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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!

February 6, 2020



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.


I mean, couldn't you just repeat the lesson over and over again?


What do you mean?
The "Practice"?
The practice is nowhere near as difficult or helpful as going through several lessons at level 4 of a skill over a long period of time.


I think the actual fix to this problem would be to make the "Practice" actually as difficult as whatever level you are on for the skill.


That would do it of course. But I have read people complaining about the practice lessons being too easy for several years, and its being described as a bug, and nothing is ever done about it.

I don't see why they can't offer more than one difficulty level of practice lessons actually, maybe for different XP rewards. Maybe 5 XP for what we have now and 10 XP for a top-level lesson. Or 10 and 20.

Maybe one high-level practice would repair a topic, but you'd need two of the regular ones?


I can't reply further in the message thread below, so I'll add my reply here.

You asked, "Why would that be? If they can serve up level-5 lessons before the user has turned the topic gold, I can't see any reason why they can't do the same thing after the topic is gold." I don't see a reason either, but I suspect there's a problem. Possible design flaws are imponderable for me, because I don't know how their system is designed. But your question has challenged me to come up with possible reasons. Here are two that I've come up with in the space of a few minutes, which are not even based on a hypothetical design flaw: (1) If Duolingo's computing resources are stretched, as I've suggested, then it may be that they felt compelled to stop serving difficult translation problems after users reach level 5 because checking the answers to difficult translation problems is perhaps too computationally intensive. Note that this suggestion fits well with my suggestion that Duolingo has cut back on the number of lessons required to advance from level 4 to level 5 because their computing resources are stretched right now, and they don't want to expend their limited resources on letting people grind out 25 lessons on their way to level 5. (2) They may be protecting their intellectual property. They've made major investments in developing both a general system for teaching languages and many particular courses for teaching "from" and "to" different pairs of languages. We know that they have a problem with bots. Most people have agreed all along that making bots just to win in the leagues is ridiculous. So maybe the bots' fundamental purpose is to mine Duolingo's intellectual property, beginning with exhaustively cataloguing everything that works and everything that doesn't work in all of Duolingo's lessons. Putting the hearts system into place and limiting the exposure of high-level material may both help to limit the harvesting and reverse-engineering of Duolingo's intellectual property.

In any case, one of the overall points of my speculation under this post and elsewhere in the forum, is that there may be solid reasons why Duolingo does things that many users don't like, other than the reason that Americans and Europeans have been taught to repeat since childhood, that companies exist chiefly or only to make money, and they'll do any wicked thing to make more of it. Just a couple of days ago, some haughty woman, who wrote as if nothing was too good for her baby girl, but who was too much of a cheapskate to put Duolingo Plus on her precious girl's smartphone, wrote a post and more than seventy comments complaining about the hardship imposed on her and her daughter by those profiteers at Duolingo and their "hearts" system. I was disgusted by her preening, hauteur, and stinginess in particular; however, in general, I think everyone could try to exercise a little more wide-ranging imagination in trying to figure out why Duolingo ever does something we don't like. Profit-profit-profit just isn't good enough. Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker, especially, seem much more complex and interesting than that. I think they want to do "cool stuff." They want the feeling of goodness that comes from helping people the world over, people who can't pay them for instruction in foreign languages. They want the feeling of accomplishment that may come from being recorded in the history books as the ones who may teach English to tens of millions of eager learners, who may teach Irish to more people than there are in Ireland, and who may help the Swedes integrate an extraordinary number of Mediterranean immigrants. If one ever thinks that Duolingo is gutting their service in some way, one ought at least to try to imagine some reason for it, other than money for money's sake.


I don't know, because I'm not a tech expert. However, if they can serve up level-5 lessons before you've turned the topic gold, I struggle to see why they can't do that after you've turned the topic gold. The users were describing the too-easy practice lessons as a bug, but I'm not at all sure Duolingo sees it as a bug. I think it's deliberate and they've no intention of changing it.

I think they're not short of money, especially since the non-core language material seems to be provided by unpaid volunteers as a labour of love. Yes I paid for a subscription because I thought I ought to, but I'm beginning to regret it.

The effort and the money seem to be geared to dumbing down, like these stupid pointless racist cartoons, and making the levels easier to pass even if you haven't mastered the material, rather than actually giving users the tools they need to become fluent.

Major changes imposed out of the blue by a remote and uncommunicative management who seem deaf to users' concerns is not a way to build confidence or trust.


It's easy for us to make proposals that seem reasonable to us, but if the problem with the Practice function after level 5 were easy to fix, I imagine Duolingo would already have fixed it. Don't you imagine? I think there must be an old design flaw, deeply embedded in the very form of the system, that keeps Duolingo from being able to just turn the "Practice" knob up to "5" as we imagine. And if people had been better about buying Duolingo Plus, Duolingo would have had more money to put toward whatever redesign of the system is required. Since you're a fellow Plus subscriber, I feel comfortable saying to you that the grand strategy of most of the user base, to take without giving, isn't working out so well in the long run.


@morag_keer. What? Racist cartoons?? Seriously everyone screams racists nowadays (and by doing so actual (or more severe) racist issues/ incidents don't get the help/support etc it needs because it get lost in the tsunami of complaints)

Ow how horrible people they used a bear with a blue scarf, and left out bear with other colour scarfs! Besides some blues carved bears are slim so they are dissing fat beings too! And I'm pretty sure blue is a symbol for the call to arms to supress and eridacte the squirrells..


Racism is the intention or deliberate action to harm some one, based on ethnicity.


I think Duolingo would have improved the Practice function long ago if they could have. I think something deeply embedded in the design of the oldest and most fundamental part of the system keeps them from being able to make the change in the Practice function that everyone agrees is needed.


Why would that be? If they can serve up level-5 lessons before the user has turned the topic gold, I can't see any reason why they can't do the same thing after the topic is gold. All the users in the forum may agree the change is needed, but I don't think Duolingo agrees. I think the decision is deliberate.

They are remote and uncommunicative and never explain themselves, and I don't like that.


I think that duo even made it easier, for example look at this discussion: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/36381755


No, the beauty of the old formula was it gave you enough time to remember the words. What good is making something hard if you can't remember the basics.


The general practice used to be difficulty before the crowns up date 2 years ago.


Perhaps I am over the top, I have almost finished my Turkish tree and from day 1 I recorded every new word and sentence that I completed and made up a folder with them. I can go back to any lesson and study every sentence again. I often study the folder, especially when the internet is down! I also use it as my reading practice.


How did you "measure" it?


Learning with "Practice" has neither progress indicator nor milestones. It is like going to Nowhere - no single bit of motivation on the way.

IMO most essential part of Duolingo is it's "Trainer" function - that follows, motivates and help us to study. The new "Coach" is looking a little lazy and leaves us too early. ;-)

Possible solution would be making the count of lessons dependent of the count of errors made on previous levels.


Making amount of lessons content dependent on error count seems to be great idea. :-) But it would mess up with XP leagues, crowns, etc..


Maybe if at Level 5 you could repeat the same Level indefinitely with a random Level 4 lesson, it could be fixed without having to add anything.


I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS. I was working on the 3rd level of a skill I was only 50% through, and, when I finished, Duo didn't just advance me to four, IT TOOK THE ENTIRE LEVEL TO 5!

WHAT IN THE EVER LOVING F---------??? 3 to 5?


Duo just did the same thing to me. For about a month I was busy and on vacation so I was only doing one xp a day to keep my steak. I’ve just gotten back into doing regular lessons and find I need to refresh my memory and get back into learning mode. I did a level 3 lesson and made numerous mistakes, not just typos. Yet Duo jumped me from 48% of level three to a gold crown. That's crazy I don’t need or want an ego stroke. I want to learn and this new mode isn’t helping.


Oh yeah apparently this is yet another NEW test, I saw it on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/duolingo/comments/f0b66s/you_can_now_jump_to_the_next_level_if_you_did_a/

This is getting ridiculous.


Wait 5 minutes. At this rate they'd be giving out Golden Owls for logging in.

I was going to start a parody post about exactly that, but this issue is too important. On the chance anyone working at Duolingo actually looks at the forum blowing up and cares, I don't want to junk up the results.

EDIT: after looking at the Reddit thread, the really horrible thing in my case is it was not error free. Which is why I'm so pissed at losing out on the practice.


OMG Yes! Since of a technical upgrade, now we cant go by short levels!


Me too, I agree when will Duolingo change it? Did anyone report this?

[deactivated user]

    You would learn even less if you did leave

    Just do what I do - if you realise a lesson needs repeating, abort it before you answer the last question; you get no XP but you can redo to your heart's content.


    That's actually a good shout - I'll start doing that, thank you! In all seriousness though, I do stand by my original point - users shouldn't have to resort to skirting around and finding loopholes like this :(


    I agree, that is why duolingo should do something like have the first crown level have the normal amount of practices, the second to have dubble, the third to have cuadruple, the fourth to have 8 times, and the fifth to have 16 times as much.


    But I want to repeat the whole set of 5 lessons.. I can abort after the last lesson but I cant go back to the previous ones..


    Also, the last question in any lesson is the one you keep getting wrong, and the one you need to answer correctly.

    The idea that the student should be the one to have to continually abort a lesson and forego the boost of getting the points at the end, when the system is quite happy to hand out the egoboo, is ridiculous. It's absolutely not the way to motivate people to learn. That we have to consider doing this is preposterous.


    what is egoboo ?


    A boost to the ego. The wee fanfare announcing that you have 10 XP for finishing the lesson, or have a new crown level or whatever.

    Duolingo works by providing these rewards. They stimulate users to go on to get more. But it looks as if in order to retain access to 5th-crown difficulty material we have to abort the lessons before we get that.


    Yeah, a solution I found for duolingo is to have the first crown level have the normal amount of practices, the second to have dubble, the third to have cuadruple, the fourth to have 8 times, and the fifth to have 16 times as much. Then in first crown leves to give 5 xp, the second crown levels to give 10 xp, the third crown levels to give 15 xp, the fourth crown levels to give 20 xp, and the fifth crown levels to give 25 xp. Then people who don't want to 'grind' can use the key function


    The lessons still vary and show you different sentences each time. That's because they are randomly generated by the computer, they are not a set of 5 fixed lessons.


    Edited post, as I think I misunderstood your point.

    That is exactly right. While you're getting the 5th crown you're getting a set of randomly-generated questions at that specific difficulty level. The lessons don't get harder within the crown level, they just vary, and they vary randomly. So if you can keep that level open by never clicking "continue" after the last question, you can have perpetual access to these questions and eventually you'll see them all.


    I disagree. Each lesson has different materials, so now where there is only 1 repetition for a set of lessons, If i pass the first lesson on level 4, I will never be able to redo it. and if I quit before I finish lesson 5, I can repeat lesson 5 as much as i want but what about lessons 1-4? Unless I missed something.


    I thought each lesson was randomly generated from a pool of questions at that level, so that you wouldn't get the same lesson at the same point each time, or as anyone else. However someone says they tried it and they did get the exact same lesson again. So I don't know for sure. We were told the lessons were random and not fixed though.


    Rolfe111608 each lesson is different, although its on the same topic of course. But there are different new words/grammar in each


    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.


    That's a good idea. Who cares about XP, they're easy to get anyway. It's ludicrous we should have to do something like this, but it's the best work-round I've heard so far. Have a lingot.

    (There's a way to get XP very easily at the rate of less than a minute for 10 XP, so anyone who just wants XP can sit there and churn them out for buttons anyway.)


    Repeating lessons is not the same as having more lessons (vocab., etc..) for one skill level. And how do you recognize you are just doing the last question (they are not numbered - i see only the scrollbar, also mistaken sentences are repeated at the end of a lesson..)?


    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


    The gaming structure was what kept me applied and made me sit for a couple of hours working at it, but the point was to learn the language, not merely to amass points. If the points are being given out for next to nothing, and worse still the gate clangs behind you and you can't do anything else with the skill but some moderate-level practice lessons - not even level-5 practice lessons - it's a waste of time.


    Hello Morag_Kerr, If you "master" a topic completely, but it is still awkward, you can make it more concrete by reviewing the lessons. Remember the way it was before now (when we had to do a ton more questions to completely "master" a topic), most of the questions were repeat questions. This may have been time consuming for people who can learn languages super fast, but for people like you and me, if we need to learn a topic better even though we have it "mastered" according to Duolingo, we can review it and learn it just as well as the old way. :D


    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).


    Apparently not. I have noticed that this isn't a problem on the German tree, where it seems pretty good at dinging mistakes that are only one letter out (I got dinged for an "einem" instead of an "einem" there), but apparently this is because German is one of the small number of "in house" languages. (English is too, and I noticed that in an English answer in the Gaelic tree I got dinged for accidentally typing "Normal" when I should have typed the name "Norman".)

    That doesn't happen in other languages. For the majority of languages run by outside volunteers the typo thing is an algorithm that can't be changed. The Gaelic mods have explained there's no point in reporting these wrong answers as "should not have been accepted" because there's nothing they can do about it.


    • "tha", "cha" and "bha" are three different forms of the verb "to be". Mixing them up is bad, but it's easy for beginners to do. Completely mangles the meaning. But type any of them and you're marked right, just with a note about a typo.

    • placing an "h" after the first letter of certain words is a thing in Gaelic grammar. Whether or not you do it is important. There are whole lessons geared to teaching this. But it doesn't matter whether you get it right in your answer, as if you get it wrong it's only a "typo".

    • the word for "he" is "e" and the word for "she" is "i". Go figure.

    • "agam", simplifying, is "mine", while "agad", again simplifying, is "yours". Type either, you're right. And so on.

    You can have an answer with two or even three absolute howlers passed as right, just with a note about a typo. You can pass a level with answers riddled with these mistakes, and never have them re-presented to get right, because you just made a typo. And now the levels have so few questions in them, it's impossible to fix the right answer in your memory.


    Dia duit, Morag_Kerr! You have made some good points. You seem to know a lot about the Irish. Maybe you could volunteer to help Duo improve the lessons.


    I'm not talking about Irish, as it happens, although I imagine the same problem happens in that language.

    Also, I'm a complete beginner. Also, the mods in the Gaelic course are well aware of the problem but have no way to do anything about it. They have asked us not to use the "my answer should not have been accepted" button for these mistakes because it only clutters up the reporting system to no purpose.


    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 way this is going maybe they are the ones who are in the right place and we are the suckers. They are the ones Duolingo seems to want to encourage, anyway.


    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.


    You can't practice a level as much as you want. You can do it once, and then you never see it again. I guess, once you get to the topmost level, maybe then you can repeat them, but the lower levels never repeat.


    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.


    On the web version, under the tiles there's a button that reads "make harder" which will turn the tiles into text you have to enter yourself.


    I shouldn't have to do that. I should be getting 5th crown level testing material, having got to that stage. I'm not. I'm not even seeing the longer, more complex sentences.


    Exactly, like the saying goes, learning a language is a marathon, not a sprint.


    I canceled my plus account when they introduced this. I wanted to support language learning, not senseless XP farming...


    I doubt Duolingo will change anything back to how it was, so I've resorted to having made 4 additional accounts, like one user here suggested. That way I can have 5 accounts with 5 levels each, which will give me the 25 lessons of practice that we used to have on Level 4. The funniest thing is, this is still not enough, and I'm gonna have to repeat the easiest Level 1 and 2 five times, but it's better than what we have now. And thankfully I only have 15 skills to finish my Spanish tree and then I'm done with Duolingo and moving on to other resources (sadly so, because I really enjoy being here, I learned so much Spanish here which proves that this website really works, but it's just not useful in its current form anymore, for me at least).


    I suspect I might just start making a tonne of alt-accounts too.

    That, or as another user suggested - end the lesson one question before the end until you're ready to move on. Maybe keep a tally that you've done it 25 - 30 times? You won't get the XP, but frankly who ever really cared about that..?


    That's a ridiculous thing to have to do, and hugely demotivating. There's also the problem that the last question in any lesson will be the one you got wrong that you really need to get right to cement the learning process, but that's the one you have to abort.


    I agree--I wondered why I would come back the next day and find several level 4 skills suddenly changed to level 5. At the higher, harder levels, I need the practice and appreciated the multiple lessons.

    I don't like it at all. Getting to level five should both provide the opportunity to thoroughly learn all the vocabulary and grammar.


    Duo should remove the XP cap on practicising the same lessons, I don't care about leaderboards here, we should be given an option to learn how WE want, not how they want us to. I do not want my learning experience to be a competition, I totally agree that they have made a mistake here and need to fix this.


    They want you to use the spaced repetition model again. That's the way Duolingo used to be. You got the skill to gold and had to refresh it from time to time. That forced review was good. I'm liked that old system, but this new one is close enough for what I need.


    Spaced repetition is a good thing, but it's a bit difficult to simply refresh your memory in one lesson if you didn't even retain the material in the first place.


    Exactly this. I'm all for duo prompting us to revisit old material; but it has to be a refreshing of stuff we once had learned and might have forgotten - by skimming it over so quickly we're just never committing it to memory in the first place!



    And how would it even be possible to complete a tree with this algorithm? Unless someone had previous exposure to a language....


    there's no reason that the spaced repetition model can't be used alongside the old one - you could still be reminded to revisit skills whilst also getting a solid basis in the new ones via a high L4- L5 barrier


    However, spaced repetition as of now is composed of Level 1 and Level 2 questions, which is quite insufficient (in my opinion).


    What you describe isn't spaced repetition. There is no spaced repetition in Duolingo.


    Have you ever used Supermemo or Anki? That's spaced repetition. Strength decay is not spaced repetition. Cracked skills are not spaced repetition.


    before, it didn't have either of those though. the amount of lessons for a skill were increased the more crowns for that one you got. some of the practice session sentences were repeated.

    i wouldn't say duolingo had heavy spaced repetition, but there was enough repetition for someone to learn the material. now there's not.


    If you don't mind deciding, yourself, on what to practice (as well as not earning as many XP's if you repeat practices in the same day) use the practice available on your duome page, Samuel827259 (and you others who are complaining). There the dumbbells on the right of each line offer practice sessions. You can also click on the lessons themselves for some sort of untimed run-through of lessons that are less than level 5.

    One's duome practice page is at http://duome.eu/_YOUR_DUO_USERID_/Practice. Changing one's current language must be done at the duolingo site.

    It's a great way to work on skills at your own pace. But I think you may have read this suggestion before, Samuel827259, although I may be wrong. Is there something that you don't like about it?

    . . . And, FWIW, I totally agree w/ the suggestion of keeping a notebook, in addition to practice. Writing things down longhand, and doing so repeatedly, is more effective than just typing, especially at the beginning of learning a language. At least for me. . . . And I suspect that those who reject the idea haven't tried it.


    The practice lessons are too easy. They're not at the level of the 5th crown so they don't reinforce the learning. We're being given an entirely inadequate number of questions at 5th-crown level then locked out of that learning level forever unless we delete the entire tree and start again. And all that gives us is one more shot at the truncated, too-short top level. Unless we start yet again... It's ridiculous.

    And sure, I take notes too, but this is the computer age. I shouldn't have to write everything down that's on-screen because Duolingo has decided to lock me out and not allow me any more practice at that level. And it's not having or taking the notes that cements the memory, it's the repetition we're now being denied.

    I did all my school and university work before computers were available. I did it all from textbooks and lecture notes. I thought this was a massively better way to learn. But now we're being forced back to freaking lecture notes.


    Good luck trying to find your perfect learning system. o_O You might not find what your looking for. I would try what slogger was saying. It is harder and takes longer, but in the end, you will learn the language better.


    thank you Slogger for the practice page link. I always struggle to find this. I have now bookmarked it.


    I was trusting that if I did just Duolingo for my day-to-day studies (of course also consulting other books and sources at my leisure) that I WOULD get to A2 or B1 by the end of it.

    My problem with many language "workbooks" (and I have many) is that they never have enough exercises and I never felt like I nailed it by the end of the chapter. Duo made it automatic and I thought that FINALLY, I was going to get beyond a haphazard mediocre beginner stage THIS TIME!

    Yes, some of the earlier lessons (which covered material I knew easily) were tediously repetitious—but I tested out of them. I figured out what that key button meant really quickly. If I can figure it out, so can everyone else.

    I've committed too much to Duolingo to back out now, so I'll keep on—even if it means using a second account to go over lessons again when I need more help.

    It would be just so much easier if they left the "extra" lessons in so we could test out (or not) when we felt like it. Give us the option for that, at least.

    I'm so grateful for Duolingo—that's why I signed up for a Plus account.


    I have tried the second account thing, but again the problem is still there. It's way too easy to get to the fifth crown because there isn't enough repetition, and once you're there you're locked out of that level of difficulty.


    Someone else on this thread suggested ending lessons one question before the end so as to avoid levelling them up - you wont get the XP of course but frankly that seems like a price I'd be happy to pay for a vaguely functional language-learning platform again..


    ETA: It's been pointed out that you can do the last question, then abort before you hit "continue". I think that's the answer. Keep all the skills open at the 4-crown level by aborting this way and you can do as many challenging-level lessons as you want.


    I've said my piece in other threads. I'll just add this doesn't even pander to the gamer casuals.....if they're that casual about learning they'll be unable to progress after a certain point for reasons that might take too long to explain.

    The short version without math: reducing the number or repetitions to advance only works IF you have mastered the material.
    If the repetitions are not enough to actually learn, the material will never be mastered.

    This will play out as apparent quick gains early on, but a formidably steep curve later, where one will either be stuck in a lesson until failure or spending an hour to finish what should be a ten minute lesson.

    Unless they plan to make all lessons multiple choice buttons.

    I suppose I shouldn't give them ideas....


    You can always progress. Get a question wrong, see the right answer, copy it to the Windows clipboard, then just paste it in when you get the question re-presented at the end of the lesson.

    I did that with a couple of listening exercises where I simply couldn't make out what was being said, reasoning that I could always come back and practice it again when my ear was more attuned. Except I can't, now.


    Well, you're right. And I have used this shortcut now and then --along with searches online to check spelling--to either stay in a league or hit a deadline.

    But I have, so far, avoided making it a habit. I want to keep it that way...


    Duolingo is meant for people to learn languages, not to mess around like a game. Besides, with now so few lessons to level up, the content you get goes down and I end up forgetting everything now ;-;


    That first sentence is what I believed, and why I paid for membership. Looks like we were both wrong. It's about clicks and ad revenue and if this increases the number of registrations because people set up multiple accounts in a vain attempt to get enough repetitions, it's all good for Duolingo.


    I start to believe Duolingo prefer to make people believe they are learning a language rather than really teaching them a language because it's better for business. They are constantly using statistics to measure how much users are engaging with their app/website, depending on the modifications they make to Duolingo, but this only shows how much money they will earn with ads not how much people are actually learning languages.


    They should add an option where you can choose "short" or "long". Or "easy" and "hard" and it would change the number of lessons it takes to reach the next level. I noticed this change today after not using Duolingo for a while and I was on level 5 of Japanese in about 20 minutes and yeah I think it's way too easy to reach higher levels, but for people who don't want to "grind" that much, they should add the option to set it like it is now.


    As it was, if people didn't want to "grind" that much they could either test out to level up that way, without doing the extra lessons, or just move on to the lower levels of the next topic and leave the later lessons for later revision. The choice was always there. "Grinding" was never compulsory.

    Now it's not even an option. You only get a few questions at the higher level, and then the topic goes gold and you never get that again, with the practice questions being down about 2-3 crowns level. You might even have made several howling errors in those few questions, which were passed as right, just "you have a typo" and you never get another chance to correct this.

    The new system isn't offering anyone an experience they couldn't have had before. It's just taking the experience that actually consolidated the learning away from those of us who wanted it.


    Please duolingo can you change this back. As an older learner I am finding it much more difficult to retain the new information.


    It’s interesting because there was already the option to level out early - just test out of the level with the key. I admit I’ve done it a couple of times when I’ve felt extremely comfortable with the level. My rule was that if I got even one wrong on the test, I could not test out. So I don’t know what is gained here but I see clearly what is lost.

    Really, they could add a required test for gold, and limit it to one or two errors. If you fail, you get returned for more iterations of level 4. That may be the best of both worlds.


    It is ridiculous. It has completely destroyed my learning on Duolingo. But Duo is not listening. All learners are different but Duo is completely failing to recognise this. I have now resorted to completely re-setting my tree because the learning is now so ineffective.

    I WISH they would give us the option to change the levelling system back, but they are failing to understand how useful increased levels are to many people = and are forcing people, including myself, away to look for alternatives.

    On top of that, as a dedicated user, I'm feeling totally ignored.


    Duolingo should have kept a lot of repetition in the skills. I am disappointed that they didn't. I was looking forward to the cracked skills, but they still could have kept the lengthy amount of lessons. Repetition is very important, at least for me.


    I completely agree, I can blaze through the levels but really it doesnt feel like ive learnt anything, which is the whole point.


    I couldn't agree with this enough. Bring it back !


    "Much much easier" is an understatement. I was just hit with this change, apparently - went from 39% complete on lvl 4 to 100% with one lesson! That is astounding and completely ridiculous! I was struggling, and can definitely use more practice on that section. There is no way that I should have been gilded on the topic. Thumbs down on this new "upgrade."


    duolingo is just making it easier for toddlers. duolingo decided to make their platform for toddlers. there probably not going to change it back.


    Another option to fix this would to simply make the "practice" practical. Even better still, offer maybe 3 difficulties to it. When I click practice, show my 3 buttons labeled "easy/medium/hard" OR still, "short/medium/long"

    That way, itll keep the benefits of the new system; and the people that dont actually want long work sessions happy. While also giving us back the learning and drilling benefits of the old.

    MY 2c.


    I completely agree! When we had to do more lessons to level up, I was actually able to learn. Now, I might absorb some of the information, but not nearly as much. Like Samuel827259 said, "it was in this period of repetition that I actually learned the language!"


    yeah, I feel like everything game related is getting worse, but lessens did improve, just not their structure or how they're presented. Stories are great though. I also want them to bring percentages back, they didn't mean much, but were motivating.


    I feel like what they did was overcorrecting. 25 lessons was too much to get to the next level, but 4 is way to little. We need like 10-15 lessons depending on the complexity of the content.


    Agreed!!! Very much so, if you don't want to 'grind', then use the key function thing.


    I 100% agree. The repetition is vital for me too. I don't take to other languages easily and this handing out an "A" to everyone is unhelpful.

    Duo, please, please, please give us the option to return to the harder leveling system.


    I literally just opened the forum for the first time to see if anybody else feels the same way I do.

    I agree, this new leveling system makes me feel like I'm cheating because I'm getting level 5 and I know that I do not know the skill good enough. With the old one I knew that I was pretty good with the subject. Ideally, the new learning system should be dropped altogether, but at least give us the option to willingly switch back and play on the "boring" mode.


    Completely agree with this. They should make it harder or at least find a way for us to choose how we want to learn.


    There are many more people dissilusioned with the latest changes but who cares about it in Duo? Seems no one ...


    Thank you Samuel827259. I totally agree. I love Duolingo, but this really is a disappointment. I am a slow learner and it was the "grindy" repletion that helped it to sink in.


    Devil's Advocate question: How long was it going to take you to finish your tree? Does it matter that you can now finish four times faster, and move on to start reading books, watching movies, and talking to real people much sooner?

    You'll still keep learning while doing that--and you might end up becoming fluent much faster. That would be good, right? If you're 85% accurate when you start doing that instead of 98% accurate, but you're talking to real people two years earlier, is that a bad thing?

    I'm considering just the opposite and thinking of skipping the 5th crown to avoid wasting too much time here on Duolingo. (I do all keyboard typing entry for the 3rd and 4th crowns, so 5th is no different). Four times through each set of four lessons feels like plenty to me.


    If that's plenty for you, that's fine. You could stop, or move on to the next topic, or test out to level up. But for the people who found that a lot of repetition at 5th crown level was helpful and didn't want to test out, that option to do the repetition has been taken away. Choice is restricted. We're getting access to only about 35% of the 5th-crown level lessons as we were before. That's reduction in value for me.


    " How long was it going to take you to finish your tree? "

    Not very apparently. All you have to do is get a 1 in each skill. Mind, that's probably not possible unless you've made at least half of the tree gold, but it still reduces the value of Owls/Trees.

    "You'll still keep learning while doing that--and you might end up becoming fluent much faster."

    That is impossible without repetition. fluency is not just "oh yeah, that's the word for x", but being able to recognize, recall and use it in real time. In martial arts, they say it takes 1000 times practicing a punch for it to become automatic. This is a general principal of learning anything with humans.

    " Four times through each set of four lessons feels like plenty to me."

    What "feels" right, is not the same thing as objective proof you have actually absorbed it.

    Now this is a personal choice, but in observing people who acquire a skill vs people who dabble and never go anywhere with it, the dabblers almost always confuse short term understanding with long term retention. There are exceptions, but if you find yourself struggling later, you might want to reconsider your strategy.


    I'd Start Talking To Other People Who Speak The Language Right Now If I Could, Even Though I Certainly Wouldn't Say I'm Anywhere Near Fluent, Or Even Conversational, But I Can't Find Them, It'd Feel Rude To Just Go Out And Ask People If They Speak The Language, I Can't Afford To Just Go Somewhere Where They Speak It, So Basically My Only Opportunities Are If I Can Convince Somebody I Know To Learn It Or Meet Somebody And It Just Happens To Come Up That They Speak It. Plus, Welsh, The Language I'm Most Passionate About That I'm Learning Here, I Feel It Would Be Very Hard To Find Speakers Of, According To Wikipedia Only 29% Of People In Wales Are Native Speakers, And I Doubt Many More Than That Learned It (I'm Not Sure How It's Actually Measuring This), And The Number Is Even Lower In Other Parts Of Britain, And Even Lower Than That In Places Outside Of Britain With No Major Welsh Influence, I.E. Where I Live.


    Do you have access to Welsh-language TV? Put it on even just in the background. Find the pre-school programmes for toddlers and watch these.

    Are there "Learn Welsh" TV programmes archived on YouTube? Watch them.

    Are there any Welsh meet-up groups within a reasonable radius of where you live? Pub nights, knitting circles, anything? Go and just listen, and ask people sometimes to speak to you at a level you can understand.

    Try to think up ways to get "comprehensible input", that is access to spoken Welsh at a level where you understand at least 80% of it. It might be less at first but keep trying. TV, YouTube and social meet-up groups are all possible ways.


    I Could Probably Find Something On TV Or YouTube, A Meetup Group Might Be Harder, If There Are Any Within A Reasonable Distance It'd Still Probably Take Atleast An Hour, Both Ways, To Get There.


    I find it way easier to learn it when it took 25 :/


    I completely agree. I didn't feel ready at all to complete my levels. the repetition helped it stick. Not happy about the new change. May have to find another way to learn the language


    I agree.Duo,may we please have the harder levelling system back!


    Duolingo needs a system that gives you more lessons the more mistakes you make.


    i so agree with this!! i learned way more by doing the same thing over and so i would remember it.


    I agree. I was learning a lot more with the additional lessons.


    The new system is soooo bad


    I assume they shortened it due to all the complaints there were getting about how long it took for them to reach lvl 5


    And these people couldn't just use the test out button?
    And if they couldn't test out, clearly they hadn't learned the material and needed to practice more.

    This is the logic behind "participation prizes" .


    Agree completely! I was wondering why it felt so easy all of a sudden


    I agree, I reached level 5 and I don't even know some words, like I can understand them when I'm hearing them but I don't remember the meaning or the spelling and yet I'm level 5. The previous system was kinda boring sometimes on easy levels but was needed for harder levels.


    I cannot agree more. Duo please! you can set this easy mode as default but please give us an option to choose the previous harder mode.


    That happened to me as well. I have to say with the reduced numbers of lessons per level I'm not really learning very well even though I write most of the sentences down for extra practice.
    In educational terms, Duo is going backwards in my opinion and I would recommend that people have extra resources outside of Duo to learn whatever language they are learning.


    or maybe put it in the middle like 15 but more than 4


    I feel like how long it should take you to complete a lesson should depend on how much time or mistakes you made on the previous lessons.


    I think it needs to be balanced with user retention. They aren't achieving anything if too many people are calling it quits, thus some adjustments imo are justified.


    I totally agree as well. Seems like it could be easy to give users the choice.


    They should make the number of lessons per lap a personal parameter : some don't like too much rote, some feel they need more, some feel they need root at the start and can keep content with a short reviewing at the end, some others feel they need the most practice before finishing a lesson for good.


    I am in complete agreement with this. I felt like the existing levelling and badge system actually corresponded nicely with my learning. Now I have useless level 1 skills that I am way beyond needing to drill constantly decaying and I can't track where I am for actually learning the content and lessons effectively. Duolingo needs to stop f-ing with the platform because it's frustrating for people who are using it for long term learning. With this recent update I am thinking of abandoning Duolingo entirely and just moving on to mango or something else that is more stable.


    This I agree with, watching the very first lesson constantly decay is absurd. Ill go refresh it, it takes about a minute, I learn nothing, and theres no errors. (so basically just wasting my time)

    The system should for example, stop decaying lessons below a certain row.

    For example say, it wont go back more then 10 or 15 rows. Basically if im down to row 20's lessons, nothing at row 10 or below will decay. (made up numbers, probably better numbers to use available of course)

    Or even better, let me choose from a list... 10, 15, 20....


    I agree! Repetition, repetition, repetition.. That's how I and many others love to learn. If they keep it the way they should, then why not let the user choose? So odd to me.

    Not only that but on Android, you sometimes cannot even finish a lesson because the prompts don't show up for you so practice goes out of the window if you have no PC. Hopefully that is a known issue as well as this one and it gets resolved.

    • 1464

    Has anyone noticed the number of lessons has gone up a bit again? Of course, I could be imagining it. But in Irish I thought I noticed that none of the skills (when they all suddenly turned orange) seemed to have more than 5 lessons each, some even fewer. Today I look, and there are some skills with as many as 10 lessons. While this isn't as many as the 20 or 30 they used to have, it's still more than 5.

    Has someone at Duo been listening, or am I just misremembering how many lessons each skill had?


    I have seen the same thing. :D


    Maybe a compromise of something like 10% or 12.5% chunks for each level. IMHO, the previous version actually did seem a bit "grindy" (haha, I'm learning new English words here too). The 25% model just seems too breezy and not enough effort for a reward.

    If the current version is retained, then the practice lessons would be better with couple of difficulty options. Currently, they are way too simplistic - eg "which one is the dog?" - hmm, maybe it could be the one with the picture of a DOG! (Which would be OK for someone who hasn't practiced that language for a year or more). Or even allow people to repeat the same lessons if they like.


    I hear what you're saying, but the previous version still allowed people who were finding it grindy to test out of a level - the repetition should still be there for those who need it imho; maybe they could update the UI to make the test-out option more obvious / viable for when people feel they've already mastered a topic and are just grinding?


    The Way I See It, The Old System Felt Kinda Grindy Because You're Not Supposed To Get A Lesson To Gold All At Once, But Space It Out.


    Yeah, the best way to learn a language is by repeating it.


    In doing Irish Gaelic, I find that the exercises in Eclipsis and Lenition are inadequate. I will need a lot more comprehensive review and practice to get comfortable with their use.


    We have a work-around, courtesy of TiliaMartina. Do the topics up to 4th crown level, then when you finish a lesson after that, abort after answering the last question but before clicking on "continue". That keeps the final crown level open forever and you can keep practising at that level of challenge. You don't get XP for it but who cares. There are other ways to get XP if that matters to you.


    I have some questions to this method. Are you using it in the desktop version? Have you seen progress in late skills "spilling back" into completion of early skills?

    I have seen this happen in the desktop version at lower crown levels in the English -> Portuguese course. For example, I had a skill with crown level 2 and 0% completion. This skill went automatically to 10% completion when I advanced another skill (further down the tree) to crown level 2.

    I have not yet progressed any skills to crown level 4, so I don't know if this will continue. But if it does, it may mean that the skills are inevitably progressed to crown level 5 no matter if we want them to or not, just because we progress the later skills to crown level 4, and some of the completion "spills back".


    This is why I am so happy I started the Irish course before the change.


    I agree too. I've stopped learning as much as before. Also earning XP's challenged me to study longer and harder, so they are a great incentive. But, I've become discouraged with XP's, because I've seen people earn 2000 xps in an hour or two and don't understand how they do that and if they are actually learning with the grind of repetition. I like competing with others and I want to actually learn while in that competition.


    In the very early stages of a tree it's easy to get a lot of XP very quickly if you already have some familiarity with the language. (A rate of 1000 XP per hour is probably pushing the bounds of possibility though.) But that won't last, as the difficulty racks up.

    It's also very easy to get XP via the dumbell, or at least it is for me. I can get 10 XP in about 45 seconds and keep that up till I get bored. Don't worry about it. If you want to learn, work slowly through lessons that challenge you.


    I Haven't Actually Tried The Story Feature, As It's Not For Any Languages I'm Learning Yet, But From What I've Heard It Seems That It's Not Too Difficult Or Long And Gives A Lot Of XP, So It's Possible People Are Using That To Get 1000 XP In An Hour Or So.


    Someone in another thread worked that out. It's probably not quite possible to get 1000 XP in an hour that way even if you're quite good at the language and treat it as a race.

    Galloping through the lower levels of a language you're already familiar with is probably the fastest way to get XP, but honestly, what's the point?


    25 lessons to get to level five? Mine has me doing up to 50...


    I agree. The app has been like this for some time - which is why I never used the app! I specifically used desktop because it made me complete many more lessons.


    And the levelling behind the flags, which is now only visible when you write a comment like this.


    Is this why my languages changed from showing 5 as they do on the learning page with a completed segment are showing here in the forums as 4 or 8?

    I don't understand the point of that discrepancy, including from a gaming point of view. The significant appeal of completionism and tidying up is well documented when it comes to the appeal of a game like Tetris. It's the entire point to having achievements. There are a lot of people who want to do something and finish it simply because it's there and they don't like seeing it as incomplete.

    What is the point of having a lesson "complete" and showing 5 if it isn't actually 5?

    If I want to keep stuff even, how many do I have to do now in order to have levels show as 5/10? 1 level in the next, or a partial?

    Edited to add: I actually have done the bulk of my Duo time on the computer rather than my phone, so I've reset a couple languages to do them over. Particularly with the ones where I needed to spend more time on learning the letters such as Arabic, this was useful to just delete all my progress and start over once I got to content that was not strictly teaching letter recognition, so I am personally into actually learning even when it means sacrificing the appearance of progress. I'd just like to easily be able to keep track of content progression keeping it somewhat even across the board except for French & Spanish which are the two in particular that I'm pushing for practical reasons.

    • 1464

    I can't help wondering if this change is related to (people cheating in) leagues. It popped up for me at about the same time they nerfed the practise button (as promised in https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/35079191). People can now only repeat the lower level skills a few times before reaching Gold, and finding they are then only rewarded with XP once a day for hitting Practise.

    The leagues themselves have come in for a lot of criticism in the forums. And it would be a questionable decision to resort to further unpopular changes to try to get them to work. But I think it's a possible interpretation of Duo's motives.

    Perhaps the real problem is that changes (or at least the reasons behind them) are discussed behind closed doors. None of us really know why they're happening. And none of us have any real input into the decision making process.

    I suppose Duo's thought process goes something like: we're giving them this app for free, so we're entitled to use them as lab rats - we don't have to tell them what we're up to. Perhaps they even think if we knew what they were testing it might skew the results. Or maybe they are having difficult conversations with their investors (venture capitalists are in it for the profit after all) and don't have any energy left for wider consultation. I don't know.

    Now don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for the free language app. And I do understand that wide consultation can take effort and slow down decision making. But I do still think a better app would result, if changes were done consultatively, with all the stakeholders, not just investors.


    I'm in two minds (my profile converted to this format a few months ago, so reasonably used to it), think the better solution would be to make the level five revision sessions harder, some of the exercises seem to be easier than level four exercises.

    Seems to have improved at least on the web and the android versions; whilst there are not as many levels as say 25 from L4 to L5, there are at least normally eight to ten, sometimes 12 or so.

    Only seems to be the mass learned languages - such as Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian (and English from those languages) plus the new courses such as Scottish Gaelic and Latin that have cut back on L4 no. of lessons to as low as four, but that's not on all modules on android, only some where clearly the topic is quite easy in the firstplace eg. "A Gente" in Portuguese, or "lenition" in Irish being good examples.


    This change has ruined a large part of the duolingo experience for me. As stated, if this is not changed I would strongly consider leaving duolingo and swapping language learning platforms (or finding other means).

    • 1056

    4- level system is hopeless. It's not enough time to truly learn. I come back few topics back and I barely remember what it's all about.


    I am annoyed, very annoyed, that levels have been "dumbed down". The repetition was what made the learning work for me. Now it is just an exercise in frustration. I am ready to give up and try something else if this is not changed soon. I not getting a chance to get a handle on the words before I am out of the level. It was maybe a bit too much before but the pendulum has swung way way way to far the other way.


    Try redoing the lessons and practicing it. Practicing and redoing the level might help and is a good way to review what you have learned in the past lessons.


    How do you retake lessons ? Once you finish a level, that's it. Just inferior practice available


    The practice lessons are too easy. They're only about third-crown level.


    I wouldn't say they are too easy, but that the main problem with them is that each word comes back only after a long time (since there is an increasing amount of words/sentences to refresh). Nevertheless they are useful, but only if you had the chance to fix the vocabulary first in the lessons, what happened thanks to the old repetition system. Now it is gone.

    I have already completed most of my tree and the practice lessons are still useful to me, since I've been using them for some months. If it were not for them, I would already have deleted my account yesterday.

    (Btw I agree with everything else you have written here)


    Well, there is a fix as I said. Create a new free account and test into it to level up as far as you can. Then get every topic up to 4 crowns as expeditiously as you can, possibly by testing out to level up where possible. Then when you have a topic on four crowns, never finish a lesson.

    After you've clicked on "check" for the last question in the lesson, do not click on "continue". Instead, close the lesson by clicking on the wee cross at the top left. You won't get any XP but who cares. You'll preserve the top-level lessons so you can do them as often as you want.


    Yes, I understand it. But I'm not doing it: perhaps it's kinda matter of honor, but I find quite humiliating having to create new accounts and use (but not confuse!) them all in order to do something that was included in the learning system until last week. This infuriates me as much as the loss of the repetition system itself.


    I know what you mean.

    But I already created a second account when I realised that the practice lessons were at a lower level than the 4-5 crown lessons, as I had gone through to the fifth crown on all the topics way too fast. (I knew it wasn't the best idea, but I was enjoying the new material and had reasoned that I'd get more reinforcement from the practice lessons.) So I decided to go up the tree again, while keeping the original one gold with the ability to practice from that too.

    I'd only levelled the first two topics up to gold when all this happened and I realised what the fix was. So I'm now stopping at the 4th crown on each topic and moving on. Eventually I'll have a whole tree at Crown 4 (bar the two first topics which are easy anyway) and be able to practice at the higher level any time I want to.


    This change took place many months ago for some of us, and at the time I felt the same way that you do. Now? I still feel that the lessons move a little quicker than I'd like, but I am learning more quickly and am more challenged. So I'd suggest that you give it some time, go back on your own and reinforce skills that you feel uncomfortable with, and keep moving forward. Or quit. Up to you...


    If Duolingo is more interested in getting people to frolic in the shallows of a language, racking up points for learing no more than "I am a man and you are a woman", than facilitating useful learning, then quitting might be the sensible option. They'll still get the dilettantes to keep their ad views up I suppose, and the dilettantes get to boast about how many crowns and how many XP they have, but nobody will actually learn anything.


    How silly. Folks get from Duo what they put into it. To characterize users as dilettantes frolicking in the language and racking up points for "learning no more than "I am a man and you are a woman"" is quite a leap. My wife and I travel to Central/South America annually and have been using Duo to learn Spanish. It is working quite well for us and I assure you that neither of us give a hoot about crowns, XP points, or any of the other "achievements" associated with the effort. There is a lot to be learned on Duo if that is your honest goal. Other people's motives for using Duo or how they use it is not a concern to me.


    The whole point Morag_Kerr is making is that they just made it so much difficult for people who actually care and want to learn more than just "I am a woman you are a man", to learn effectively without a functioning repetition method, which was unnecessary change in the first place, I'm sure we all agree on that. I am at the end of the Spanish tree and the material is getting harder with each new skill, which is a welcomed challenge for me if I had the ability to repeat and practice it like before. This ability is now gone and it's only natural to be frustrated about it and to question the reasoning behind it. Because without the option of a useful repetition the extent of what you can learn here on Duolingo currently is "I am a woman you are a man" and the easiest skills, before you give up completely and quit. If I was starting to learn Spanish now I'd peace out before the second checkpoint. And I'm a very patient person lol. I don't even know how people are managing Russian and some of the more complicated languages after this update.

    It just sucks that something that worked so well before is now gone and made so simple and inefficient when there was no need to.


    Good for you. But that was something you did before they made the change we're complaining about. I seriously doubt you could get your Spanish to that level with the new system.


    As I mentioned earlier, I've been on the "new" system for quite a long time, as it was rolled out in waves. I feel that my learning is at a similar pace as before, but is somewhat more compressed and challenging

    I will note that this is the second big change that I've seen on Duo (English to Spanish) since I started. There was a huge expansion and reorganization of the skills that caused much angst and gnashing of teeth, and threads like this one where people declared the revision ruinous to learning.

    However, I am still learning and progressing nicely, thank you.


    That's fine, if it suits you. But what has happened here is that choice has been taken away. Previously people who felt they had done enough repetition could either take the test and level up, avoiding the repetition entirely, or they could leave that skill open and the repetitions still available for later use, while they moved on to another.

    Now everyone is automatically levelled up after just a few repetitions, and the gates clang shut, and all you have are the much less challenging practice lessons. This may still suit you but it ain't suiting me, particularly in a language where serious, howling errors are routinely passed by the software as mere typos and never re-presented to allow you to get it right.


    However, I am still learning and progressing nicely, thank you.

    Good for YOU, Mark, so glad you shared that with all of us.


    " I feel that my learning is at a similar pace as before, but is somewhat more compressed and challenging"

    Looking at Duome, your account is 2 years old. You say it is MORE challenging? Well I just got forced to advance from L3 in a skill to L5, skipping L4 completely and I know I could have used hella more practice. And that WILL make it challenging later, and not in a good way. Advancing too soon sets people up for failure.

    I find it interesting that you appear to have not finished a tree after two years, so I find it odd you consider this good progress, but maybe the Spanish course is really really long.


    If you are having trouble learning a language on Duolingo, I suggest that you use more than one language learning app.


    Would that I could. The other apps I've looked at don't offer the language I want to learn.


    Yeah, That's One Thing I Love About Duolingo, There Are Many Languages You Probably Wouldn't Find On Most Other Learning Programs, I Believe Anybody Can Start Making A Course, And Then Others Who Want To Help Can Join, Until The Course Is Eventually Usable, Which Is Likely To Not Only Give Courses For More Minority Languages, But Also Higher Quality Courses.


    I think what you've been missing is what a full golden tree really means now. Before the change, a full golden tree means that you've achieved a certain level of mastery in the language. This had never really worked anyway. Just because you've repeated a skill a certain number of times does not really mean that you've really achieved any level of language mastery.

    In the previous system, it was quite easy to achieve a golden tree without ever really absorbing the language just by cramming things over and over and over again with low quality repetitions. You may have perfected your knowledge of a particular skill by repeating a skill until it was golden, but wait for a few weeks or months without practising that skill and you're going to forget most of what you've learned and had to start from scratch. Higher quality repetitions need to be spaced apart, the rest period is just as important as the practice period. The true test of a language mastery is not when you passed a skill test with flying colour because you've memorised all the lessons of a single skill after practising that skill continuously for the last week or so, but rather what you were able to retain after months of not practising it.

    The new golden tree now means that Duo thinks that you don't really need to practice that skill until that skill started to crack (decay). Keeping a golden tree requires maintenance, just like retaining your language skills require maintenance practices. When the entire tree has become gold and I've done all the cracked skills, that means that I'm done with Duolingo practice for the day, and should continue with other learning materials.

    While I agree that there are some aspects of the new tree that could be improved, I'm quite liking that the new tree does decay and that repeating an already golden skill gives less and less XP on each repetition. That makes XP growth better track how much I'm actually learning than the previous system.


    I don't agree. I don't think it's good to slam the door on a skill after just a few questions at the 4-5 crown level. It takes more that to get the material even half learned, but now, once the skill is gold, all you can access are easy 2-3 crown level questions. And that is all you'll get even to "repair" a cracked skill.

    If the practice lessons on a golden skill were at the same level as the lessons that had to be completed to get the skill golden in the first place there wouldn't really be such a problem. But they're not. Now users are only being allowed a very small number of questions at the 4-5 crown level, and then that resource is cut off permanently, when that is the level of challenge that's needed to achieve proper retention of the material.


    You need to work on a skill at least 14 days so that the material and vocab stays in your long term memory. You could juggle between a few skills at a time to make things interesting. With the old model of having 4 - 4 - 8 - 12 - 20 lessons per level you could very easily do a one set of 4 lessons a day for the next 14 days with increasing difficulty - level 4 being only write/listening exercises, cement what you have learned, gold that skill and move on. After a month of not practicing that skill you can still remember words and sentence structure, because it's already in your longterm memory.

    Now it only takes 5 days to finish a skill, if that. 5 days is nothing to retain it in your longterm memory.


    Strong disagree.

    "Before the change, a full golden tree means that you've achieved a certain level of mastery in the language."

    Not mastery of the language, but mastery of the basics. I used the old system to get the basics down until I had a 80% finished tree--that's mostly GOLD L5 SKILLS, not a page of L1s, in a minority language. Now I can follow almost half of Ros na Rún, an Irish soap opera without needing subtitles. And I have an excellent basis to move on to other learning materials and I did this in 6 to 7 months.

    I am 100% certain that would not have been possible if I started Duolingo in it's new "improved" iteration.

    Is fuath liom an athrach seo.


    This might sound really stupid but what does the number mean next to the flag.


    The number next to a person's flag is "the level" they're on in their particular course.

    The level isn't used so much now, but courses run up to level 25 (which equates to 30,000 XP).


    What's most important is what works best. Too little repetition might be bad, but there's also something like too much repetition. Sometimes it's more effective to move on than to stay "stuck". Each repetition is less effective than the previous, thus at some point it's likely better to cut your losses and move on. The ideal moment to move on almost certainly isn't a 100% understanding of a topic, but rather a good while before that. In 20% of the time you might already have gained 80% understanding, thus that other 80% of time might be better spent at also gaining 80% understanding of another 4 topics rather than just having achieved 100% understanding of a single topic (not to mention possible negative effects such as boredom from too much repetition of the same material). Those 4 new topics can even incorporate some of the topic you started out with, essentially not just getting you to ~80% in 5 topics, but the potential for more. Cutting off at 80% understanding in the example doesn't mean the goal isn't still 100%, but that last bit might be more effective to teach over time by means of the theme being repeated in future skills. That's also not to mention that even at 100% understanding, there would still be some decay, you won't get far if you keep on repeating the same stuff over and over. Aiming for 100% might be "effective" but at the same time incredibly inefficient.


    And as has been pointed out multiple times above, you could always test out to level a skill up if you were bored and felt you'd done enough. Or you could simply keep the remaining lessons on that skill for another day. This was fine.

    Now, however, the skill clangs shut when you've only done a very small number of questions at the highest level, and you can't get back to that level of challenge. All you can do is the practice lessons, which are much less challenging. Before, there were options if you didn't want the repetition. Now you can't have the repetition even if you want it.


    And as has been pointed out multiple times above, you could always test out to level a skill up if you were bored and felt you'd done enough. Or you could simply keep the remaining lessons on that skill for another day. This was fine.

    That would still leave it up to the user to seek the most optimal path, while the optimal path should be the default.

    But I'd rather agree that users should still have access to that type of questions. Even though there might even be a good reason behind it, potentially it's a way of teaching something "by overdoing it", essentially crown level 5 overshooting the teaching goal as a way to ensure the actual goal is achieved. But that's just a random potential explanation that might not be the actual reason. Might just be that the repetition beyond the last crown level is simply the same as the ones that existed before - that they simply haven't changed, yet.


    I don't think the new path is optimal. I think that's the general complaint. Also that while people who didn't find the previous system suited them could level up or move on if they wanted to, now everyone is forced to level up, like it or not.

    You have hit on the real problem though, which has always existed as I understand it is that the repetition beyond the last crown level is inadequate. Once the topic is 5-crown gold, the subsequent practice lessons revert to 2-3 crown level, and are much less challenging.

    Previously (in my course) there were five lessons of 20 questions each to get from the 4th to the 5th crown. That's 100 questions. Now there are only (I think) seven questions in a lesson. That's 35 questions. A similar thing has happened to the 3rd to 4th crown progression. 65% less exposure to the more challenging material before the topic goes gold. And after it has gone gold, that's it. No more exposure beyonf the 3rd crown level.

    Add to that the problem that howling mistakes are often marked as right if the wrong word is very similar to the right one - all you get is "you have a typo", and the question is never re-presented for you to correct it. This means you can get to the 5th crown even if you're trying hard, having got a substantial number of answers flat wrong, and no repetition sufficient to correct the mistake.

    It's a disaster.


    Hi Morag_Kerr. I just completed a lesson at level 4, and there were 20 questions. I will have to do 5 sets of 20 questions each to reach level 5 for a total of 100 questions. So, I guess I don't know what you are talking about. At that pace, in order to complete each circle requires answering 500 questions. That should be plenty of practice. If I find that I have mastered the material, I just level up if needed.


    Maybe it hasn't been rolled out to all the languages yet?


    I was told in a different thread that this is the new system where progress increases by 20% each lesson - 5 lessons per level. I've been doing lessons this way since I started in September. I was told that the old system advanced by 5% at a time on levels 4 and 5.


    I'm Pretty Sure What The New Update Is Doing Isn't Decreasing The Number Of Questions In A Lesson, But The Number Of Lessons In A Level, That's What I Noticed Atleast.


    The number of questions has decreased a lot


    I am giving you a lingot for your amazing streak and for reaching level 25 in 2 languages. you are doing amazing


    This is a bit unrelated - but quite often I do a lesson and it doesn't get counted toward my days streak, and I find the next day that I had to use a streak freeze to keep it going.


    This change was announced some 5 months ago: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33937433. This Spaced Repetition method isn't new. It used to be that way (although slightly different) before Duolingo introduced the crown system.


    I totally agree!


    no one is stopping you from repeating the lessons?


    Yes, they are. Once the topic is gold the only lessons you get are down at the 2-3 crowns level. You can't access the more challenging lessons that take you from 4 to 5 after you've reached 5. The number of lessons presented at that stage has been reduced by about 65%, I think more for some people, and for learners who got their best reinforcement from repeating lessons at this level, it's a very backward step.

    If the "practice lessons" you can do once the topic is gold were at the same level of challenge as the ones you did to turn it gold, there would be no problem actually.


    I agree. So frustrating when I am studying Irish. French, Spanish, and German are not as much of a problem. But, the Irish!! I really need more practice.


    Oh wow. That sound's different almost nicer. Actually learning.


    I think there's a nice in between to be found here. I recently started using Duolingo again and I adore it. I actually do like the change, but I also feel like I'm forgetting information sometimes.

    The old system I feel was incredibly grindy to the point where around orange I would get demotivated.

    I think maybe a 10-15 lesson goal would be much better. I don't know how I feel about it being an option between the two extremes.


    They did make each lesson longer though.


    I would like to repeat the levels again, to practice, i think now you will need a second account for practice the main account


    Duolingo Samuel is right.bring the harder way back.


    It would be also nice if the random practice didn't jump on a course I hadn't got to level 1 with yet (keeps happening for me) so thus I'm practicing stuff I haven't actually learned, when I want to revise stuff I HAVE learned :/


    I agree. I'm not learning as well since this happened.


    I add my disappointment about the change in the number of repetitions. It is a free program and for that I am grateful


    I agree, but disagree. I agree that there should be a switch, but 25 lessons to level up was too much for me. I ended up taking the test to level up which does little good.

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