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https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

Duolingo teaches you more than the teachers do

Right now, it's summer, 2 months after I finished my freshman year in high school. I took Spanish I. My teacher was an excellent teacher, but just the Spanish curriculum in general was kinda whack.

In Spanish I, we don't learn jack. In the beginning skills of Duolingo, I feel like I'm learning more things that I should've learned during school. But I didn't. This site/app puts skills in order of what should actually be learned first, and what should be learned later on.

In school, a lot of the skills you learn in the latter, we would end up learning in the beginning. While in the latter, I'm seeing stuff that they already taught me.

4 years ago

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Magister_Smith

As a teacher (I teach high school Latin) I can say a few reasons why your anecdotal experience may not be enough to throw teachers out with the trash just yet:

  1. This program can be done at your leisure. No one is making you do it, and you may go as fast or slow as you wish. This is HUGE. No one likes being forced to do anything. I hated reading in English class, but love it at home.

  2. This program "game-ifys" learning. The streak feature, the leveling up (like a video game), and the lingots all incentivize DL like a game. This is fun! As a teacher, let me tell you, we are often restricted in what we teach and even how we teach it. I have tried to do some "leveling up" stuff in school and been dissuaded by the administration.

  3. As a drawback however (though some may find it an advantage), your questions are answered two ways: the internet (googling it) or discussions. The former may not make sense, and the latter may net you a wrong answer or take a long time. On the other hand you may find this interaction better than any teacher you might have had. I will say however, that I am able to really spend time helping my students, giving examples and interacting via more than just a texual answer. Again, your mileage may vary.

  4. Judging by what I have read from those at level 25, and from my own progress on the site, it seems unlike for one to acquire fluency from the site without outside help. There simply isnt a way to use the language other than translation, a method not recommended by most pedagogy professors.

Ultimately the fact that YOU are the master of your destiny means that you tend to be more interested and this motivation goes a long way to helping you do well. As teachers, we all wish all our students wanted to be in class as much as they wanted to be other places, but there are a myriad of reasons why this is often not true.

Glad you are enjoying DL!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AzureFlames
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That's very true. I just finished Spanish I also, and I learned waaay more concepts on Duolingo. In class, we would only learn vocab, present tense conjugations only, and we pretty much never practiced speaking.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

My Spanish class was the same except that like every couple weeks, we would have to do an oral. It wasn't hard tho. Some orals you had to go to the teacher's desk and she'll ask you questions in Spanish, so of course you answer them in Spanish. In other orals, we would get with a partner or two and have topics like you're meeting a new kid in school and you gotta talk to them and whatnot. It wouldn't be that long. Just having to greet them, talk about a like or two and ask him about them, the ending. We wrote a script and we were allowed to read from the script. Other times they had to be memorized.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

The funny thing is, I used to despise wanting to learn a language in middle school. But now I love it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForgedbyHistoria

The only good Spanish classes I've had are those taught from context. The beginner classes were a breeze for me, because I studied and learned almost everything outside of class. Classes that are taught only in Spanish and from Spanish content concerning things related to the culture brought the most out of me. It forces you to learn and understand. I found myself able to understand almost everything my instructor (a native speaker) said and engaged in general conversations everyday.

Edit-Most students who are learning a language in the U.S. (and maybe elsewhere) have no desire to learn. Those who want to learn will learn, and can only do so in and out of the classroom.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

I agree, the beginner classes are such a breeze. That's pretty much because we barely even learn anything in the first place.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/halcyondreamer

My spanish teacher just handed out worksheets. Duolingo is actually helping me learn.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

My Spanish teacher gave us worksheets, workbook activities, orals, vocabulary sheets, etc. It really helped me learn, but it's just the curriculum doesn't allow the teachers to really teach you that much Spanish in Spanish I as you actually need.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lindusca

I have always been too insecure about learning a language and now I am really into this. Taking it slowly but now on day 60 and keep reviewing. Thank you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JazzmynCar

I was in Spanish 3 last year and I noticed that the class was really good at focusing on grammar, but not vocabulary; with Duolingo, it's the other way around.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pobrecito13

I agree with CSmith476, there is a difference between studying in school because you have to, and studying because you want to. Also, of course a high school class is going to cover a lot less than a college class, that is why a year of Spanish in high school is equal to a semester in college. In addition, there are a lot of students that take it as a requirement or heritage speakers that take it because it is an easy grade. Part of learning a language is learning the culture, which comes after experience, and you will get much more of that as you get to higher levels. I do think that Duolingo is great, and to each his own, as far as learning methods go, but I also think classes are great, if you have a good teacher. Good luck in your studies.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rorabear01

so true!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kristibob

I didn't take Spanish until I was in my second round of college - in my 40's...lol....Doug Rice was my instructor the first year. He was married to a native speaker. He didn't teach me a heck of a lot of Spanish but I was able to find Spanish-speaking countries on a map...lol. I got an A in the course. Second year, I had his wife. She taught the class how to sing a song in Spanish about colors. That's about all I remember from that class. I got an A in that one, too, and I have no idea how. I don't recall every really learning anything about how to actually speak to someone in Spanish. I could probably speak a little to someone after only 21 days on Duolingo, if I had the courage to do so.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/louis1010

Very true. I've been learning French for 3 years in school and then this year I did Transition Year (it's sort of a break year from proper work and we do projects instead) so towards the end of the year I said I'd try to learn Spanish and now I speak it better than French. It also helps that I want to learn Spanish :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/James878

Well done man, I too am finding that Duolingo is much better than School !!!!!!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
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I am impressed you are at level 11. When did you start Duolingo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

Either last week of May or first week of June.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
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What a useful way to spend your vacation time. Seems like you are makig good progress!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BigMish17

Thank you!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marcusscott67

If you are in Spanish at school, that is an awesome opportunity to ask questions to clarify things that you don't understand from Duolingo. I learned very little from Spanish and French in school but love Duolingo. However, if you are doing the two at the same time, you could use your Spanish class to learn everything that you could to add to the Duolingo you had been learning. Also, the teacher will love a student who actually wants to learn (not many fall in that category). You will by default make good grades while enjoying the learning process. I wished Duolingo had been around when I was in school. Now I Google language questions I have and sometimes go to my friends who are Spanish teachers. I believe most everything in life can be used as a learning opportunity, if we have the correct mind set. I love how so many of us are enjoying the learning process on Duolingo. Some of us are young and some of us are old and everything in between---and we are learning together. Duolingo Rules!

4 years ago