Duolingo Chat Rooms
It would be really cool if there was a chat room for each language, that way people can use what they learn in Duolingo :) Also, if there were private chat rooms between two people so that we can communicate better with each other ;D Just as a step further towards making Duolingo the ultimate language learning software (which i already think you are ;) )
Also, if there was a dictionary for each language. That would be really neat too.
An idea that occurred to me reading this, is a specialized chat room. You know how when your at some website either selling something or say a credit card company, if you linger for too long a pop up appears to ask if you want help and you get answers answered through a chat. Well I was thinking if you wanted to you can sign up to help people (I would) and then you could be that pop up person that help, but instead of you popping up to them they can popup to you!!!
So for example you can sign up to help others and since you don't want to be bothered too much you could set it so you only get asked once an hour, or three times an hour, or once a day, unlimited, etc. and then say any lesson you've passed, or maybe you choose which you feel comfortable helping, you can help others in if they have a question in that lesson. Then Duolingo can give informants coins when the inquirer presses say a "question answered" button.
The same restrictions should be placed on the one who needs help. They should only be allowed to ask questions once an hour or day, that way your encouraging them to still ask questions through the discussions board and/or Google it and you save the chat questions for things that aren't getting answered. This can change if and when Duolingo sees more people want to answer questions than there are questions being asked. And maybe you punish the inquirer, by taking away coins if they don't summarize what they learned in that sentences discussion board, for others to benefit.
So heres how I see it. Each question of each lesson has a button you press if you want to chat. If you have a question and your within your allotted question quota you press the button and randomly someone is picked among those who haven't already answered all the questions they want to answer and are knowledgeable in that lesson and then wherever they are in Duolingo, translating article, doing a lesson, reviewing vocab, on the discussion boards, etc., will get a popup with the question.
I know I don't necessarily want to roam aimlessly through discussion board entries trying to find questions I can help with, but I don't mind being bothered randomly at a frequency I choose to help others. I also know, just today, while reviewing an old lesson that went from gold to green because my "strength" went down, I wanted to ask a question and found my question was already in there, asked by ME and it still had not been answered and it'd been two weeks!!! So it would have been nice to be able to ask that question through chat.
Interesting idea! It would need to be modified and tested out I'm sure, but the only part I can see being a bad component straight away is the one about punishing users for not spreading the knowledge they get. It would place too much of an onus on them. For one, the help they get might turn out not to be very helpful (either because the informant didn't do very well or because the inquirer realized they didn't really need much help). It also might be that they aren't fluent enough in any of the languages widely used on the discussion boards, or don't feel comfortable explaining things in even their native tongue(for example, there ought to be fairly young Duolingo users). This would make users anxious about asking for help and probably make the interaction less enjoyable.
I feel unsure about the informants gaining coins. Some users might sign up to be informants just for the coins and not really care about helping the inquirers, so maybe it's best for Duolingo to not give out any rewards, relying instead on the natural reward of the satisfaction that informants gain from helping. Alternatively, some kind of inquirer rating system could be established. However, I think that would make the whole thing too convoluted and detract from the effective and beautiful simplicity in Duolingo. It also greatly increases the risks of user disputes and dissatisfaction on the informants' side.
Like I said though those were the only two things I could identify as problematic, your post is very good food for thought :)
Well gaining points is just to create an incentive and I would think like two coins alone would suffice, not so much its easy money, but enough to be rewarding. Remember you can go into an easy timed practice and in a matter of seconds answer just one question and get one point. So anyone wanting to just get points would be wasting their time, because these chat sessions while they can be as short as a minute or less, would probably be more like five minutes. People would do it like you say, for the gratification of helping someone.
As for taking away points, again I would make it a two coin thing nothing to worry about. Also remember there is no way the system can check if you summarized what you learned, it will just check that a post had been left. Also if you're fluent or comfortable enough to have a chat, leaving a post is a breeze. The post is so the same question doesn't get asked over and over again and the discussion boards remain a repository of information. You wouldn't want the helper who is already generous enough to donate his or her time to further spend time recapitulating what was discussed or have to answer the question over and over again.
You make good points though, Duolingo could construct it such that modifications can be made over time when your concerns or others are realized.
**** I just thought of something maybe its better the informant does the summarizing that way he or she gets credit for having helped someone, with both names present. And the post could be something as easy as an edit of the chat itself. Once the question answered button gets pressed, the informant gets the chat transcribed into a post on the discussion board and just deletes superfluous text.
Hey, thanks for the reply :)
That's true, I guess if the reward is low enough greed won't really come into it, while it can still push some goodhearted people to get started as informants.
When it comes to punishments, even if they are very small they are usually interpreted psychologically quite negatively by those punished because it's taken as a signal they're doing something wrong. Or, as we humans have a tendency to muddle these things up, that something is wrong with them. And when they think that the punishment was unjust, even if it's small, they tend to react to that with frustration and possibly anger. So if there is even say a 5% risk of people being punished wrongly, I would guess that the system would do more harm than good. With the hearts during lessons I don't think we as users interpret it in the same critical way as punishments because we don't experience it as much as being something we have gained and "own" in the way we do coins, I believe. Therefore it's not as bad when people lose hearts for correct answers, though people certainly do even then get frustrated and angry. If you construe it as being a thing where you "pay" for the help to begin with and then have the opportunity of "gaining back" the coins by writing a summary we as users would probably not have a problem with that. But that would likely affect the informant-requester relationship in a detrimental way. The requester, who'd think they've "bought" a "service", would have quite different expectations on the informant and be less thankful than if the help was clearly a bonus made possible through the benevolence of the informant.
Your idea about giving the informant the opportunity to summarize the help for a little bit of "fame" and possibly another small coin reward, sounds really good. It would likely have all the benefits of the "punishment" scheme, lead to better phrased information being written down for the future, and avoids all the possible pitfalls I tried to outline above. I half did it just because I found it interesting to think about to tell the truth :) Good job!
The chat rooms could have levels and "special bonuses" for people (native/advanced speakers) willing to help improve the level of beginners and intermediate to advanced learners.
It could be a new twist on the pen pal idea. Pen pals for the digital generation :)
I doubt it will happen, as people would be much more interested in talking to and translating each other rather than translating the documents in "Immersion" - which, though disguised, is really the priority for Duolingo.
I don't think chat rooms would take away from, Immersion time, because if your learning a new language you're no where near being able to chat. Chatting is fast paced, you really need to know a language to be able to chat. Now if you could chat you would still go to the Immersion section because thats were learning new words takes place and is easy and accessible. It somewhere you can go to calmly review sentences, hover over unknown words, make sense of the words and the sentence, and in the end make a difference. The chat rooms would only be a solidification of words you know, not a learning experience for new ones and thats what we are all here to do. Plus chat rooms would bring in people who already know the language and while their here they can do some translations.
I agree on everything besides not learning vocab. Talking to natives or near natives really helps because that way you learn phrases and colloquials that are used in real life. Plus, if there are words you don't know, I'm sure most users will be nice enough to answer any questions you have.
If your at a high level thats true, but again chatting is too fast paced. You're not going to learn a word from being told and then you continue your conversation and your focus switches to the subject at hand. Plus there will rarely be any native speakers, this a community of learners.
What I would actually be in favor of over chat rooms are different language message boards. Then you in a much more slower conversation with hundreds of people and you can chime in or not and take your time with it. But still, learning new word would be much more efficient through the Immersion section.
You're right, it is too fast paced. There are a lot of native speakers, but they are obviously not here to learn their own language. Perhaps the chat system could offer a reward in return for chatting with learners studying your native language?
I like your suggestion, but I think it would be good to have both because the fast paced nature of chatting will really help enforce our vocab and sentence structuring abilities. If you're on a board, you have a lot of time to construct a well-thought out reply, time which you wouldn't have in real life. Beginners and intermediates could possibly use these boards and, when they think they're ready, they could graduate to the chatrooms.
If you got an hour to spare. Check out my thoughts on a reward system, I post two weeks ago.
Video chat : http://www.duolingo.com/#/comment/516891
Message Boards : http://www.duolingo.com/#/comment/521588
I'm definitely for chat rooms, I said that since the beginning, which is why I was contradicting your point that it wouldn't happen because it would take away from Immersion, so Duolingo wouldn't do it. For me Duolingo would want to have it so it give user or would be users even more reason to stay or come in.
I don't know if this was posted before tyrrhena's suggestion, but if their idea for being able to hover over words to see their meaning was implemented then users would definitely be able to easily learn a lot of new vocabulary through chatting.
I would think that such a implementation would bog down the website, plus it would only be useful to people that are very fluent who could at that rare moment ask each other what the word ment. If you are having to look up a word for every few sentences, your're not in the position to first of all carry on a conversation and secondly you don't have time to learn the word if you're actively carrying on a conversation. The immersion area is the perfect place to sit and absorb information at your pace.
I think a discussion board of different languages would be good for lower to mid range learners and the more fluent guys can use the chat rooms which at that point doesn't need the hover program.
However I may be wrong and Duolingo with your suggestion can research it.
I agree. The Immersion though is the one of the reasons why Duolingo is free. If we added chat rooms we might have to pay fees...
there is a website called interpals.net it has helped me a lot, you find yourself pen pals who speak the language and you develop your speaking and reading through conversation,I joined 4 days ago and I have 2 pen pals who are helping me learn and I have learnt so much in 4 days it just makes me feel a lot more comfortable speaking in spanish. I hope I have helped :) Also they have forums so you can attempt to set up a chat room.
Personally, I think that the best way to learn a foreign language is to speak it as much as you can (preferably with native speakers). As I experienced, a lot of people learn grammar well and have a pretty decent vocabulary, but still when engaged in a real conversation they can understand much more than they can say. This is why I think that the chat rooms are actually a necessity. You need to be able to practice the knowledge that you have. Obviously, beginners and basic users don't need them but for intermediate and advanced users chat rooms are a natural next step in the learning process. Speaking allows users to get more comfortable and confident in communication and it is also a great way to practice pronunciation.
we could always just start a chat room on IRC for beginner/intermediate/advanced for each language until duolingo adds that feature, if they do.
100% agree, I really want to practice by just chatting but know I'm not good enough to pester my spanish speaking friends just yet.
Please add, it would be good to practice language with someone you know or someone else on Dulingo.
Yes especially if you could 'mouse over' the words to get translations for any words you might not know. You could learn a lot just by sitting and chatting. I do think though that you should have to get to a certain level first though before you're given access. Nobody wants to hear 20 users talking about how their blue horse eats rice because that's all they can say! Also you want to make sure the language is being spoken correctly.
Maybe instead of giving access only from a certain level upwards there could be different Chats for each few Levels. For example, at Level 1, 5, 9, 14, 19, 24 you get Access to a new chat. This way the lower Level users can also practice while chatting.
I think there could be two types of chat: normal chat and random chat. In normal chat, people can chat with whoever they want. In random chat, Duolingo system will match you with a random person near your level. There could be chat rooms too.
And for people like me, all we can talk is: Me : " i am a girl" ... other person " i am a boy" ..... and some universal language codes - ":P .... :D "
Oh, come on. Surely you can tell us about your horse that eats rice, your cat that drinks milk, and "We are turtles!".
We can tell the epic tale of the insect who fell into the sugar :) (for all you Italian learners)
Good Idea, but you could have a chat for each section or two like but Basics 1+2 s a chat room
This would be awesome. But I think Duolingo is more concerned about getting enough people to start translating in the "Immersion" section...
Funny, I just sent a feature request to them about the same idea, specifically to have chat areas for people learning the same language and at the same level (e.g. I could practice realtime with other people currently at Level 12 French). Who knows if it will happen.
This is a really awesome idea. I'd love to see this integrated into Duo.
In the meantime, there is the option of simply starting IRC channels. It's really easy to do. Instructions on how to use IRC and create your own channel can be found here. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-create-your-own-irc-chat-channel/
It wouldn't allow for neat features like hover over, and it would be a lot more work to start chats for different levels, but it would be a great thing to have until Duo can add chat.
Just to try it out, I started the channel DuolingoSpanish on the Serenia network.
I love that idea because where I live I don't know any one I can talk too in Spanish. With chat rooms people can practice there language by doing something other than a lesson. I also like the idea of being able to hover over words you don't know.
I know a site (Not very good) that has a chat implemented already. Cool part? I was able to learn Extremely Basic Portuguese using that way.
I was thinking the same and writing a post on italian duolingo page! So, waiting for a chatroom, I'm coming here to read native english conversations, because chatting language is also important. Don't you think?
That would be really awesome as we need such chat rooms and maybe even we can add friends and have like "Voice chat" with them!
Dei dell'Olimpo, I literally just sent a suggestion to duolingo about implementing this! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this!