Why you should keep up a streak
1.) It's a good motivator.
- Keeping up a streak can force you to keep going, meeting your daily goal even when you may not feel like it. In the long run, it is a far more effective mode of encouragement than other methods. I find myself persevering through a tough lesson after a long day just to continue my streak.
2.) It's a status symbol on Duolingo
- People with 300+ day streaks are part of the Duolingo elite, and their comments and words have more importance, as they should. If you like the discussions, then shooting for a really long streak can have the added benefit of increasing your street cred!
3.) You get the added benefit of lingots
- For every 10 days you complete, Duo will give you a lingot. While this may not seem like a lot, by day 80, you will get 8 lingots.
4.) It's fun
- Last but not least, keeping up a streak really is enjoyable. If you are a person like me that has a tendency to become really engrossed in things, then after a few days of maintaining the streak, it will become quite fun. It's sort of like exercising: after you get the habit, it's actually very enjoyable (at least that's what I've heard :) ).
I hope I persuaded some people to join the way of the streak!
In one hand it's kind of true, in the other hand - I lost my streak few days ago due to some "time" issues, and therefore I couldn't get motivation for another day or two, because I was doing the streak from the very beginning again. So, the conclusion is, if you keep up your streak, everything is ok, but if you lose it accidentally, well, then you're lost ;)
Agreed. I fell into the mistake of making it a point to maintain the streak when I first began, and it felt like it had sucked all of the joy out of language-learning, as I was doing it because I needed to rather than simply because I wanted to. It was actively working as a demotivator! Fortunately, I identified that quickly enough. :)
It also compels you to use Duolingo daily (forgetting freezes or whatever they're called), which is definitely an inconvenience at best! I have a very significant streak with language study, but a lot of (well, almost all by this point) my language study is outwith Duolingo.
My best motivator is simply the experience of observing increasing understandings in structures and concepts in the language, and being able to express myself ever more eloquently (or ineloquently, when it suits :P). Seeing progress manifested as progress, rather than a number on a screen, suits me best. :)
Well, I don't think it's a mistake early on, it gets you into the habit of coming back day after day. Up until a couple days ago I had a healthy streak, and then fell short because I chose a rare opportunity to hang out with a friend rather than tear away for 10-20 minutes that night. During that streak I kept coming back to Duo daily, even when I tried out other mechanisms. It has really proved the point to me that sticking to something and doing it daily will do more for my language ability than flirting with a dozen things that might be "better" (and spending more time researching that than on language learning...).
TLDR; building the habit is important early on.
Apologies - it was a mistake for me personally; I don't mean to imply, of course, that it's a mistake for people in general. For many people, it would seem to be very valuable. I only share my own piece on it so that those who feel similarly can more easily identify it - it was very much a subconscious demotivator at first, which took some time to identify. :)
I think building the habit is essential, but a daily streak centred around a single website is too inflexible in too many ways for me. You could use a streak site like Lift.do for more flexibility if you like the mechanic (assuming you have the personal responsibility not to lie to yourself), should you too find the mechanic too inflexible. Such sites allow streaks based on habits formed over certain days of the week, rather than requiring inflexible input every single day, and can also be used to easily account for when study occurs via any other medium outwith Duolingo.
I agree with everything except point 3. I've been on this site for 5 days now and I have 47 Lingots. Looking in the shop, there's nothing I particularly want to spend them on. The only thing is the extra skills. I bought one of those a couple of days ago and found it a little disappointing, as well as a little too advanced for where I am now.
I think the idea of Lingots is good, but as it stands, I'm struggling to see the point of them.
I find them useful in heart refill and streak freeze... We have our different needs; someone who is always on the go and wants to keep up a streak when they aren't able to study would find them very useful.. But if you don't need them, kudos to you :), but at least they're there for those that do. They've saved me a nice number of times.
I would like to add that the longer streak you get, the more motivation is there to continue it. You have made more effort already, and you feel like you owe your former self not to screw all that up. It's crazy addictive, like developing a character in MMO. Great motivational tool, like all the gamification in the Duo.
People with 300+ day streaks are part of the Duolingo elite, and their comments and words have more importance.
I wouldn't say that, necessarily. My comments were more important than anyone else's long before I got to 300 days. :)
Seriously though, I agree with the whole post. I find my streak to be very fulfilling, and a great source of motivation to continue practicing. Nice thread!
My condolenses, but I think that I would have done the same (trying to keep my streak). My dog passed away this weekend and that loss is as huge as loosing a human family member for me. Maintaining the streak allows me to have a constant in my life. Hope you can cope with your situation and all the best to you.
I just lost my 281 day streak. It is heart-breaking! I was so looking forward to 365. I honestly thought I practiced Saturday, guess I was wrong. And I'm kicking myself for not having a freeze in the bank. Oh well... I guess this is not the worst thing in the world :)
I definitely won't be taking the streak very seriously in the future.
Wow. That hurts. I just lost 20 and I am freaking out. I don't want the behavior to become addictive so it is humbling and perhaps for the best. I wrote down my 20 in my diary and will keep adding it to whatever streak I can get. Because quite frankly I must have signed off too early by a few minutes, I am pretty sure I did my regular time. ( minus a few secs). perhaps it was DL glitch!
After reading all the way down to your posting in this Discussion, I found your words more comforting than all the others above! I lost my 50-day streak a couple of hours ago (like you, time just got by me) when the bewitching hour hit midnight on the "Streak Clock". And even though I realized my mistake just 20 minutes later at 12:20 a.m., according to all the postings in this forum, I'm in the same predicament as you and so many others: It's simply gone.
And, like you, I did not have a freeze in the bank, even with a large number of lingots to spend. I made the mistake of not paying enough attention to the freeze feature, mainly because I never understood its purpose ... until now.
Your concluding remark, as the other comments in your posting, "Oh well ... ", and your strreak being so much longer than mine, helped me realize, too, that it's not the worst thing in the world.
Thanks a bunch!
That's not entirely true. The subject here is the streak, not the learning.
You can keep your streak for the whole month of vacation by doing everyday one timed practice where you answer one single question from lesson one, then quit. User: one point. At the end you got 30 days more, and you have forgotten everything beyond lesson one (OK pushing things a little here).
I agree that practicing every day (or almost every day) is the best way to reinforce your new language skills. I also try to make sure my strength bars are always full - I'll strengthen existing skills before moving on to any new ones.
One great use of the lingots is to buy a streak freeze for those days when you just don't get to it. I always try to have one in credit because some days you just don.t manage to practice. I lost my streak when I traveled for a month round Italy recently and didn't practice, but before then I had a great streak going. Every one in a while I'd miss a day but it didn't matter because my streak freeze covered it. And once you get over a hundred days spending 10 lingots every once in a while to keep the streak going is worth it.
I almost lost my streak a couple of times, but I managed to get in even just the bare minimum every day, which still is giving my brain an excuse to think in another language. It's definitely worth it, and I wouldn't have come as far as I have without that daily motivator. Woot for the streak!
Streak is such a great idea, by which you can at least see the difference between you and the other learners, I am on 78 as you can all see but still very ambitious. And yeah that is true for those who say it pushes you up coz I started as a kidding with Spanish but now I speaking it, well not that fluent but I am proud of what I am doing.
Duo, I give you 5 stars out of 5.
I think I am one of those rare people who enjoy learning for the sake of the joy of learning. In other words, I am in this to learn a language not to get streaks or collect lingots. Honestly, if I practise every day for a hundred days and then I happen to miss a day then I am just not going to beat myself up about it. I will just be looking forward to getting back to my language when I get the first opportunity, which includes listening to the radio and podcasts, reading books, having conversations and anything else that is involved in language learning. So if I miss a day then I am probably doing one of these other things. I am actually surprised at how many people only use Duolingo to learn a language. Is there some kind of mass app addiction going on? Personally I wish I could switch off all of the distracting features so I could get on with what the app is supposed to be there for.
I live in New York City which is Eastern Standard Time, with Daylight Savings Time in the summer. I find that I have 24 hours, which corresponds to the calendar day. I'm not sure if it's the calendar day in other time zones, but I'm pretty sure everyone has 24 hours. Duolingo sends me a reminder at 7PM if I haven't yet completed my daily requirement. Good luck!
The 24-hour window is according to the time zone of the device you are using, but your lesson completion data is stored as absolute time. In my experience, when your device changes time zones, your steak is recalculated according to that new time zone, so you can either lose your steak or have it diminished. I think if it is changed back, the steak returns, but I'm not sure.
For instance, if you did a practice in California at 11pm and then moved to Texas, which is 2 hours ahead, Duo now calculates that practice at having been at 1am, so you no longer have a completed practice for that previous day, and the streak is broken.
This is my guess based on what I've seen. I don't know for sure.