What are there little blue spiral books with numbers on that that are appearing on lessons I've already completed?
Duo redid the Spanish (and I think German) trees recently and added more lessons to some of the sections. New lessons do not open up in previously-completed sections as you progress through the tree in the general course of things. (Although if you go back and practice old lessons, Duo incorporates the new tenses/vocab that you've learned into the practice sessions, so you use the old vocabulary in new sentences and in new ways).
I understand probably 70-95% percent, depending on the topic being discussed and my familiarity with it and the related vocabulary, and TV is easier to understand than the radio because there's visual cues. But I do things outside of Duo (read, write, watch TV, listen to music) and I took some Spanish in college before starting Duo. I went through the Spanish tree here mostly as a refresher/vocab expander and to see how the site worked before I started a language from scratch (Portuguese).
Roger that. I actually started with more knowledge of Portuguese (from having Brazilian friends) but it was limited and 10 years old. I started learning Spanish over a year ago. it might even be over a year and a half. I'm in the AF and i've had access to all sorts of programs. I go hot and cold with this stuff so I have stretches with no studying. I'm starting to hear bits and pieces on the radio and on TV. When I'm out I can often understand Spanish people when there communicating about something but in in a conversational sense. Like when the movers where at my house and they would talk about moving something, i could understand. This is my favorite program and it's good to know what I have to look forward too! Thanks for the info!