Help: the Swedish course isn't giving any speaking exercises
I've progressed all the way to level 8 in Swedish without being given any chances to speak the language. I turned the microphone off when I was learning basics because I couldn't use it, but I turned it back on shortly after that through the settings. However, since I originally deactivated it, the course hasn't required me to speak any Swedish. I would really love to test my ability to pronounce the words! Any ideas?
I don't really rate the speaking exercises either. I've tested a few of the languages and often you only have to say half a sentence or the first word of one and it marks it correct. For the exercises I'd like to think I am using a good German accent (IMHO) and there are days I go through two attempts, then I speak in my Australian drawl as a joke on the last one and it gets marked as right. I've also recorded gibberish and it gets marked as correct too. But hey, Duolingo is free, and I think the idea is just to get people physically talking rather than writing all the time as there are folks out there that learn languages but they never actually make the leap from writing to speech.
One day, it would be great, if the software were so good that you could truly trust it to aid you in your pronunciation. For instance, you get marked wrong if you use a short vowel instead of a long one and replays it to you again to hear the difference. That would be a huge undertaking likely... but in this day in age, nothing is impossible.
I really don't rate the speaking exercises on other courses, so I don't see it as a huge issue. I've turned my mic off for Italian as well. There are much better ways to practice speaking, in my opinion. For example I think it's helpful to imitate native speakers in audio recordings, or to engage in a language exchange online. I also think it's a good idea to record yourself and play it back, so that you can compare your own pronunciation to the native speakers you are trying to copy. Eventually you will hear the small differences between you and the native speaker, and you can work on correcting those differences. The crude software for speaking exercises on Duolingo can't come close to that.
Imitating native recordings has the added benefit of helping your listening comprehension, which is another area that I think Duolingo isn't great for. The Swedish pronunciation on here is nothing like what I hear in real Swedish audio, so it's definitely necessary to supplement listening comprehension with other sources.
Either way, relying on Duolingo to check your speaking is definitely not a great idea. You need to train your ears :)
Best of luck with the Swedish!