teaching us to create sentences as well as understand them
Currently duolingo is doing well at teaching users how to understand languages (in my case German), but not how to create it themselves.
Duolingo needs to start giving users simple phrases to translate into German first, rather than showing them phrases in German first, and then asking users to reiterate them.
They need to expand on the tips and notes section, telling users how numbers work (e.g. German uses commas instead of decimal points and says seven-and-fifty rather than fifty-seven etc.) how adjective endings change, how verb forms change and most importantly word order and how sentences are constructed
They already have a "C" conjugate button for verbs that you can click on when you hover over the verb and it will show the user how the verb changes with tense, they should expand this across all words into a "i" info button that opens a similar box giving information about the word, they could have a speaker button so the user can listen to the word, they could display common rules the word adheres to (e.g. most german nouns ending in -e are feminine, if the noun ends in -e and is feminine tell the user this rule) and rules that are always true for that type of word (e.g. all nouns are capitalised in German, if the word is a noun show this rule)
They could also have a "more info" button shown when a user gets an entire sentence wrong that opens a box with lots of tabs giving info about the words in the sentence as well as tabs about basic german grammar rules (e.g. word order)
Duolingo can get us to fully understand how to make sentences if it creates enough tips and notes so that users know necessary rules about topics (e.g. number rules so a user can say any number in German) and adds "info" buttons for all hovered-over words so that a user can - if confused - look at how the word works and apply this knowledge to more words (e.g. they won't just have to remember that the word is feminine but will know that the word is feminine because it ends in -e and then be able to spot the gender of most other words ending in -e immediately). By asking users to create unseen German phrases duolingo could test how well this is working and improve.
Amen, brother! I would like to have a way to practice generating sentences my second language too.
Well, currently duolingo has speakers only translate into their native language. I guess duolingo could allow learners to go the other way once they have reached level fifteen or so, and have the native speaker's translations take precedence over the learner's translations.
If you want to, you can do this already by going into your preferences and selecting "Querio aprender inglés" for spanish. Then, you can translate english sentences into spanish sentences.
Yep, I always had the feeling that, at least, more sentences should be given in the lessons to translate from known language to learned language: how am I suposed to learn those terrible german spellings if not?? And also agree on the tips and notes: it seems ok in the first lessons, but then I miss so so many explanations...