Duo, please please give users the option to change the levelling system back!
Duo recently made it much, much easier to go from level 4 to level 5 - whereas it previously took 25 lessons to do this, it now takes 4.
This is ridiculous; it was in this stage that I would previously actually learn the content! I understand that some people reported that it was "grindy" - but for others (such as myself) it was absolutely vital - it was in this period of repetition that I actually learned the language!
Duo, please please give us the option to return to the harder levelling system. To be frank, if this doesn't happen then I think I'll leave the platform; I'm just not learning anything at the moment!
Agreed. The main function I used Duolingo for has essentially been removed.
The best way I learn is by doing and repeating. Repeating many times over a long period of time. At level 4 with only four available lessons my ability to repeat a lot over a long period of time has been eliminated. I no longer feel I can grasp the content as well as I used to using Duolingo.
You can even answer the last question of a lesson. If you then close it via the cross on the top left corner, it won't count. That is what I do on level four skills. But that means that you miss out on xp, so the method doesn't work well for people who feel motivated by gaining xp.
I agree. The initial levels are really easy and you can breeze through without retaining much. Levels 4 and 5 were where I actually started to retain the language. But even so I went faster than I should have done, and got the whole tree gold. I thought, no matter, I can start again and go through more slowly and do it better. Now though, my second go isn't doing that. It has got too easy.
This is compounded by a separate problem. I am getting a lot of bad mistakes marked right, with just "you have a typo", because two crucially different words gramatically only differ by a single letter. Often that distinction is the entire point of the question, but the wrong answer is accepted. OK, I can see what I've done, but the acceptance of the wrong answer means that I'm not presented again with the question to get it right. With a large number of repetitions to get up a level there is some chance I might start to get this right. With only a few, that isn't going to happen. It's actually possible to get every question significantly wrong, by picking a seriously wrong word which is very similar to the right one, and still progress.
This isn't doing me any good. I want to learn the language, not boast of how many levels I've climbed.
It's really sad to see duolingo becoming a language-based-game app rather than a service that people can use to actually learn languages.
Yes, the gamification that duo has always provided is a good way to boost learning and keep interest, but it feels like they've forgotten that the whole point is to learn languages! If I'm not learning or retaining information anymore, then I'm not going to stay; simple as that. I care about learning Spanish - I don't actually care about my streak or how many gems I have
In my experience, if Duolingo finds the word you have misspelled in a dictionary search, it will mark the answer as wrong. For me it's only really willing to overlook a couple of spelling errors as long as neither of them accidentally spell out another word. Unless something has changed recently (or they're doing another A/B test).
Very sadly, Duolingo voted with its feet to become a game at the expense of learning.
I finished my course about 6 weeks ago, but for the last 1/3rd of the Russian course found that the course's value was vastly diminished due to the lessons on level 4 (the hard level - where you're supposed to actually learn the most) being reduced from c.25-35 lessons to only 4-5......
However Duolingo dresses it up they've just stripped-out/removed vital learning content.
You can't replace the lost content by revisiting/repeating the practice level because the practice level is largely dumbed-down, basic content from levels 1 and 2 of the skill.
On level 4 you anticipate a challenge, you expect it to be difficult with, for example, exercises where you have to think and write correctly (in your study language) unasisted. Without the word bank.....!
On the practice level it's mainly multiple choice and answers where you can use the word bank - you're lucky if you get 2 questions where you actually have to think and answer without any assistance. It's no replacement for (what was) level 4.
Until the level 4 learning content was decimated, Duolingo was actually a great learning app but, as Samuel's also written, I found it far harder to actually learn (as I did before) and felt that much of Duolingo's learning value had gone.
I know there are those on the site who want to just play games, pick up lingots and gems, play the leagues, and get as much XP as possible.... but, instead of Duolingo trying to meet these users halfway - they've just surrendered to the gamers.
I was quite a fan of Duolingo until then. The Hash House Harriers describe themselves as a drinking club with a running problem, Duolingo is now (sadly) a gaming app with a language problem.
That is it, exactly. They're more interested in getting lots of registered accounts to show adverts to, and not at all interested in improving people's language skills. It will work, too. Users will register multiple extra accounts to get more repetitions, so it will look as if their usage has skyrocketed. Advertisers will be ecstatic. But people still won't learn because you can't replace five 20-question lessons with four or five questions and still retain the material even if you do the tree three or four times. It needs these long 5-crown lessons to be effective.
I only signed up for Duolingo on 22nd January 2020 to start the relatively new Gaelic course. I was impressed by the learning method and found it motivated me. Too much, really, as by 2nd February I had turned the entire short (34-skills) Gaelic tree gold. A few days in I succumbed to the special new year offer of a cut-price year's subscription, because I thought it was worth rewarding people for - but then I found out that the course mods, who where the people I thought were worth rewarding, are unpaid volunteers. Never mind, I thought, it was still worth paying for. And I'll learn German next, and brush up my French. Maybe they'll even bring out that Icelandic course.
I was aware that I was going too fast even as it was to retain the material properly, but I was too keen to get hold of the new material. I reasoned that I could just keep doing the practice lessons and I'd gradually retain it all. But then I realised the practice lessons are far easier than the 4-5 crown lessons, and aren't helping nearly so much. Never mind, I reasoned, I can delete the entire tree and go through it again, or open a second free account and do that, so it will be fine.
Now they've completely wrecked it. No difficult practice lessons, no 20-question high-level lessons even if you do open a new account and have another go. I paid my money in January on the basis of what was presented to me in January. What I have in February is not that and I feel seriously cheated.
"I know there are those on the site who want to just play games, pick up lingots and gems, play the leagues, and get as much XP as possible" Honestly, Screw These People. If They Want To Play Games, They Should Go To Some Website Designed To Be A Game, Not One Designed To Help Learn Languages.
The problem is not that you only have X lessons per level. You can continue to practise a lesson as much as you want.
The problem is that once you've reached level 5, they're not as challenging.
If Duolingo made lessons at level 5 as difficult as they are on level 4, there wouldn't be a problem.
i might stay, if i do i'm not going to focus on leveling skills much higher than level 2 or 3. getting crowns now is too quick, they're just the same number of lessons for each (for those who don't know, level 3 before was 2x original amount, 4 was 3x, and 5 was 5x). i'd rather have crowns that feel rewarding over crowns that max out my tree quickly.
also it's unfair for everyone else who have golden trees already (eventually it will make them look less impressive because of how easy it is to level up). in the end, this change values people who want to have a quick L5 tree instead of people who want to use it for actual learning.
My problem there is that I can do the first three levels very easily. It was only levels 4 and 5 that stretched me into retaining the material. If I can't do 4 and 5 because I'm saving them, I'm not getting the benefit of them, and if they're over in only a few lessons, again I haven't got any real benefit from them.
Do I have to keep deleting the language and starting again? But even that isn't going to make the upper levels as challenging as they have to be to retain the material. If we could delete levels we've already done, where we felt we hadn't retained the material if would help. It's the way the gate shuts behind you when you get to five, and then the practice lessons go back to being easy material, that's the problem.
I heard the fact that the practice lessons are too easy has been a recognised problem with Duolingo for a long time and they've never done anything about it. Changing that would help.
Or they could go back to the way it was a couple of weeks ago, when I paid for a year's subscription thinking that the levels were a worthwhile challenge. I feel a bit cheated now.
Another problem is the "take a test" facility I have with the Plus membership. I tried that earlier this evening. Bear in mind I have "finished" the tree, it is entirely gold, owl and all. The test I was offered required NO free input at all. It was entirely conducted by clicking on tiles. I can do that all day, no problem. The tiles restrict your choices so it's hard to go wrong. I didn't make any mistakes. I got 4.9 out of 5, don't know why, maybe I wasn't quite quick enough. But for sure that test was no challenge at all. I need to be forced to enter free text, not click tiles.