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'Words' list and spaced repetition

I recently came back to Duolingo after taking an almost 1-year hiatus while the 'Vocabulary' tab was under construction. I'm thrilled that it's back, but I'm seeing a few issues that I don't remember seeing before.

1) When I go to the 'Words' tab immediately after doing (and finishing) an untimed "Strengthen Skills", sometimes there are words that I practiced that are still marked as having not been seen for a year. I'm talking the EXACT word - same verb tense, same noun gender, etc., as the one I just saw 30 seconds prior. I rely heavily on the 'Words' tab to find words I need to practice, and this is really throwing me off.

2) There are some words marked as having not been seen in a year, which I definitely believe I haven't seen in a year. I'm trying SO hard to get these to show up in practice sessions, because it's important to me to see them in a variety of contexts, and when I'm not wholly expecting them, so it forces me to invoke the recall part of my brain. It's not ideal to just hover over the word and see the definition, of which there are sometimes 10 to 15. However, even if I go to the specific lesson where one of these older words was introduced, and do a "Strengthen Skills" session there, these words do not show up for me, even after 10+ times doing those practice sessions. I will see the same words over and over again, quite often with the entire session testing only words that already had a full strength bar. I swear 'manzana' comes up at least once per practice session. I know Duolingo uses spaced repetition and I've seen the posts that say to "keep trying", but it really seems like there could be room for improvement here. Surely 2-year-old words can be more heavily weighted to show up than the word that shows up 10 or 20 times per day.

Thanks for everything you guys do!

January 5, 2015


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