Exercises one sided?
I've started on the Spanish and am finding it leaves me with many 'gaps'. If I see the spanish word I can recognise it because of the tasks incorporated in the learning, plenty of activities give a list of easy words to chose from (this is not aiding my learning). Very few activities require me to see the english and actively think and type the spanish. Therefore how when I am in a situation and I want to speak spanish will the words form sentences when I know in english what I want to be said?
Does this ratio change as I progress?
I am a visual learner as well so I think I need to see the words side by side for comparison (a table would help in this).
Does anybody else feel similar?
The exercises are weighted towards translating Spanish to English instead of English to Spanish. This is an unfortunate shortcoming of duolingo.
Luckily you are not restricted to just Duolingo in your language learning. Duo is especially good at exposing you to grammar concepts and building your vocabulary. Many people have started using other materials that do focus on construction, conjugation, and other aspects that they feel are lacking. This Duo wiki page has a long list of resources that might be up your alley. For someone at the beginner level who wants to practice generating Spanish, I recommend games on 123 Teach Me, verb drills on StudySpanish and Conjuguemos, and the vocabulary practice on SpanishSpanish. You may also want to try talking to some English learners via Skype or Whatsapp--the "Ingles desde Español" forum is always full of people looking for partners.
Don't forget that you can generate your own Spanish sentences. Write your Facebook updates in Spanish! Talk to your dog in Spanish! Label everything around your house in Spanish! Don't stop when you can't think of the exact word, just talk around it or say it in English. As you've learned, a good many words are very similar in English and Spanish. So do as my Spanish teacher recommends and say the English word in a Spanish accent--it's right more often than it's hilariously wrong.
All humans learn language by taking in first and creating second. Duo is only the first step--but you can take many, many more!
Thank you. I studied spanish in school and therefore feel comfortable with pronunciation, though duolingo it is jogging my memory. I struggle when the words mutate as I don't feel that the app explains them clearly enough. Im a structured learner and I think your right in saying I need other resources, thank you for all the great links. Im a learner that needs a physical book to learn from because I have a photographic memory (and text on a screen I find I cant recall so well) so have bought the Open university book and cd Portales to see if this will help.