New kind of question--using only language being learned
This is a suggestion for a new kind of item where, instead of translating from English to the language you are learning or vice versa, you are required (if you are learning Spanish) to answer a Spanish question with a Spanish answer. It would probably have to be multiple choice. The Correct answer could be either the only one that appropriately answers that specific question. For instance, if the question asks about the weather today, the wrong answers might be about the time of day or what you're doing, and the correct answer would tell about the weather. OR perhaps all three answers have the right content, but only one is grammatically correct. A variation would be: Duolingo gives an answer, and the learner has to pick the appropriate question for that answer out of three choices. Example. In the language being learned, the item says, "It's raining". You pick the right question for that answer: 1: What are you wearing? 2. Where are you going? 3. How's the weather there?
Any interest in this?
This is not just a good idea, it is critical. When speaking a second language people are not constantly translating back to their first language. So the Duolingo model is limited in this way and may actually impede your language learning in the long run.
True immersion doesn't involve translating to English - in fact it is the opposite. It is working completely in the language. What you suggest could be a first step in improving Duo to be a really effective language learning tool.
I have learnt other languages before. I remember the first moment when I caught myself thinking in another language - it was very surreal! From that moment it fed on itself, English was no longer needed and the learning accelerated. And although I enjoy Duo and thank them all for their time and effort in providing this, this is not possible with Duo in it's current format.
I've always wondered why Duolingo didn't have any kind of task based learning and stuck to translations only. I have seen this in Fluencia (which unfortunately is not free and only teaches Spanish), but it has the question/answer system the original poster was speaking of.
I woke up thinking completely in Spanish this morning without even trying and it was very surreal! Your post reminded me of it. I almost want to say it was magical.
Before you can think in another language, you need to know what the words mean. I would as a learner find it too difficult to have to do this and give up, I would like to build up to it, but not rewrite what we already do. You have to start somewhere and Duolingo is very effective and very fun.
Wow! What great support for this idea. Can we get it considered for possible implementation by the fantastic Duolingo team? Possibly along with some of the good ideas in the related discussion cited below by Dessamator. I'm really grateful for Duolingo. It's the only thing that's gotten me to study Spanish daily! So not at all asking for a program re-do or creation of whole new trees, but for the addition of a new kind of question item that requires thinking in the language being learned.
Absolutely, great idea. Maybe this is only for non beginners. I think it could be done with multiple question types: multiple choice for intermediate proficiency, and typed answers for advanced proficiency.
For multiple choice questions that test grammar, the answers should all use the same vocabulary and the changes should only be grammatical. For questions that test vocabulary, all answers should have correct grammar and should vary only by vocabulary. Etc.
This is exactly what Rosetta Stone does, and it works very well. I've never understood why so many people like to bash RS. Anyway, these kinds of exercises would be a great addition to Duolingo. In fact, the translation-only approach is one of the things I hate about Duolingo. You never actually get to use the language you're learning. Task-based language learning is a lot more conducive to becoming conversational than learning through translation.
I don't understand either. I started with RS, and am currently on Level 4. Even though I use Duolingo now, I still plan on finishing all 5 levels of RS. You really can't say one is any better than the other... they are two totally different ways of learning a language. They are both awesome!
Whatever helps you reach your learning goals is awesome and good for you! I used it briefly a few years ago, when they used to offer it from my library. It is a good program, But it is not the only resource for learning. I get unlimited sessions at my favorite M Mexican restaurant with my server/native coach, and my food and the company is well worth the cost.
Of course, having to write out the answers in the language would be the most effective for learning, though more difficult to administer because of multiple possible correct answers. Alternatively, though, you might have as the answer choices 3 recorded answers in the language being learned. The tests would take longer because we would have to listen to all three selections, but I think our listening comprehension would increase faster.
One of the dangers of multiple choice questions is that we go into "test" mode, sometimes inebriated by the quest for points rather improving our language skills. With most of the multiple choice questions currently presented, all one needs to do is look at the picture to get the answer. Once again, though, MEGA KUDOS for a fantastic learning tool. Being able to learn from each other through translating the articles is a wonderful idea.
excellent idea. put it more at the end of the tree, so that you already have a decent vocabulary when you get there, and then just go to town. beaing a native portuguese speaker and being fluent in english, i know that the key to learn another language is to THINK in that language, if anything because it's way faster than translating every sentence you see or hear
If you google "apprendre francais," you will find tons of websites in French geared to helping people learn French as a second language. These may offer more of the immersion style that you are looking for and I imagine you will get the same results if you search for "learn [insert language]" for any other language, in that language. If you search for "Learn German," you're (unsurprisingly) going to get results geared toward English-speakers.