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Practice all skills: more flexible repetition?

I've just did a "Practice all skills" session and I'm a little disappointed with the selection of sentences I was given. All the 20 sentences consisted of two words in only four possible sentences and phrases:

  • Die Chemie / The chemistry

  • Die Chemie stimmt / Chemistry is right

  • Die Chemie gefällt dem Schüler / Chemistry is appealing to the student

  • Der Hof / The courtyard

Since there were very few available sentences, they got sometimes repeated right away: I typed "Der Hof" in one task and had to select the article for "Hof" in the next, then I had to type the English translation of the same phrase "Der Hof".

This would be fine if I kept making mistakes during the session, but I did not. It seems that all the sentences were defined before I started answering.

The phrase set being fixed, it is no better the other way around, when I'm given a lot of different sentences. If I don't remember some words well, I would want them to be repeated, but it is not possible if the sentences for the sessions are predefined.

Would it not be better to select sentences on the way depending of the learner's answers? If he answers correctly, this sentence or phrase will not show up again in the same session. If he makes a mistake, the sentence will be repeated after a couple of other sentences. If he peeks the word, he will be given other sentences with the same word.

Team, what do you think? Would it be possible to develop such a flexible practice engine?

April 23, 2013



I don't mind repeating phrases over and over -- it helps me remember them -- but I do find I'm repeating lessons I already know far more than the words I struggle with. The problem is, I don't want to remove my strongest words completely, I just don't want to repeat them all the time. I wish there was a way to 'bookmark' the words we want to practice most often.


Was just about to post something similar - I had the sentence "es posiblemente peor" literally 4 times in a row (Spanish -> English, English -> Spanish, and two multiple choices). I think a sentence should be prevented from being shown twice in a row.


Definitely. Even if you make a mistake, there is no use to give the same sentence or phrase right away - it would be more useful to give it a little later.


I disagree a bit. If I make a mistake a like the question repeated in a different way right away it helps a lot. but If I am getting them correct I hate the frequent repetition.


Yes, I agree. For me at least, I'm not really "recalling" the word at that point, just remembering something I saw 2 seconds earlier. It's just really not a good measure of word knowledge if I get +'d every time I see the same word in succession.

  • 2846

Huh, I've recently noticed a huge improvement in the variety and age of words I've been given to practice in "practice all" in Spanish. I thought maybe they'd finally implemented a more accurate word strength algorithm. Maybe they just haven't done so in German? Or maybe I've been experiencing some sort of positive fluke the last couple of days and nothing's actually changed?


The issue is that the variety is inconsistent. Right after I posted this discussion, I did another practice and it was much better. However, I still don't like when the same sentences are repeated even if I have no problems with them.

  • 2500

IG88- we have implemented a better algorithm across languages. Olimo- your problem seems to be related to the fact that for some words we don't have many sentences yet. As we build up our corpus this will get better.


Well, there are definitely more sentences with "Hof" than just "Der Hof". And even if there were no more, why give so many "Chemies" and "Hofs" instead of giving some other words as well?


^ still this. I don't want to practice the same word in 20 different sentences, it somewhat defeats the purpose. While even disabling a sentence from occurring twice in a row would be helpful, I still think "practice all" should focus on practicing a more diverse set of words.


I was a little skeptical about the low word variety for a while myself, but in defense of the system, I find it's easier to learn the increasing sentence complexity when it's done with a basic set of words that I am unerringly familiar with. I think the point of the Immersion exercises (other than funding DuoLingo with volunteer labour) is to encounter, and learn, an enormous variety of words outside of the basic program.

That being said, I do wish "practice all" would cover more of my more recent lessons, I often seem to have to run six or seven practices before my newer vocabulary comes up, sometimes more, and that's a lot of "el hombre come una manzana" in my week. I know you can go into the lesson and practice the particular vocabulary inside it, but it would be nice to be able to check off a list of lessons you'd like to practice and run a "practice some".

  • 2846

Well, thank you. Spanish practice has become a lot less monotonous for me at least.

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