Brazilpod: Língua da Gente
The most recent entry on the Hacking Portuguese Blog mentions a new resource for English speaking learners of Portuguese.
This is another strand of the University of Texas at Austin's Brazilpod called Língua da Gente. It is a series of audio podcast lessons discussing the day-to-day language of Brazil. It seems to be a great addition to the resources already provided.
I have just noticed that at the end of the Hacking Portuguese Blog entry I mention above it says:
Why would anyone prefer the sterile algorithmic environment of e.g. DuoLinguo (sic) when there is such rich, engaging and above all human instruction out there?
I wonder how you feel about that?
It seems obvious that whoever wrote that doesn't know Duolingo. While the lessons themselves can be defined as "sterile", immersion makes Duolingo a non-"sterile/ algorithmic environment". I do however partly agree that Duolingo really desperately needs some sort of audio immersion, because the lessons are insufficient for those purposes.
Yes, some clever way of teaching speaking skills would be great.
The author of that blog did give Duolingo a go a while back and you can read her review here: http://hackingportuguese.com/2013/05/review-duolingo/
Oh yes, the Portuguese course doesn't have a speech-to-text engine, strangely enough. Though I'm not a linguist, I highly disagree that people need a lot of speaking practice. For example, you can learn the lyrics for a foreign song, merely by listening to it over and over again, and you may actually pronounce it rather well by simply listening. I know I learn the words "black, and white" simply by hearing Michael jackson's song over and over again.
That was way before I had any formal lessons in English, I also learnt to count from 1 - 10 the exact same way.
But anyway, as the french say, Chacun ses gouts. :)
P.S. I added you page to the wiki: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Study_aids/Reviewed_resources#Portuguese.C2.A0
Feel free to add more if you have the time or patience. :)
"It seems obvious that whoever wrote that doesn't know Duolingo" 
Man....I've just learned German out of nothing through Duolingo. There's absolutely nothing to be said.
Of course I need extra material now to advance, but surely I would have had a very hard time if I tried to learn (any language) by just reading good material. Basics are always basics.
Indeed, I think the author is simply biased. They expect a particular way of learning, and the resource doesn't reach their expectation. More importantly that is an unscientific and personal view, from someone whose credentials we can't really verify.
The review was also a year ago, and much has changed since then.
That's what I was thinking as well, as I finished the Portuguese track - I received a good basis in the language, and even though I am still not fluent, I can understand a lot of written Portuguese. I still need some extra, intermediate material to advance, just like you.
I think Duolingo is awesome - a game changer.
Thanks. I was glad to see you recommended it a while back: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3748271. Once in a while people ask me to recommend Portuguese learning resources and the existence of this blog means all I need to do is point people at a page like this one: http://hackingportuguese.com/where-to-begin/. I see the author (Lauren) is a little bit kinder to Duolingo on that page:
Duolingo – Although I wrote a fairly critical review of Duolingo, I have heard from many people who used it to great success. It has a very gamified interface, and of all of these resources it’s the one you’re most likely to get addicted to. The biggest problem I see is that Duolingo trains you on reading and writing without much listening or speaking practice.