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Doing too many lessons is detrimental?

Hello Duolingo Users,

A question I have been wondering for a while. Currently I'm learning Spanish. I have been told before that learning a little bit each day over the long-term is more effective then learning too much at once. So for a while now I have simply been doing 1 new lesson a day. Then hitting up the "practice all" for a good 15 minutes. This usually gives me 25 minutes a day (though sometimes up to 35-40 minutes if I keep failing the one lesson over and over again).

Sometimes though I feel like I should do more lessons but I think I will get ahead of myself. I can and have before when I get in the mode can do a binge learning session and go for hours doing lessons....but I usually stop myself short of doing that for the reasons I believe that if I wanna build long-term memory I should take it easier.

Any thoughts on this? If I go and do more then 1 lesson a day will this hinder my results? I have no prior experience with Spanish I started learning from scratch.

May 17, 2013



You have the option to redo lessons, so even if you do more that 1 lesson per day, you can redo them the following day, to make sure that you learn everything. Actually I find that a combination of "practice all" and doing individual lessons again after a few days is more efficient than only doing practice. And of course you will eventually have to read at least some basic grammar from a book or from the internet. It helps to put everything you learn with duolingo in the right order.


Yes, you could take it easier and make up for it in other venues. Perhaps, sipping a Margarita, watching a Telenovela, and conversing with Spanish speakers.


I don't think that it is detrimental. It depends on you and your time, and there are other ways to spend your time. I have tried other methods and have never learned so many words so quickly. This is also more reading and spelling. I limit myself to 1 or 2 lessons ( 7-14 words) plus a weakest words vocab review. When I finish a section I create an Anki flashcard deck. I spend the other time with pronunciation by native speakers and pod casts. I'm not sure this can teach you conversational spanish (unless you say "the spider eats bread") MIT list in their curriculim a video called "Destinos". That is something to look into.


i do 2 new lessons a day but the next day i come back and do the same lessons again and then start my 2 new lessons.So i think you should try doing 2 or 3 new lessons.


I don't think there is such a thing as "too many." When you learn you first language your getting a new lesson whenever someone opens their mouth. Like learning anything it's just a matter of time and motivation. If you study for six hours one day a week you won't retain as much as if you study a half hr every day. That said, if you study a few hrs everyday, well you're gonna retain more than if you study a few minutes everyday.


I don't think that doing more than one lesson a day would hurt. I think that you can do up tp 5 or 6 lessons. it depends on your learning abilities. for instance, i can learn more than 5 lessons a day providing that i make some spaces between the lessons. like an hour of television would be perfect for me ! but the most important thing is to come back on a daily basis to build long term memory. you should read about learning and forgetting curves. it's a whole science in psychology ! Good luck


It depends on your background. If you use multiple resources and learn grammar concepts before they are introduced on Duolingo, than you'll perhaps pass the relevant skills easily and do a lot of "new" lessons in a row. The same is if you learn Spanish at school or university and use Duolingo as an additional instrument.

Another thing that affects your learning plan is your enthusiasm. I remember getting 200-300 for French lessons in a day. As far as I remember, there were no practice buttons at that time. There were lessons and then practice sessions, so sometimes I did a dozen new lessons a day. All this was not done in a row. I studied in the morning before work, at work when I had free time and again at home in the evening. When I learned too much, I just felt it. My brain was kind of "saturated" with new knowledge and did not want to accept any more. Going for a run was great at such state: I didn't think about anything in particular, but I almost felt how new stuff was being arranged inside my mind while I was running :-)

Now about long-term memory. If you pass the entire course in a couple of months and then just stop, it won't be good for your retention. It would probably be better for your long-term memory if you took your time and allowed yourself for instance half a year for the course. But if you finish the course in 2 months and go on to practice the language, to speak it, read in it, learn elsewhere, it will be fine. You'll retain everything that you really need.

So, don't worry too much. If you feel like doing 5 new lessons today, just do it. If tomorrow you feel that you are not ready to move on, make it a day of practice without any new lessons. Nothing is detrimental here. Be sure to throw in a good "Practice all skills" session once in a while to know if you remember your previous skills well.


This pretty much sums up how I feel about it too.

Also, sometimes I'm ‘done’ with doing Duolingo lessons but then find myself reading some grammar article on the net and then trying to understand it or think if I can put it in a simpler form.


My approach is to do Rocket Italian along with Duo-lingo. They are complimentary. (I chose these two after researching everything available on the market.) Duo-lingo is better for vocabulary and for the rigor of the learning method (and is free), but Rocket is better for colloquial conversation, pronunciation, and culture (and costs $100). Doing both allows me to do more Italian each day without burning out on either one.

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