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How many lessons should I finish before starting with the stories or podcast?

[deactivated user]

    Pretty much the title, how many lessons should I finish before starting with the french stories or podcast? I'm guessing I don't need to finish the whole tree to do so but I doubt I can get into it after just finishing the first lesson either so I'd appreciate some input in this. Thanks!

    May 15, 2020



    Start the stories - if they are too hard give it a week or so and try again. I think the podcasts are harder. So after you are through a few sets of stories try the podcasts.


    Dip in and try the first story!

    You can redo them as many times as you like - you only gain XP for them once per story per day, though.

    As you go through the sets, they gain in difficulty, but within a set they're all around the same level.


    You can start with the stories early! The first stories are very simple to understand and they have translations!(Actually,all stories have translations). I myself haven't checked out the podcast,so i can't tell you(srry).


    They just added a bunch more stories on the easy end. Try the first story, and see.


    Hasn't it been said in the beginning of the (Spanish) Podcasts introduction that this is directed more at intermediate speakers?

    Maybe you find the related introduction threads or article on their making.duolingo.com blog.

    Question: How do you want to grasp what a native speaker says (fast spoken) when your vocabulary size is quite limited and you have not any clue about multiple Romance verb tense stuff (past, future, imperative, conditionals, imperfect, Subjunctive,...), the basics of conjugation and stems?

    I don't think that I would have been well prepared for Portuguese Podcasts, when I finished the whole tree within that one year (pre-crown era).

    After 1,5 years I run into the next tree update and I challenged myself with test outs of the resetted lessons on various (L1, L2, L3 or L0) crown levels....still focusing on the TTS.

    Two days ago I tried my first "listening placement test" with "Mango languages" of several Portuguese (Brazil) dialogs and I can say that this is still quite challenging for me, even after 3,5 years learning with no breaks.

    I don't think that you will be prepared for (intermediate) Podcasts with a current 11% lesson progress yet and this will be difficult even for an upper-beginner with a FULLY completed L1-L3 or L5 tree.

    As there are no Duolingo Podcasts available in Portuguese I can't try ;)


    Start the stories whenever you want, if you don't know something just press the word and it'll give you the definition and if its too hard just leave it for like a week while you do the lessons and learn a bit and then go to the stories



    take a look how contractors have aligned the CEFR tree: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31573948/New-CEFR-aligned-courses

    Normally sections 6+7 are made of "leftover" skills from previous tree versions, like Abstract Objects, Verbs, grammar, verb tenses, so you can review those old dedicated grammar and vocabulary skills.

    This concept is the case for the current Spanish from English tree (159 skills) and also English from Portuguese (108 skills).

    For the updated French trees 13 (142 skills)/14 (158 skills) this is different as they (contractors) have already restructured earlier existing skills, gave them a new theme-oriented topic (=skill) name and added new challenges.
    So I am not sure what is exactly hidden between the last two sections 6+7 in your French course.

    Quote: I'm guessing I don't need to finish the whole tree

    First story sets #1 and #2 are the beginner stories with questions English.

    When I started with 2-4 Portuguese stories (old stories have now been reordered to sets #3 and #4, some have been rewritten from scratch to be more easy) I had not completed the full tree.

    But I think I was more far (50%) 60-85% on a L1 crown level.

    Sure, it would be good to add some real listening practice (native recorded speakers) to your French learning, as soon as possible / suitable.


    I do understand very well that after one year you want to focus more on the stories and I think you should give it a try....maybe with some help from the newer LTS project.

    You can see your tree progress here: https://duome.eu/Grandaaa/progress

    • Lessons 82/732: You have completed 11% of all L0 lessons
    • Skills: 20/158: This is how many you have unlocked

    If you want to feel a bit prepared for multiple verb tenses (compound past, imperative, conditionals) and the Subjunctive it is better to know all/most of the tree content.

    For vocabulary you cannot expect that stories are only using the same vocabulary that you learn in your tree; this is definitely not the case for the (mid) Portuguese stories and I have not even tested the higher sets.

    Learning with higher crowns != L1 tree progress

    Instead of focusing first on a good L1 forward progress (with regular PRACTICE reviews of old skills ) + L1-L3 crown pyramid system (more recently learned skills), to grasp ALL the new vocabulary and new L0 skill content, you probably bring ALL skills in a section too fast to the highest (golden) L5 crown level.

    Well, I do not really see when you have picked on the higher crowns and if you have added them later (after 6-12 months), so I am guessing here based on your total tree progress; the "learned_ts" timestamp is when you have first completed your L1 skill.

    But we warned:
    With dropping the spacing (time) factor from the SR (spaced repetition)....you may just focus on the short-term memory with those repetitions on the higher crowns which is IMHO not effective in the mid- to long-term.

    How much do you exactly know from 6-12 months ago?
    Do you practice RECALLING with flashcards on Memrise / AnkiSRS / SuperMemo in parallel?

    People wrote back in other threads that to grasp more difficult languages like Irish, Polish, Russian,.. (higher category tables from FSI) and to work on their comprehension they have no choice to follow a more strict L1-L5 crowns level up learning approach to pickup the basics before they continue with new sections / L0 skills.

    If you continue with THIS learning approach you won't be able to finish your French CEFR tree in the next ~1,8-2,3 years if you go more slowly (I do), for sure...else you have to work multiple hours every day only on your Duolingo tree.

    Stats say it has taken you one year (because of the higher crowns) since April 2019 to make this 11% progress (743 L0 lessons) for the first 18 skills; you may have run into "tree updates" and progress resets.

    Completition comparison:

    I was able to complete my FULL classic (non-CEFR) EN->PT very Romance grammar-centric tree (69 skills, 406 lessons) within one year with Memrise (multiple courses) in parallel and a bit of Mondly and 50languages on top.

    Of course, such a grammar-centric course will better prepare you for stories and multiple verb tense stuff as they (contributors) focus on it earlier and do not waste so much time teaching you ALL the CEFR A2 vocabulary.

    You shouldn't see (normally) additional vocabulary on the higher L4/L5 crown levels and you neither will learn new verb tenses and Subjunctive stuff...this comes later.

    The real interesting stuff in my classic EN->PT tree was in the middle or even last 1/3 of my tree.
    As I said earlier, your EN->FR CEFR tree is quite differently arranged.


    Therefore I would personally expect, that you actually have to complete most if not all skills (L1-L3 crowns) of the tree, if you want to have a higher understanding level in the upper story sets
    (I have no idea at what set this exactly starts...maybe as soon all story questions are in French).

    L4 and L5 crowns might challenge you more on typing, French translations (recall testing) or listening exercises.
    But even this "crown theory" will not work very effectively on Duolingo as several (earlier) skills in my PT trees show me.

    And now they (staff) have dropped out of the x3 / x5 lesson multiplication factor of L3->L4 and L4->L5 crown session (=sequential lessons).


    [LTS] Learn Through Stories : Why?: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/36645140

    [LTS INDEX] French Stories (tinydynamicduo): https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/36691441

    For whatever reason, these posts are not STICKY.


    If you decide to dip into the podcasts i suggest you also read the transcripts they offer if youre a more visual learner like me or its difficult to get the hang of buy just listening.


    If you do not know a word, you just hover over it and it shows the meaning in English


    I have got to level 13 in French stories, I learnt French for 6 years when young. I have done it on Duolingo now for about a year. I only started German about 15 months ago and I am up to level 3 in stories. I find it difficult. Because I find the French easier i have gained many more points in French than German. ie double.

    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.