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A lack of hearts seems to be slowing down Learners.

First, a quick backgrounder: I’ve been using Duolingo for two years in order to learn Spanish; I am not a PLUS subscriber. Generally, I use the web version for its full keyboard functionality. I tutor New Americans who use the Duolingo App from their Smartphones. It appears that my learners are getting bumped out of the lesson when they are run out of hearts and must start over again. This appears to frustrate them. My experience with the Duolingo App is a bit different in that I have accumulated a reserve of 1000 lingots and can purchase more hearts when I encounter a difficult lesson. While I notice that the PLUS subscription offers unlimited hearts my learners have limited financial resources and are not able pay for a subscription. What is your experience? Are your students progressing with the (relatively) new system that utilizes hearts? Or, have I erred in setting up my Learners to best use Duolingo. Thanks.

March 1, 2020



The punishing teaching method "Health" (5 hearts + blue gems) is a so-called A/B test in the iOS and Android app.

A popular workaround to avoid the "Health" feature on your phone or tablet:

Use Duolingo's (mobile)web version on your phone or tablet, because www.duolingo.com ......

  • does not contain the "Health" method

Other good features in www.duolingo.com:

  • you can take part in the sentence discussion forums .
    This is not possible in the iOS app.

  • in the lessons you can switch to "use keyboard" and "use wordbanks".
    This is not possible in the Android app.

  • testing out of individual skills (by using the "key" icon) does not cost any gems or lingots in skill crown level 1-4.
    This is mostly not possible in both the Android app and iOS app.

www.duolingo.com will work in the latest version of the Google Chrome or Firefox browser on your phone or tablet, when you have rather good Wifi.


You might also teach them to install a good ad-blocker and tracker blocker to prevent ads and unwanted subscriptions


Muchas gracias por tus recomendaciones.


Quote: While I notice that the PLUS subscription offers unlimited hearts my learners have limited financial resources and are not able pay for a subscription

Why do they not use the www.duolingo.com web portal which does not have health/gems?


This is possible with the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox browsers (recent versions) and might also work on Microsoft Edge (Legacy or Chromium-based V79 version).

Even on a very old Android tablet (AndroidOS V4.4.2) we were able to install a recent version of Chrome V77 which worked smoothly.

Quote: Or, have I erred in setting up my Learners to best use Duolingo.

Quick question:

Why do you believe that the mobile tapping app is the best to learn a Romance language and practice the pesky verb tense stuff by choosing predefined words on the word banks/bricks with the given on-screen hints?


It might also depend on the age of a student pupil how to start with learning of a Romance language....

See my comment in this thread:

"I prefer typing during lessons rather than choosing words in the right order": https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/36810411


I completely agree. Keyboarding on a PC or tablet seems to offer a more challenging learning experience with Duolinge; while the small size of most Smartphones would seem to make the word bank a preferred approach to Duolingo. I've also seen where using the word bank for the first two lessons may assist the Learner with new material; then for lessons 3, 4, & 5 switching to the keyboard method better challenges the Learner.


Thanks for the suggestion I'll certainly try moving my Learners to the browser version (BTW they have Smartphones not tablets), and I completely agree with you that the predefined words are inherently easier than fill-ins. As an aside, my Learners are NOT wizards with their Smartphones its a steep learning curve at the beginning of my class (joining a wi-fi, installing Apps, using Google Translate when no other option is available, learning how to navigate Duolingo and not end up in a morass of adverts or unplanned subscriptions).

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