion, there is a point after which Duolingo is not the best use of your language learning time, and that point seems to be long before reaching level 5 everywhere.
And don't get me wrong, Duolingo is great, and in my Opinion the best way to learn most of the offered languages, at least for the first few months if not longer
But after that, you need the fast repetition and fine-honing of vocabulary and grammar distinctions only reading texts can bring you.
At about 1500-2000 words in most languages you will be able to read texts that are not written explicitly for learners. That's where you will pick up your next few thousand words. Every time you read a word you refresh your memory. And the context sharpens your feel beyond what bilingual dictionaries can offer.
You say "An Admin has just responded: "This is really good feedback. We're working on increasing the difficulty of Level 5 Skill Practice. We'll be discussing this feedback with the team!" Some feedback says this but the overwhelming feedback complains about reducing the number of lessons. Pretending to listen is one thing. Really listening and acting on the reality is another. It was fun over the years to see Doulingo improve in leaps and bounds and then you've absolutely destroyed a fundamental learning principle - Repetition helps long term memory. I hope next time you need surgery that you get a surgeon that has practiced hundreds of times rather than one that has practiced 20 times.
Well, now some my crowns are broken, but when i start to "repair" them, there are only 1-2 sentences for translating from my native language to the target language and tons of exercises like "choose sentence/one word" and exercises for listening. It's very bad method and I completely don't want to "repair" them because it's just a waste of time. And I still can't uncheck these exercises, and can't practice translating from my native language in sufficient quantity. "Thanks", Duo!
Frankly - I hate this. This is not the way my brain works and repetitive lessons is the only way for me to learn. I now have to open web version of duolingo on iOS which is extremely laggy and crashes all the time!
Give us the option to choose what works best for us!
I am almost done on my Swedish tree and pushing it through with the worst user-experience ever
You're leveling me up when I haven't done the lessons! I just reached the top of level 3 in a lesson, went to do some errands, came back and it had that category completed all the way through level 5 without letting me do level 4 or 5 lessons. If I'm to learn this, I needed those lessons. Practice isn't good enough. Please fix the 4 & 5 levels so they don't go up prematurely. Por favor!
The timed practice now assumes we can type a compound sentence in 30 seconds. I run timed practices to repair cracked skills. I skip sentences until I get the auditory exercise, click "can't listen now ", get one point and seal the crack. As the timer runs out and audio exercise doesn't present, abort practice for a repeat so you get a Xp for that day. Thus space the three cracked skills over the course of a day because "Listening exercises will be back in an hour." I think it would be inclusive for timed practices to have the multiple choice questions but without pictures and audio exercises to heal cracks, for 0 XP.
I am not sure if we are referring to the same timed practices whilst I initially engaged with these practices I soon found for someone who doesn’t have a rapid key in facility I couldn’t never get very far in the time allowed. It became frustrating because more and more typos would appear and I wasn’t learning anything. It seems to be more of an exercise in speed typing and if your speeds are slow, inevitably you lose so now I ignore them. There is also another problem, quite often it takes a while for the questions to load and even longer for the audio to load so more than half the time allotted is spent waiting for the exercises to load. For me just a waste of time.
If a single practice session is all that is required to restore a cracked skill to its former glory, how does that take into account the fact that a single practice session is not enough to cover all of the content present within a skill? It seems to me that restoring a cracked skill should require multiple practice sessions per skill; enough to cover all of the content within that skill.
When skills decayed (lost the gold color), a single practice session would restore it. Unless you neglected doing the review for a while, in which case it could take several sessions. Won't know until I try it, I use the web site so it could be a while, but I suspect this will be somewhat the same. I'm glad it's back, and I'm happy to see some proof that the developers do listen to the forums.
They do say "doing a practice lesson" will restore it, but I don't think it necessarily mean it will only take one practice lesson for each one. If it's a larger skill and you haven't practiced it in a long time, I imagine the SRS would keep the skill cracked until you had reviewed it enough.
That's a great question! If we go by how the old algorithm worked, the answer is no. Even if you are successfully translating sentences with complicated grammar and subtleties in the semantics, you will still be required to go back and strengthen basic sentences such as I am a girl. Though there's always hope that they come up with a superior solution this time.
Actually, in the old algorithm, if you met a "simple" word in one of the later lessons it counted as strengthening it.
So, if the word "man" was introduced in the first skill. You're now doing 20th skill and there you had a sentence with the word "man", then the strength of that word is increased.
So maybe the solution for users who don't want (or need or deserve) cracked basic skills, we should do the global practice every once in awhile? But there was a time when I was trying to keep my Swedish tree gilded, and the global practice never helped re-guild anything. I would just have to work on the specific skills, no matter how basic.
I’d like to see the reminder to practice be a feature you can turn on or off. I find the feature discouraging, annoying, and frustrating. I’ve pretty much stopped using the app as a result because I don’t need Duo to babysit my learning. I never needed them to tell me to practice before why start now when I’ve already mastered those skills and they are second nature?
I have that option in the app on my old firephone, my current Samsung phone and on the web page whether I use my phone or pc. It's at the bottom in settings. If you use an apple product, I have no idea if it's there. The option to turn off notifications in Duolingo or to change the time of day you are notified is available. Hope this helps!
This is my thinking. If it’s going to decay, there’s no point to guilding. Duolingo has said multiple times in replies that it only impacts users who explicitly make an error on a given skill, but that simply isn’t true based on a great deal of testing.
When the feature was first introduced, I decided to guild all of the beginner skills, so they wouldn’t keep coming up in practice. After doing so, they began to crack, even when I wasn’t making beginner-level mistakes.
They should restore the functionality or get rid of it.
I noticed the change a week or so ago and I like it. It seems to work better than the practice button on each skill because it seems to bring out better content. I don't know if its related but the general practice button also seems in the last several months to be more effective at bringing out good content rather than the old boy-eats-apples stuff.
Well done ! I appreciate that ! Thanks
On level 4 and 5, I am always doing the test to get the crown as soon as I get the same questions again and again (usually when I am at 30%-50% of the crown).
On the other hand, I use Duome.eu to see which lessons whose strength is below 75% and need to be refreshed.
It seems I won't need to do that anymore.
Can you give us more points for level 5 lessons because they require more typing? It is exhausting to put extra effort into a difficult lesson only to waste time and lose points due to the rigidity of the solutions (accepting limited answers even though native speakers in the forums confirm that an answer we got marked incorrect is in fact correct) I am in the process of reaching level 5 in the end lessons of the Spanish course and I am seriously tired of getting correct answers marked wrong. Instead of working on those lessons I find myself working on golden skills rather than turning the pending ones into gold simply because of the inaccuracies in the course. And if you're going to make level 5 even more painful to complete than it already is, please increase the points! Thank you.
His main language is Spanish. Spanish is notorious for having a backlog of reported errors. For example, if you try to translate "La inflación" as "inflation" you get marked wrong because you forgot the article. Other sentences will mark you wrong if you translate "La inflación" as "the inflation." That one was reported five years ago.
I'd be more forgiving if Spanish was not one of the languages that was supposed to have paid mods.
A new algorithm for repetition lesson should be implemented where each individual word is rated in percentage according to how often you translated it correctly in recent lessons and then repetition lessons should automatically focus on the words with the lowest percentages. This way repetition would no longer become boring and pointless (repeating what you already know) but learning and refreshing.
The problem I'm seeing in the Japanese course (i have too little experience with the other courses to speak) is that the reviews at gilded don't show the content that I really need to see. I remember the hirgana because I'm constantly using them, but the individual words like Daytime, Night, Dirty, Wind, which are present in the later hirgana lessons are not shown in the later lessones, nor are they shown with proper frequency in the gilded review. Not a big problem, but it requires regisering these words in another platform for easy review. Maybe you should suggest that to the duolingo learners? Although that does seem to break with the convenience factor for casual learners.
I’m really happy to see the return of spaced repetition, but, so far, it’s the same half a dozen skills that are ‘cracking’ - and they’re all clustered at the bottom of my language tree. I’ve been promoted to redo the same lessons multiple times, which means I’m now ignoring the cracked lessons because I’m tired of redoing them.
I have finally attained the coveted Golden Owl, (Crown Level 5 on all lessons) in German. However when I go to my word list I see "last practiced" time is not being updated. I still do about ten lessons per day by simply clicking the little barbells on the bottom right side of the page rather than selecting some lesson at random. (Also on the phone app when I see "cracked crowns" I bring these up to date as well.) How is Duolingo deciding what to have me practice? It does not seem to be assigning lessons which use words that are deemed to need practicing.
Duolingo reports that the "user view" of words is broken, but that their data is OK.
Unfortunately, I find that report implausible. I've just done several Practices on Italian Basics 1, and I'm unable to restore it to 100% Strength (this has been a problem for many months). All the verbs that were practised appear in the Words List as Last Used "9 months ago" and not "Just Now". So if their data is OK, then it's not being used correctly in the Words List nor in the strengthening algorithm. I could almost buy the explanation if the words were missing from the Words List, but they are there and they have data in the Last Used field, but it's wrong.
Since Duolingo is now going to display "cracked Crowns", then this "dead words" issue, as noted long ago by Thomas Heiss, needs to be fixed to make it effective. I have several Skills which you can't restore to 100% strength. I suspect that's what andrewduo meant in another post when he said "(apart from the ones in French and Spanish that are totally busted for me and don't progress at all)".
I just received the new changes on my mobile and I hate it. HATE it. Please change it back I'm begging you. I can't learn a language this way. It feels like DuoLingo: Toddler Mode. I have one Level 4 that I'm currently working on and it went from 15 lessons to 3. And restoring cracked skills is no substitute for the missing lessons as I can blow through a practice in under a minute (with one eye on the TV). Russian is a complex language and repetition has been crucial for me. Please bring it back.
I love(d) Duolingo and I don't want to lose my streak but if this is the way things are going I'll go back to Rosetta Stone.
Yes, please let us opt out of this! The higher number of lessons and repetition in level four is what has really enabled me to cement new information in my brain. It would really be terrible if we can't bring the old lesson numbers back, or at least provide a way to drill a lesson on the hardest difficulty.
The increased number of lessons as you progress to a higher level in a skill was very helpful.
I am rather disappointed that it only took 3, maybe 5?, lessons to move from level 4 to level 5! That doesn't make sense, imho...
Edit: Just did a lesson in German from English. It was an possessive pronouns level 4. It only shows 2! lessons to reach level 5. That is entirely too few lessons to learn and reinforce possessive pronouns.
I agree. I need the repetition. My app keeps flipping back and forth. It changed several months ago to 20 lessons a skill, which I hated. Then one day, it went back to 48. Now, in the last hour or so, it went back to 20. And once I've maxed out a skill, the practice sessions seems to be level 1 and 2 stuff, which is way too easy. Making them harder makes you learn better. If I wanted easy, I'd just read a dictionary and guess the word order. I want to actually learn the language I'm being taught. Let me opt out of easy mode.
For the new updates (i don't know about higher levels) but I feel it would help to fill out tables with the different tenses for some things, as you have to go looking for it more than it being apart of the lessons and I struggle learning the tenses and when and why I'm using certain tenses and variations of feminine and masculine even with reading the tips. Such as bebo, beber, beben you are left to figure it out yourself essentially, again as I haven't got to higher levels yet correct me if I'm wrong I just feel it could be something to look into.
Unfortunately if you’re serious about learning one has to create your own tense or conjugation table.
I do this on my phone in notes. Any verb then conjugate in present, past future based on tense. This immensely helps with learning. Also add vocabulary that’s new and alphabetize. Then as do lessons write down new verbs and go back and conjugate later into all tenses as well as type put any lessons have particularly struggled with.
With that said the conjugation part was done anyway but since the changes without more lessons under each lesson learning comprehension has declined. HTH.
I'd like to see more "Type the word" exercises at lower levels. I'm just encountering them in L3 Latin - I don't recall seeing them before in any of the languages.
I tend to use tiles, to avoid tryping (sic) errors, which I don't spot and annoy me for being unnecessary! These are quite different from spelling mistakes. I make more errors typing in my own languague, so I would be like to be able to choose the word bank for translating into English and typing into the target language, rather than have to swap it over on each question.
Hey Duo, thanks for this, it looks like a good update. My question is, what about non-Level 5 skills? If I haven't unlocked any skills to Level 5 it looks like I won't get any spaced repetition reminders with this update, correct?
Or is the plan to allow lower level skills to decay with time as well?
Having just used the new cracked skill system for the first time, I'll just start by saying how good it is that spaced repetition has made a return. It's the very foundation Duolingo is based on, and has been what has made it so popular in the past.
I do have one minor quabble however. Its not that obvious when a skill is cracked. The old system changed colour completely when a skill needed revisiting, whereas now you're searching for a gold cracked crown amongst gold crowns and its not very obvious.
Perhaps a change of colour when a skill is cracked, or a notification when a skill cracks would be useful. Being pernickety here of course, but just a suggestion.
we’re announcing the following two changes: The number of required lessons to level-up levels 3 and 4 have been reduced.
What are you saying in the quote?
I suspect that you actually meant to say sessions. Did you write the word, lessons, by mistake?
If you really are planning to reduce the number of lessons in every course, then I would like to know how many vocabulary words you are planning to remove from the Spanish from English course?
I support this idea in principle, with my one main concern being, Am I going to have to scan through my whole tree looking for cracked skills? Or will there be a notification as to which skills need refreshing?
My preferred way of doing it would be having global practice default to the out of date skills, but I understand that may not be workable for you on the back end.
While I was originally a fan of the increased difficulties, the whole crown system is fundamentally flawed and doesn't work well with spaced repetition. Difficulty should adjust based on how well you answer the questions, and if you answer them perfectly, you should never have to go back. Today's Duolingo implies that I should go study levels 3, 4, 5 of units 1, 2, and 3 of spanish - but what's the point? The deeper I get into Spanish the more I feel Duo is a waste of time - I spend too much time cover stuff which is easy, compared to the stuff I don't know.
I don't think i need to repeat basic 1 again, how about the following: If one golden is cracked you can redo the test checkpoints and get them golden again, I would love to do the test even if it is harder it would actually help instead of writing "i am a boy", "the woman eats bread" multiple times.
I agree, the way it is set up at the moment the idea of friends, followers is meaningless. I believe that a few years ago it was different and you could communicate with people because I read a forum post that dated to 2017 and the author of the post was bemoaning the fact that you could no longer connect with other people on Duolingo. There would have to be a few built in safeguards but it worked in the past. I wonder why the feature was dropped.
Yea i mean it would be interesting to message somebody whos learning the same language as me and doing duolingo alot like me to ask him how is his language skills now, why hes learning, and we can give each other tips to figure out courses and i can ask if he found out what so and so means that he asked about in a discussion and if he can give me some examples. It would be awesome to be able to message others as i dont think any other app has this feature do they? If so which app is this?
I started duolingo less than a month ago under the old system, and these changes just kicked in for me today. I'm doing Japanese, a language with three different systems of writing, and having a mere five cycles of lessons per skill instead of the old twelve is... nowhere near enough.
I thought Duolingo was meant to help people LEARN languages and not just give them the cheap endorphin rush of seeing a gold circle. :(
My Italian, French and Spanish trees were struck by the "reduced-number-of-lessons" virus today. I suppose it was inevitable, despite the comments to the contrary in this Discussion, as the high number of lessons per level were viewed negatively when crowns were introduced.
What did surprise me was that some of my level 5 skills were cracked even though the skill strength shown on duome.eu was 100%. I had expected that the skill strength was the determiner for cracking the skill on the Duolingo page. Apparently not. So does anyone know how the cracking algorithm differs from the skill strength algorithm?
@fierycat: Does the user extended profile contain any data about which skills are cracked, so that it can be shown on the duome.eu page please? That's my go-to source for incredibly useful Duolingo data that I use to guide my learning!
I'm really greatfull that I found this discussion, because when I noticed the changes a few days ago I thought there was a problem with my duolingo. Therefore I only used the practice button since then, because I was'nt sure what happend with my lessons . It would have helped to get a notification about it (for example per mail). This way I had to search the web and only then I found this forum. Normally I only use the app on my phone and that is enough for me, but there is no way to get informations like these. That should be changed. And lastly I have also to say that the repetitions were sometimes a bit boring but because I made mistakes regardless, the repetitions were usefull and necessery for me. I would change back to the old system if I could.
An explainer of how this algorithm works may be helpful. It "feels" random, and a lot of people are frustrated by that. If we see how the sausage is made, and are made to understand that if we stay on top of our cracking skills they will start to come less frequently with time, then there might be less frustration in the response.
You might like to track the cracking to see that your felling is more than justified. I have kept a spreadsheet of dates that skills have cracked for the last few months. I am amazed that a coded algorithm can come up with such a bizarre outcome. For me, it has become obsessed/fixated on some skills, such they crack weekly, whereas other are ignored completely or only crack in a couple of months. When I repair the crack I generally don't make errors, so that isn't a reason. I have sent in a bug report with the evidence, but haven't had any response. It seems amazing to me that Duo seems to want to make itself into a business and yet it can't fix some of the fundamentals of its product; IMHO in the 'old world' it would have failed some time ago! I suppose it confirms the old adage - 'free, and worth every penny'!
I'm posting in good faith because the practices to repair a cracked skill exceed a regular lesson in length and difficulty. The incentive is less for a review as I don't get bonus XP or progress towards finishing the tree. The lessons in sequence should start or conclude with a few old questions to keep our skills current. I would like a balance where if I'm typing a lot in level 4 of a skill, the imposed practices could be multiple choice from a word bank.
I went to that plan a while back. now in spare time I just fly through the cracked.. As well each section I am working in a different level. I really wish I knew how to find the content of each level. Mostly to know the skills that I struggle with anf those I seem to pretty well have down well.
@ DaveNewhouse If you are specifically talking about the Spanish tree, see Vocab per Skill Unit for the Spanish / EN Course (159 skills) By looking at the tenses of the verbs, and the tips and notes, one can guess what each skill is about.
I’ve just discovered this “feature” and was a little confused at first. I agree that an in-app announcement of ALL app changes would be preferred. Not sure why it took so long to see my first cracked lessons, but then again my lingots just became gems and the dreaded hearts feature just showed up, too. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Anyhoo, why I am writing: I noticed here that cracking is apparently based on time, which I wasn’t quite sure about before this post based on which lessons cracked. I originally thought it might be based on a skill that I (badly) messed up in a later lesson or in a story, which in my opinion seems to be a stronger reason for cracking a particular lesson. For developers: Is this not something that can be done? For users: Is this not something that would be preferred over arbitrary time intervals for arbitrary lessons?
I’ve also noticed the new mix of older skills into new lessons that has been great for the timed repetition I’ve needed, which is why when I just noticed the cracking, I thought this might have been the logic. I wanted to find out for sure, which is what led me here, but I’m a bit disappointed with the answer I found here. Like some others have voiced below, the arbitrary timed cracking is less “feature” and more of a punishment / frustration / hindrance to progress. I’ve lived this long without cracked lessons so I’ll probably just ignore them for now: gold is gold to me. On the other hand, if I knew the lesson was cracked because of a deficiency I demonstrated, then I’d be more than happy to repair the cracks because then I’d know there was a necessary benefit to doing so. Otherwise, new lessons await me.
For now would you use the timed practice on the module to repair the cracked skill in a matter of seconds? This might be why or related to DL started rewarding us with more lingots, so that we can afford timed practice features from the DL store. my timed practice button has not expired.
I just read all that you commented... I think THEY should contact you to get some inputs!! The cracked a re a nhassle but I have gne to timed on those and generallly with in a few minutes bring them back...I have noticed a few times though that I did miserably on the practice of the cracked and yet after I finished...it still went all Gold??/ On the flip side others IE People leveles seems to constantly reoccur and I am acing those> I guess I always look at tany review is good review at times even the most basic. Keep up the good work.
This makes sense, for the blue dumbbell to be a global practice instead of dedicated to a random module that might not even be cracked. I would like the regular daily lessons to tack on a couple of review questions from old modules to satisfy the need for review. One multiple choice /word bank warmup question in the beginning and one open ended translation. I tried the dumbbell repeatedly to no avail. The dumbbell
This is a good update, however, it still doesn't address the spaced repetition bars that show that I need to review certain words introduced in the past. These bars still show I need to review, even though I have reviewed and updated all my skills. How can I update all the words that show I need to review to update my spaced repetition bars found under "... More" - "words" at the top of the screen.
What do Crown Levels mean? What is Global Practice? What is Spaced Repetition? Don't you guys have a User Manual or something to explain things like the above? I've been with DL for almost 3 years and these expressions without explanation are way over my head. None of it seems to make any sense.
Here's the approach, noted in @DaveNewhouse's post, that Duo suggests: https://blog.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo/
I found somewhere a plan of doing several as you go to reach to the next level. sort of a hovering or butterfly approach down the tree. I have the first and 2nd sections completed to level five. those I practice and repair as cracked but continually move down the tree to the next level only. I would not complete any to level 5 now until I have all of the tree to level 4 and then work to complete....Now they just introduced a lot of new lessons so Iam almost like starting over to some degree but its ok. its either very easy and a breeze or I learn a new word....I dont test out of anything...you know the saying practice makes perfect.....
Hello, I don't have any lesson to practice for a long time. I was looking on my vocabulary and I have a lot of words that I need to practice, but Duo doesn't offer me that option anymore. Is anyone having the same problem? (Sorry if a write anything wrong, I hope someone could understand what I'm asking!)
Duo does list words that it considers weak which means words that haven’t been used for a while. I don’t understand why when it brings up supposedly weak words it doesn’t lead you to an exercise where the word(s) can be practised. For some strange reason Duo doesn’t do this but Duo is big on cracking so called weak skills but the cracked crowns may not include the words that are weak. I definitely regard this as a failing of the system.
I do love the Spaced Repetition and it's definitely helped me. However, I question how the algorithm chooses which skills to practice. I had a feeling that it was picking a lot of the same skills frequently, so I started writing down what cracked for me each day. On Dec 1, Basics 2, People, and City were cracked, so I worked on them. Today is Dec 9, and guess what's cracked? Not one, but all three of those skills are showing as cracked, barely a week later. Wouldn't it be better to ensure I did all the other skills at least once before returning to these?
I know that you started testing this a while ago because people were posting about it in the forums because they were really confused by the change.
It would be really helpful if you notified people when you were making changes so they don't freak out about it. And I mean notify them promptly instead of waiting a week or two to announce it.
Take note also that settings screens do exist, users should be able to decide how they're more comfortable learning. I may want crowns, others may not, and both of us could have the ability to do as we feel.
It shouldn't be data to decide for me... people are not gonna drop Duolingo half into a tree just because there's been another stupid change, they're gonna try to finish the endeavour no matter what at that point.
Stop forcing users to do what you want and let them decide for themselves with settings. It's extremely annoying, not to say unfair.
I fully understand your frustration, but as someone who also works in the IT development (not at Duolingo), I can tell you that it's expensive to maintain multiple versions of web or mobile functionality. So the DuoTeam has to make tough decisions and decide for all users. They might lose some users in the process, but they naturally hope to gain even more eventually. And it seems that so far, no mater all the frustration from all the previous changes, it works for them well and the user base keeps growing.
The real problem is, most people don't want to actually learn a foreign language, they want to feel good about themselves thinking that they do (when instead they are just arranging word blocks into the right position). And this is precisely what Duolingo is offering them, while shunning those of us wise enough to know that you cannot actually learn any language that way.
That's absolutely true, I've been on Duolingo from the very beginning and I've invested TONS of my time in the incubator, and it's always been the case, Duolingo has always been moving away from those who are serious about languages. So it's just the way it is, take it or leave it, as they say.
@Larisa - Just curious, if it's that difficult to maintain multiple versions, why do they do it? My experience on the website is completely different than the one on the app. I won't even go into the gems vs. lingots and the fact that their number is wildly different (as in the rewards for various tasks are wildly different), but the lessons are different, the leagues are different (I seem to be in Emerald on the website, but only in Ruby in the app). On the website I have the combo reward, on the app I don't. On the app I have the dreaded (and most hated) Health feature, on the web I don't and thank God for that. I just don't get it. Not to mention that the leagues in themselves are not really well thought out, because you just seem to "compete" with people who started their week at the same time as you, not people at the same level of skill or even people learning the same language - and this is bound to create frustrations, because in some languages you only have lessons, in others you have stories that give you a larger number of points for the same amount of time.
I agree, there seems to be different versions with the app and the website, quite confusing. I have the app on my iPad and my iPhone and on the phone I stayed in the Ruby league for weeks before more leagues opened whereas on the iPad I moved into the emerald league immediately after the Ruby league even though I wasn’t as advanced. Stories are available on my iPhone which garner more points but not on the app on my iPad. Out of interest I tried the website on my iPad and discovered that stories are available but still not available on the app. I am about to try the lessons through the website and see if there are any differences. The dreaded hearts, health feature does have some positives even though at times it is very irritating because I am always accidentally brushing check when I don’t want to check and thus I lose a heart because I haven’t completed the exercise. Likewise when I lose a heart for a typo, incredibly irritating.
Thank you for this note, this is something we'll definitely take into account!
Yes, please do!! Because people tend to get quite irate when such disregard for their time is shown. Countless people wasted time cluttering up the forums trying to work out what was happening to their account, if it was happening to anyone else and how to undo it. And countless more people wasted even more time trying to help them. Much of it could have easily been avoided with a well-timed announcement. At least then we would have a central post, explaining the situation to direct people towards (for those who missed it, as there will always be some who do).
I was so surprised to find that many of my lessons had turned to gold one day. I spent a lot of time researching this on Google trying to figure out what happened. I eventually found this thread. Perhaps, when we first log in on the mobile app, you could put up a banner notifying users of a change/update and perhaps give us a link that directs us immediately to the chat area with information about the update. I have been distressed because I thought that something was wrong for a long time. I am relieved now.
As for the update: My opinion is that I agree that levels 3 and 4 were too long, but I think around 10 exercises per level would have been good before they get too tedious.
Also, thank you for the cracks, now I know which completed lessons I need to review.
All in all, a good update, but I don't feel like I've mastered a lesson until I've practiced a little more than just the 4 exercises at level 4.
The upper levels especially as you progress through the levels become increasingly complicated. Five lessons is absurd, I doubt that 10 would be sufficient for many learners, 25 may have been a little top heavy but in many instances I feel I need 15-20. Surely they could devise a system whereby 10 might be the number required for progression but students could opt to to do five or ten more lessons if they felt that the skill wasn’t sufficiently embedded in their memory. Fast learners could move ahead more quickly but slower learners like myself could opt to do extra lessons. The only purpose of the cracked skills is for revision and whilst revision obviously has merits I would prefer to see cracks appearing on my weaker areas. Every day Duo without fail cracks three crowns but only rarely do they correlate with my weaknesses. So I do a lot of little exercises usually without a mistake when I really need help and practice with my weak areas. In any case I have two registrations for the same language, I use the second, newer registration, as a back up and revision for my older registration so I am revising.
I agree. I don't see what was wrong with it as it was, you didn't have to finish a level if you didn't want to, only the very first one that opened up subsequent lessons. Seems to me we can make our own minds up how much we want to do from a given skill. I can now finish the top level in about 20 minutes, which isn't nearly enough. Duo seems to have fixed it when it wasn't broken...perhaps if enough people aren't happy it can be changed back...?? And the cracks don't seem to relate to anything much, seem more or less random...not good.
Furthermore, people who feel they really know the material,
can (and could) simply click the key icon in the skill after doing however much lessons they want, and they'd test out of that level straight to the next one.
This way they can reach level 5 (golden),
and use the cracked skills of spaced repetition.
So there is no reason not to give us more level 4 lessons like we used to have.
I think the issue with this is they're constantly testing hundreds of different adjustments to how the website works, and if the test is successful, only then do we get the news and it gets rolled out to everyone. But because it's a very active platform we end up hearing from people in the test groups before they've even made the decision that it's a change they want to make for everyone.
Related to this discussion but deserving of its own post in Troubleshooting.
can't wait to have that on the web too: switching back and forth between IOS and web versions is a little bit weird right now. Concerning the number of lessons, I'd tend to agree with what you're doing: in many courses, level 5 is just doing the same thing over and over again: boring to tears. Having a little bit more exercise is fun, but 15 or even more? Pointless. On the opposite, mandatory practice is a really great idea. Best change in Duolingo for quite a while! Maybe there should be a option to have a notification when a skill gets "broken"?
On the other hand, I'm still mourning the disappearance of experience levels. These where a great tools to phase work between various languages... Oh, and a pet peeve of mine: the number of lessons remaining in a given level should be displayed on the web version, instead of this ridiculous percentage indication.
in many courses, level 5 is just doing the same thing over and over again: boring to tears. Having a little bit more exercise is fun, but 15 or even more? Pointless.
Are you aware that you can just click on the key icon for any given skill and test out of level 4? You don't have to complete all 15 lessons to get gold. Conversely, those of us that want to practice more rigorously at level 4 now have no option to. Lesson reduction was a bad idea and needs to be addressed.
Whether that means making level 5 more difficult or some other change, I hope it happens soon.
thanks for all the comments. A question for any of you guys, how is it better for you? from 0 to 5 from a skill all together, or better to move all skills to 1, then 2 then 3 and so on. I am not sure what is the best strategy and would love to hear some of your experiences. thanks
Duoling recommends: https://making.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo
I prefer to slowly make my way down the tree and review based on what duome says is weak. I'm usually looking at a new skill to level 1 on Monday and Tuesday and then taking those skills to 2 on Friday and Saturday. Other days are review with some review on all days.
thanks for sharing! I am testing different things at the moment since its only 2 moths I am using the app. so far I have don all skills to level 2 and trying to decide if I should go just one by one up to 5. sometimes it gets boring to just go the same things in one skill.
Is there a way of going to one's word list and practicing the particular sentences or lessons that the word needing reviewing comes from?
Finally, and this is not that important, I would like to print out my 3470 words for independent review. Is there way of doing that?
No, read the opening post by HelpfulDuo again. You will still need to start up DuoMe in the future unless you are only interested in checking the status of your level five skills. Right now, many of us are assuming that the app will be able to make an accurate assessment of level five spaced repetition. But we won't know if this new feature really works until we try it for ourselves.
So is this why my earlier basic skills are levelling up on their own as I unlock the later skills? (example bringing my german "questions skill" and "negation skill" to level 1 seems to have levelled up "the basics skill" from the level one that I had previously got it to all the way to level three without me having to ever do level 2)
i'd really rather go through the course covering all the lvl1s and then lvl2s and then 3s (and focusing on topics of interest after I open everything at lvl1 but generally in order from start to finish)... but if the earlier levels are auto leveling up I miss out on actually going through those sessions (for example I can never ever go through the 2nd lvl of "the basics skills" in german since now it's already at level three) ... so I feel compelled to bring each one to full golden lvl before moving on the next , which i tried, and is mindnumbingly boring ...
i can definitely see how this would help, if you can handle past tense, questions, and modals then you are definitely able to handle "the basics" but I would still personally prefer to at least once move through each level manually even if it's to easy. (and if I didn't want to go through the beginners material I would just TestOut anyways?)
I'm wondering though if this levelling up on the earlier levels via taking harder levels is intended though. the idea is good but it'd be better if it only applied after you make the skill golden on your own atleast once.
I think they do intend it. The idea is that if you already practiced the material in a later lesson you should get credit for it.
I do wonder if they are giving the right credit. Level 2 should be more difficult than level 1. If you are getting level 2 or 3 credit for level one difficulty work it does seem like too much credit. I have the word bank off, so when I do level 1 or 2 work I would expect to get level 3 credit.
oh does turning word bank off make a difference on that algorithmically ( i believe it makes a huge difference to learning but never even occured to me that it might make a difference overall in duo itself) i had no idea, but was def doing that (wordbank off) while going through the lvl1 skills. Thanks for the clarity! It does seem like a good thing overall to acknowledge and credit the hard work already put in :)
I can only speak for the first level of courses, but I think it may help if higher levels cross referenced other categories. First instance, for level 4 or 5 of travel maybe some mentions of family members could be filtered in or when working on higher levels in the school category some of the words from people could be used to keep it fresh and challenging as well as continuing practice on a broader range of categories.
If possible maybe every level could have an additional one or two review questions from previous levels.
For spaced repetition, please create a distinction between words or phrases which we correctly translated in every test or lesson before, and words or phrases which we wrongly translated in former tests or lessons. We want to be asked only for words and phrases that we didn't get right previously! Repeating the other ones again and again is useless and boring.
One of the challenges for Duo is keeping things interesting when you have been at it for almost six years. At this point I have been through all 852 levels and I have been through the stories at each level at least three times. You need to develop some more levels of stories and perhaps some things like the Podcasts with points possible.
... all 852 levels ...
Not exactly. You have earned all of the Spanish crowns. But you don't really have 852 Spanish crowns because it is impossible to have that many Spanish crowns. The app has actually double-counted some of your Spanish crowns because Duolingo decided that this is a good idea!
Duolingo was able to appease the complainers by using dishonest means. This is probably the explanation for why somebody decided that the app should exaggerate everyone's total crowns.
The number of Crowns is not important - although Duo list mine as 852 - the more important point is that I have completed every task from the vocal/grammar to the stories at least twice. Duo as an app offers me nothing new. Were they to offer some new challenges I would be willing to spend the dough to upgrade to Plus. That would require some attention to continuing challenges for students who have invested a lot of time in the program. I am not sure how many crowns I have completed (my dashboard says 852 and I completed the second round when they became available) - I have been doing a continuous streak of Duo for almost six years. 25 seems to be the top level in Spanish - although a couple of years ago there were higher levels which have since disappeared. The most important point is having Duo consider the needs of more advanced students.
I don't know about the app (though I think it odd that something erroneous would be happening), but the way that I legitimately have more crowns than I should have for the current Spanish tree is due to my tree being updated in March 2019. I had crowns in some skills that were deleted, but Duo intentionally continued to include those in my crown total. I guess Duo didn't want to take away credit for past study. So if I eventually complete all the current skills to crown level 5, I'll end up with more crowns than are apparently possible in the current tree.
I wholeheartedly agree, whilst my experience has only been a few months, I have almost finished the stories and the ones I have done, I have practised five or six times. I tried the French podcast and even though there is narrated context in English, as my competency and fluency in French isn’t sufficiently advanced, I still found them difficult. The other problem is that no XP are given, I spent 2-3 hours working through two podcasts and whilst in one sense worthwhile, the time I spent and the lack of XP meant that it was unviable to spend that time especially when Duo sends you messages about doing more lessons because your place in the leaderboard is dropping. We should be incentivised to listen to the podcasts and include them in our learning but the way Duolingo is set up, emphasis on XP, means that points would be helpful.
I'm a DL Vietnamese course student. The DL Vietnamese course is a horror story; lots of correct answers are arbitrarily marked wrong (English and Vietnamese alike), plus some of those 'correct' answers are either not the best translation or very awkward constructions in either language. To top it all off, there are things in both Vietnamese and English in the course we've discovered that are just plain WRONG.
In addition, there is no real instruction in the 'tips and notes', no examples, you simply have to crash your way through the material and draw what inferences you can (only to find out the rules you that you thought you learned weren't rules).
But one of the big problems with the Vietnamese course, and I suspect it's also affects the other courses, is that it's way too ambitious. There are exercise modules with 30, 40, or 50 + new words, plus (wrongly, I feel) sometimes the course introduces new constructions with the new vocabulary. There is SIMPLY NO WAY that even with five crown level passes you can really truly absorb and retain all this, and 'spaced repetition' that you are proposing is no real fix. What I currently do is to go back and do repeat passes on module I've already hit crown 5 on, because there is no way I could really master it and have recall in just five passes. That's why I've maxxed out on levels (25) and am closing in on 45,000 points but am only maybe 2/3rd through the course--and even then, I'd say I'd don't really have mastery of what I've covered.
What *would fix things are this:
1) No vocabulary exercise module should have more than 10-12 new items, maximum. Think of a memorizing a phone number, it's no deal to remember a phone number with enough practice, right?--and that too is about 10-12 data bits to remember.
2) Keep grammar modules grammar-only. Sure, you'll have to introduce a few new vocabulary items for this, but it should be focused on getting the grammar right.
3) Idioms and common expressions should be in separate modules; again 10-12 max new items each.
4) The first easy passes through a new module should be just focused on introducing you to the new items. But as you progress to higher crown levels, then what happens is that you in essence start mixing in stuff you've already covered, both grammar and construction and past vocabulary learned, and that's where the additional complexity comes in. You both are learning the new stuff while at the same time reviewing the old.
To do this right, you'd have to be creative. Languages don't use every word equally, but you'd have to come up with sentence constructions that tried to pull up less-used vocabulary to give students the practice. Limiting the new vocabulary to just 10-12 words per module would also make the courses a LOT longer, but I think that's just a more realistic assessment of how long it takes to really have mastery. At least I believe you'd build in "spaced repetition" into the course by design and although you'd cover less material per exercise, you'd have a much higher chance of actually KNOWING and RETAINING it than under DL's current design.
Each word you learn has a strength rating and a decay rate. When you complete a lesson all the words are strengthened to 100%, but the decay rate is determined by the algorithm. It is higher for words you got wrong, words you have only learned once, etc. When your strength in certain number of words in a lesson decays to a certain pint, that's when you get cracks.
When you practice using the barbells, it picks your lowest strength words. They get reset to 100%, and if you got them right quickly the decay rate is low.
I don't like the mandatory cracked skills. It makes me feel like my hard work in learning it was for nothing since I'll constantly need to go back and learn a lesson I've already mastered. We should be free to learn these previously mastered lessons on our own time.
Spaced repetition: An education model where you make your students repeat the lessons at spaced intervals so they remember shit. The idea is that the first time you learn something it's only in short term memory, so you have to learn it a couple times over a month+ period to ensure it enters long-term memory and stays there. Prior to Crown levels this was all Duo did.
You'd go through enough lessons to get Crown Level one, and since that was all there was the skill would be gold. Each word was 100% strength. Each word's strength would decay. When the average strength dipped below a certain level your lesson would stop being gold until you strengthened it. Several factors impacted the decay rate, but since one of them was how often you'd seen the word ( a word you've seen 5 times decays much slower then one you have only seen once) the Space between the Repetitions would tend to go up as time went on.
Once Crowns happened this changed. Duo basically abandoned this model, because nobody knew when to repeat a lesson. The code was still running in the background (decay was still calculated, and word strength was still in the database), but it was only used if someone hit the barbells.
They decided they wanted to bring this back, so now a fully gilded Crown Level Five skill that has decayed will have cracks on it's icon. I never see this because I do the barbells every day, and have been doing it so long that my words decay very slowly. I suspect you, with Level 25 and 440+ days, will be in the same boat.