Idea: add grammar questions to lessons
I'm making very slow progress at internalizing times when words vary in combination with specific others, and I can barely describe grammar rules at all (German). Duolingo helps internalize translation, pronunciation, and writing/spelling, but it lacks a mechanism that's as easy for internalizing the grammar rules. It would be helpful if a portion of the challenges were solely for quizzing on grammatical principles. Thanks for considering!
I was lucky enough to learn German originally through an exchange program. ...Grammer was still fantastically confusing! I'm finding that when I mess up a rule too often, checking the rule referenced in the error on Wikipedia is helpful.
For instance, I had forgotten the rules for accusative nouns and their articles. I kept typing "Der Mann hat ein Apfel" only to be told it should be "einen" due to it referring to an accusative noun. Wikipedia had a wonderful description of the German rules for accusative case under the main "accusative case" article.
And seeing that you are only at 7, knowing what little about German as I do, I know that it must only get worse with all the den/dem/der/die/ million and one ways to say 'the' depending on the case.
edit: I do agree that for the program to be the best it can, it would be nice to have grammer principles included.
As a small hint (I know cases are still very tough, but you might try it).
You can always use the folllowing questions to determine the case and therefore the correctly used article:
Who? - Wer? - Nominative Whose? - Wessen? - Genitive Whom or What? - Wem oder was? - Dativ Who or what? - Wen oder was? - Akkusativ
A quick google search got me this site: http://vs-material.wegerer.at/deutsch/d_fall.htm Specifically check out Vier Fälle 2 (direct link: http://vs-material.wegerer.at/deutsch/pdf_d/grammatik/faelle/vier_faelle_uebung_.pdf)
In this exercise you are supposed to ask the correct question to which the answer is the underlined noun
I don't think Duolingo would work well with specifically teaching us grammar rules. From what I can see on Duolingo the grammar is internalized along the way akin to how a child's brain will figure out grammar just from hearing it used. Personally I find I learn better using this style than rule tables. For example, instead of teaching the conjugation table for the regular "er" verbs present tense in French, I prefer to learn how to translate the actual verb phrase - I + verb (ex: I speak - Je parle). Then my brain, as I use "je parle" in speaking with others, will intuitively figure out to use the same format for other verbs similar to "parler" (to speak). And I think Duolingo uses this approach in teaching.
We've asked for this before. I believe that you can integrate technical grammar lessons into Duolingo. Maybe as a different tab, possibly? Something with a flashcard system or a "fill in the blank" where you're given the material before hand to study. If Duolingo wants to mainstream your learning process (so that you're never sitting down and studying) then they can introduce grammar as you go and throw it back at the student as he progresses along (like vocabulary). I can see this working really well with conjugation. I recommend the Duolingo community try to upstart it though. Get a few python programmers, some bilinguists, and get to work creating a promo to show to the Duolingo team. Maybe then they'll integrate it quickly.
I agree, I am used to learning grammar structure by rote memory and tables, but I can certainly appreciate a different type of learning that is more of a saturation. Thanks for the wiki links - I was going to scout around for some tutorials that just emphasize structure, and use it along with Duolingo. By the way, this is a great program, I feel like I can get to a reasonable proficiency with this!
I agree as well. Grammar related issues should be dealt with more attention. I am learning French on my own for several years. I am aware of many grammar rules in French, yet in Duolingo they are not brought up. Despite this, at the moment, I find Duolingo really awesome and I am very happy it is free. I can improve my French in a lovely, interactive way. I hope things will only improve here in time :).