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Setting goals really helped my language learning!

I am making this post to encourage the duo community to set goals for their language learning. I know we are not all goal oriented people but I believe goals are important so you know where you're going or at least that you're going somewhere. I set a goal a couple of weeks ago to get a hundred tokens a day by practicing old skills and learning news ect. This helped my language learning so much. I went from slacking off and barley getting anything done to kicking butt and taking names. So I was so excited when I seen my progress ,that was a result of my goals, that I wanted to encourage you guys to set some goals of your own. Thank you to those who read this like this or comment. I hope it helps someone out.

August 12, 2013



On Duolingo, the only daily goal I have is to keep my streak going. (It only got reset recently because I was gone this weekend, and missed a day.) I don't just stop with one or two practices, though. I do more practice if I feel I need it, or move on to a new lesson if I feel I have a pretty good grasp of things so far. Getting at least 100 coins a day sounds like a good thing to do, though. Especially since I usually get around there anyway. Sometimes less, sometimes more.

My goals are a little more long term than that, though. I want to be able to read Harry Potter in German for one, ever since I saw they had it in the bookstore here. I also want to be able to read articles and not have to look up every single word. To watch tv shows without having to guess the entire story from the body language of the characters. I want to be able to speak with a German friend, and not make a complete fool of myself. I want to know the language.


Be careful with coins/day goals because as you progress through the tree this can get increasingly more difficult. Some days I'm gust glad I can keep my streak alive by completing one full review or lesson. I do try and complete something outside of Duo every day as well. Listening, reading, writing, anything.


That is an excellent point!


This is really great idea and an awesome way to get people motivated about learning a language. I give two thumbs up! :)


Yes, I set goals each day to learn two lesson on the weekday and do 5 practice lessons. On the weekends I set goals to do one practice lesson. I think it might change after I am not busy with school.


I have been confined with health issues for the past month, and Duolingo has been my saviour. i initially set a goal of 100+ coins a day for reviewing Spanish, and then added French about two weeks ago with the same goal of completion. I 'm now supplementing my Duolingo Spanish with lessons from Babbel, and I plan to have built some solid skills in what otherwise could have been a very boring time.


This is really nice idea! I don't have my lessons scheduled as others. I do what I feel like doing that day, but want to keep my strike going and my tree whole gold :) I don't set any goals of how much should I practice. I have strong motivation to refresh and expand my skills because I want to go to Germany next year, but need to pass my language test first :) I think perspective of travel and possibility of staying longer abroad keeps me work with Duolingo more than fixed goals. But I need to confess that I am a bit lazy with French, since there is no such motivation and this is language that doesn't come easy to me... Good luck everyone! PS. I need to say that Duolingo is first tool that helps me to get rid of my most common English mistake with using "then" where "than" should be used.


"Then" vs. "than" is a problem for many native English speakers, too.


really? I don't think so - the words sound a bit alike but otherwise have very little to do with each other


I like that this is a behavior goal instead of an achievement goal. I see plenty of people say they want to learn 100 words a day and so forth. I have problems with that. I can't control how well I'll retain 100 words in a day, but I can control how often I come practice, or how many coins I earn.


Exactly. A good rule of thumb is to make your goals actions-oriented instead of results-oriented. The former you can control, the latter you can't.


I aim to get at least 10 tokens per day, in each language I'm learning (I plan to add Spanish tomorrow). How much above that I do depends on the amount of time I can allocate to the task, and also what tasks I am doing. Other day-to-day goals I incorporate into my use of Duolingo are:

  • Translate one "Immersion" article every even-numbered levels from level 4 onwards
  • Get at least 10 correct answers in the timed practice, on days where I do it (if I make good progress learning new material, I skip it for a day)
  • Do specific vocabulary exercises on any word I get wrong more than once in a given day, on the day that I make the errors
  • Vocabulary exercise any word reaching "Overdue" status in the Vocabulary exercise, whether prompted to practice it or not

I also have out-of-program goals involving working through other materials I have available to me, and am trying to get to a stage where I could take GCSE Italian (a course which I understand would be feasible with the level of understanding Duolingo provides).


Any other ideas for goals? I really want to become trilingual and the more motivated I am, the more I'll learn!


Setting a number of tokens you want to reach every day and also a number of new lessons you want to learn each week are the two main goals I set for myself. I also have the goal of being level 25 by the end of december. I also try to keep the strength levels of all of my former lessons up all the way so before I start any new lessons I always check to see if any old lessons need revision or any specific vocabulary words. Another goal I set is to practice the language daily outside of duolingo and to learn outside of duolingo which I usually use Youtube as a second recourse to learn vocabulary/grammar rules/word phrases. One goal I do not have set but I think could be useful is to have a set number of new phrases you want to learn each week. I say this because when you start to learn at first phrases may seem mechanical but as you use them more and start to understand how they are assembled you can manipulate them into new sentences.


That's an excellent point. I know it is important to practice the language outside of Duolingo, and I am in search of other resources. You mention Youtube; is there any specific channel or types of videos you recommend?


I am learning german so I don't know of any good French channels, But this channel that I use for german has a couple videos for French.-http://www.youtube.com/user/magauchsein. I have many German channels though and to find them I just type in things like learn German or German phrases or German cartoons. You could do the same for French or any language. There are many people on Youtube eager to help you learn in almost any language.


Thank you so much! That was very helpful. Off to Youtube I go.


What a great idea! Thanks for the suggestion! :)


Wow! Thank you to all of you who have liked and commented the last two days! I am glad to see some of you already have set goals for your language learning and to also see some of you inspired to set goals. Das ist sehr cool! Keep up the language learning and encouraging each other.


I decided to set a goal; because up until now I've only practised when I've felt like it, which makes it very easy to put off. So I've changed that and now practice every day regardless of what mood I'm in. But now I'm finding that I am going to fast, duolingo seems to think I've learnt words but I can't remember them at all :( Has anyone else had this? I'm realising now that slow and steady might yield better results.


I feel the same sometimes. At that point I stop learning new lessons for a couple of days and focus on my old lessons that I know that aren't as good as the others, also I search for vocabulary that I remember always forgetting and practice them several times over saying them aloud and spelling them maybe even making a little jingle in my head. I like relating it to another word I know or it reminds me of. This attaches that word to a memory that is already stuck in your brain. This is why I use Youtube because when I see someone use the word I can relate that word to the imagine in that video and remember the word because I have imagery to relate it too.


To study you weakest words one at a time ,like I like to do, click on vocabulary tab then click on the strength at the top above your words and it will sort them weakest to strongest.


I've also had that problem of DL thinking I know words I don't know. I've studied Spanish in the past, so I was able to test out of the first 6 levels. But I noticed it kept telling me I had strengthened words that never showed up in the quiz and that I'm not familiar with. It is tedious and redundant to try to go back and practice one word at a time, or to practice the whole lesson where only one word is unfamiliar.
Is there some way to make a list of words and get random practice sentences for that list?


There isn't a feature for that but you can always write down a list of words you noticed that you struggle with and go to vocabulary and practice them. You can look it as being tedious but when you practice a word in vocabulary they put them in sentences that help you learn your other vocabulary words as well. For example I just did this with "Wann" the German word for where and I practiced it, but it gave me the sentence "Wann ist die Hochzeit" which is - when is the wedding. I was unfamiliar with the word wedding but through practicing "Wann" I also got the chance to practice "Hochzeit".


Good insight. Thanks!


I've found my goal was too steep for me (and when I added languages I wanted to play with it kept the same goal per language which is what's thrown it over the top. I can't seem to find though where I can reset my goal. Any pointers?


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