Certificate & Level Equivalency to other Standards
Duolingo just came out with their certificate a few days ago, and I wanted to add my two cents. I hope in the future there is some sort of guideline to how the certificate is equivalent to other sorts of tests.
In spanish I'm at: level 19 (but not done with the tree) have finished a 300 level course in Spanish at a University. and have received a 3.58/5.0 on the certificate test yesterday
By now I can have comfortable conversations, have friends that only speak in Spanish and watch tv shows and understand everything.
I'd really like to hear what everyone else's experiences are with the certificate levels.
I think its too early to rate that. First of all you have formal training, actual face time with other learners or spanish speakers, and perhaps other influence which would affect your proficiency.
The only way to address that without nuisance factors, would be to teach people with no knowledge of a language, and no other means of learning it using either DuoLingo or Formal training, and then assessing the results using both formal and DuoLingo tests.
Unfortunately, for now at least, DuoLingo's data seems to be locked away, making independent studies problematic, unless researchers generate their data using their study as a primary data source.
If I ever get really, really curious about my level of proficiency, I'll take a stroll down the street to the Goethe Institut and take their test. Nice folks, moderately good coffee.
But I'm pretty happy with Duo and with my own progress – so I doubt I'll feel like I need external validation any time soon. :-)