https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry

Please Scrap the Fluency Shield

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I've made a post about the fluency shield before. Loads of other people also have. So I apologise up front if this thread seems spammish. I just want the good folks at Duolingo to know how I (we?) feel.

PLEASE SCRAP THE FLUENCY SHIELD.

It doesn't actually seem to tell us anything useful. It doesn't seem to relate to your language progress in any meaningful way.

The old "You can now read XX% of all real written LANGUAGE" worked better.

3 years ago

93 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

Have to agree. If they are going to have such a thing then there ought to be a test that accurately measures one`s fluency, if such a thing is possible. The fluency shield is misleading and confusing especially to new users. Ban the Shield!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisZamenhof

There is no way to determine a user's fluency in a language with a few written questions.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beadspitter

I would agree, in that for me it's become deadspace on my screen. I don't look at it, I don't use it, I just scroll around it as meaningless. It's essentially a blank spot. As such, it doesn't especially upset me, but I'd just as soon the space was used for something I cared about.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Ditto.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KyledelPue
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I agree. For example, I can read and get the basic idea of something in Portuguese but I cannot understand anything in spoken Iberian/European Portuguese. I tried listening to a newscast but I only could identify a single word "amanha" (tomorrow). Esperanto lacks a fluency shield I believe.

Also, your thread didn't look like spam at all.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/golicar
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I am a native Portuguese speaker (Brazilian) and I tell you, if you're studying Brazilian Portuguese, you're definitely going to have a lot of trouble understanding the European one. Even we Brazilians have sort of a hard time understanding it at times. I know that's not the point of your comment or of the discussion as a whole, but I thought it would be worth saying. I suggest you focus either on Brazilian or European portuguese, for learning both at once might be arduous.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IAmJon
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I saw some people being interviewed in French with written subtitles on the bottom of the screen yesterday. Like you, I understood about one word. This is despite being on Duo for about 2 years and having 61% on the shield. The shield really is meaningless. Still it is really disheartening to still be struggling with spoken French after all this time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aminowrimo
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I can understand most of what is said on TV when it's subtitled, and sometimes when it isn't. But, I've been using Duo for French for 2.5 years, on and off, I listen to a ton of French music, and I'm currently in France and have been using the language intensively for 4-7 hours a day for the past week. Before this, I could understand much more slowly. The Duo shield says I am at 58% fluency. I don't understand how it conuts this!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lolaphilologist
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Wheras I lived in France, am fluent enough to understand most spoken French, finished my tree a long time ago and don't always practice it on Duolingo, but my shield says 43% fluent. I agree, it's a useless measure.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/F572D297

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Albrechtion
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Is there a way to make that permanent? Whenever I refresh, it comes back.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joee_young
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You can remove the whole box, every time you visit the page, by getting a browser extension. Just google "[your browser] custom javascript extension"

Then the code you want to add is:

<pre>var e = document.getElementsByClassName("fluency-container"); e[0].parentNode.parentNode.removeChild(e[0].parentNode); </pre>

This will always remove the entire white box within which the dreaded Fluency Shield is held, even if you refresh the page, and even if you restart your browser.

N.B. A good cjs extension for chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/custom-javascript-for-web/poakhlngfciodnhlhhgnaaelnpjljija

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trawetsxela

Sure. Grab my Userscript here -> http://bit.ly/1JrHyn8

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
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Is it still an A/B test? if so then they will decide off of their data. If it's not an A/B test anymore and everyone has, then I don't think they'll change it because of a few forum posts. They have whatever criteria that they have and it doesn't seem to include what people say in the discussions.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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It's not an A/B test anymore.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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That sucks.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susanna35
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I didn't think it was, because I wasn't in the testing phase. Maybe they think it looks nice. But it's meaningless. Doesn't bother me that much, though, because it doesn't really interfere with my learning.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/golicar
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What is A/B supposed to mean?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fdjfjks

sometimes called split testing is comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. You compare two web pages by showing the two variants (let's call them A and B) to similar visitors at the same time. The one that gives a better conversion rate, wins!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/golicar
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Thanks for the explanation!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fdjfjks

you are welcome :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aghork

It seems to be an A/B test because I do not have the shield. Or it applies only to certain languages and Swedish is not one of them (I reset all the progress on the others, to have less distractions and concentrate better on swedish). I have searched the whole site but no shields or fluency indicators. I fund by the way that I am missing the "Words" tab. Is it gone for good? I really would like to have it back...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
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There is no "fluency shield" or "words tab" at the moment for Swedish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OrangeJulius3

Irish does not have a Fluency Shield!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

Ah, the luck of the Irish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
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I would agree. I haven't even finished either the Portuguese from Spanish or the Portuguese from English trees, and they are respectively showing my fluency at 53 and 48 percent. I can really only manage anything in Portuguese by thinking of the Spanish, then converting it to Portuguese Meanwhile, my completed English from Spanish tree is only at 52 percent (due mostly to errors in SPANISH grammar) , while my Spanish from English is at 56 percent. Totally meaningless.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trawetsxela

Have it removed my friend. Utilize my userscript -> http://bit.ly/1JrHyn8

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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100 lingots to the first person who makes a userscript removing the fluency badge.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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You can get rid of it with Adblock Plus by labelling it as an ad.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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25 lingots for that trick :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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Oooh, thanks! If I would remember who mentioned it on here a few days ago, I would forward them to that user. As it is, I'll just keep distributing them to unsuspecting users and especially anyone who even vaguely supports a Finnish course. ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlynnCowan

I support a Finnish course! I love Finnish! Until then, Mondly is a good resource, you have to pay, but just use the code: MONDLY and it's free!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fdjfjks

I just found it where to put that code. just click shop in the top row a pop up window will open, look down left side there enter you code there. check here my screenshot http://s7.postimg.org/ny8zi86a3/Clipboard01.jpg

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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Haha, sure, you can have some lingots! I've had a look at Mondly (French and Russian), and was not particularly impressed. But I see why you would start using it for a language that isn't on Duolingo yet, such as Afrikaans.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonathangrant00
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I tried this but I couldn't find where to put the code in.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlynnCowan

In fact, Afrikaans is exactly what I am using Mondly for! I too believe it is not as good as many other sources, but it's the best free one for Afrikaans that I found.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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I know, I commented on that other thread you started :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jklingen
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This is a sign that we don't have enough things to use our ridiculous number of lingots on...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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Or a sign that I have way too many lingots... :P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob2042

What a nice program, thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Phiznlil

Oh yes: options -> add filter duolingo.com##.icon.icon-fluency-score

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joee_young
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You can remove the whole box, every time you visit the page, by getting a browser extension. Just google "[your browser] custom javascript extension"

Then the code you want to add is:

var e = document.getElementsByClassName("fluency-container"); e[0].parentNode.parentNode.removeChild(e[0].parentNode); This will always remove the entire white box within which the dreaded Fluency Shield is held, even if you refresh the page, and even if you restart your browser.

N.B. A good cjs extension for chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/custom-javascript-for-web/poakhlngfciodnhlhhgnaaelnpjljija

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Nice. I'll give one lingot, tho. :-D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trawetsxela

Just seeing your comment mate. I know we're way past that 100 lingots sweepstake and there's the adblock work-around but, since you mentioned "userscript", here you go - http://bit.ly/1JrHyn8

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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You just got 100 lingots :D Nice job!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trawetsxela

Thanks a lot man! When you have the time, you can also check out my latest userscript. It allows you to refund items purchased from the Lingot store -> http://bit.ly/1U2IrxS

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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Nice :) Thank you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FlynnCowan

I kinda like it... I can brag to my friends that I'm a whole 2% fluent in German

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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But bragging used to be better under the old system where I was 70 something %. Now I'm 55 :'-(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I'd rather see them make other improvements rather than take time to remove this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Agreed. But it wouldn't take long to remove it. And remember: they wasted time adding this in the first place. :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StrapsOption
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I agree, I don't think it's at all sensible at all. I still like the progress bar for the levels the most. Even if the levels don't make that much sense, I find it's much better motivation than the fluency shield. The points-per-day graph is good too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Definitely agree with you there.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlanMinjares
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I agree! :D I don't want to be misleaded with the shield, it's not accurate. I agree, it's useless.

Hope they decide to take it out soon. :D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tessroselli

I can see how the fluency shield could act as an encouragement - but only if it actually works! It does not seem to logically connect to one's progress. Mine started on 57%, and then gave me a fanfare and raised to 58%. That spurred me on to immediately do one more exercise - which I completed to gold - only for the shield to promptly return to 57%.

This exact same sequence has now happened THREE times. Make it work or get rid - because as it stands it it counterproductive and only produces frustration.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Absolutely my point... if it worked. Sadly, it doesn't seem to make any sense whatsoever. The old system was better.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aiigsh
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I have finished my spanish tree twice. Level 21 in Spanish. Fluency 4 % . The top third (hardest) is golden

I am not yet half way through the reverse tree. Level 9. Fluency 10 % Most lessons on just one strength bar. I wish it would go away or be more accurate. Taking the advice to ignore it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewViceroy

I noticed my Spanish Fluency shield went down from 57% to 54% suddenly last week. At one point, before I had finished my tree (I finished my tree several months ago), it was in the low 70s. It keeps going down. I was getting behind with my exercises last week, so I went through and totally caught up by doing all 30ish exercises over two days . Then I also went in and did some translations. Then I retook the 25 lingot "Spanish Quiz" and went up from a 3.96 (5 months ago) to a 4.41. In every case, I am faster (on the speed timings) and more accurate than ever. And yet... my Fluency shield is still at 54%!! It didn't budge after all that! What do I have to do to raise it higher?? It makes no sense. According to the Spanish Quiz, I should be at about 88%.

Here's a question: I often speed through the catch-up exercises and don't take the time to use punctuation and/or special characters with accents and tildes, etc., because it still gives me the points--is that what is effecting the Fluency percentage? Is there anywhere where they describe how it is actually determined?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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My point exactly. The fluency shield doesn't seem to relate to anything.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vrait
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While it may not be accurate, it does give incentive to gold skills. I actually like it being there.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Honestly, it doesn't give incentive. Whether 15 of my circles are not gold, or all are (bearing in mind I've completed the tree), it doesn't actually make a difference. It often goes DOWN when more are gold!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewViceroy

That's what I'm not understanding. Why does it keep going down the more I do and do better?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SteveLando
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I fully agree

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/puppychoo

the fluency shield doesn't really tell you how fluent you are in spanish, because we all know the truths of our own fluencies. So ya i agree, Bring down the fluency shield!!!!!!!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MacIomhair
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Perhaps it should simply be changed to "Course Completion"? Which is what it presumably is.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StrapsOption
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It actually takes into account how 'golded-up' one's tree is. For example, I'm finished my German tree, but a lot of it is not gold, so it's telling me I'm only 40% fluent.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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I only have a few units of my Portuguese tree done, and it is 45%. I have the whole Spanish tree done, it's 55%. Even when both are fully gold. ???

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StrapsOption
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Well if that's what's going on, I have no idea what their system is.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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It's definitely not crystal clear.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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So long as "course completion" means how many WORDS as well as modules you've done. Good idea.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fdjfjks

could not agree more , 100 agree with you. old one was much better

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Cheers for the moral support!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fdjfjks

Greeting from India :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrisse
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I guess it's appropriate now to write in ALL CAPS, our demands to the duolingo team.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KevanSF
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I love Duolingo and use it every day and am very thankful it exists and appreciate greatly all the work that the employees and volunteers have done and continue to do to make it a great place to learn languages.

I do not wish to appear negative about Duo in any way, but I would like to voice a suggestion to the powers that be—

Many of us here are linguists, and most of us love languages and words. Words have meaning and should be used accurately. A language learning site should be especially attentive to use words correctly, particularly words that pertain to language learning.

That said, Duo is not using "fluency" and "immersion" correctly.

The basic definition of "fluency" from the dictionary:

"the quality or condition of being fluent, in particular.

<pre>the ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately. the ability to express oneself easily and articulately." </pre>

Nothing we do on Duo can measure our ability to speak or write easily and accurately, nor to express ourselves easily and articulately. We are translating sentences, almost always fairly literally, and also listening to sentences in the target language and transcribing them. We are not generating sentences, either written or verbal. Also, fluency is an ability. One either possesses an ability or one does not. I question whether someone can have 44% of an ability. Could someone have 44% of the ability to safely and correctly perform a brain surgery?

In short, I feel that Duo is misusing the word "fluency," and should come up with a different measurement label.

Duo's use of "immersion" also bugs me because it is inaccurate. If you are taking an "immersion" class in a language, say French, only French is used in the class. The teacher says "hello, students" in French, picks up a book and says "this is a book" in French, etc etc. No English is used. By contrast, Duo's "immersion" is not immersion at all. It is translation.

(Basic dictionary definition of "immersion" as it pertains to language learning.)

"a method of teaching a foreign language by the exclusive use of that language, usually at a special school."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
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They should rename "Immersion" to "Translations". They say it in the URL.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jacobras
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It used to be named "Translations", that's probably why it's still in the URL.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Guilelmo
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This is no spam but seems perfectly reasonable to me. Having a socalled fluency of 60% in Italian I nonetheless am not really able to talk fluently. So this should be replaced by some progress helper like a watch that measures your time spent on learning (which might be a stronger motivation anyway). So - have a lingot or two for well placed criticism.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goran12
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I don't understand what either of the two metrics means. "You can now read XX% of all real written LANGUAGE" mimicked to mean something, though with that few words we learn in the tree, very few real articles (or articles here) could be completely translated, definitely less than the percentage given. In real translation you can deduce other words' meaning out of context, but this is hard to measure, knowing every word in the article is what I would expect.

I agree with KevanSF that the terms like "immersion" and "fluency" are used terribly by Duolingo. However, I'd suggest just renaming this metrics to something like "You have mastered XX% of LANGUAGE tree". I don't have much time for Duolingo nowadays so I usually do just a single timed practice a day, but decrease of the percentage in the shield really made me practice more today. The old percentage was useless at this kind of motivation (it motivated to make new lessons and learn more words instead). One summarized number motivates more than tens of skill statuses, especially when you have to make a lot of scrolling to see the deeper ones.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TaraMc4
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In truth I don't care about how accurate the naming of the shield is, I care that it is blimmin demoralising. I've completed about a third of the tree, I regold every day, I average 50 points a day and maybe get 4 or 5 wrong out of a potential 100 questions, I'm so set on learning and fixing the learning I've only progressed one section in the last 6 weeks preferring to review weak areas and yet some how I've watched my "fluency" drop systematically from 39% to 7% since the shield went active. I've just subscribed to babel for a year and it might be less "fun" but at least I don't feel like I am going backward.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eddie_Sammon
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Surely the concept of a fluency shield is good, it just needs improving?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Maybe. But please see other comments in this thread which refer to the misuse of the term "fluency".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pmagnuson
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Fluency shields should indeed be scrapped, because they do not mean anything. DL is very good in many ways - silly gimmicks that naysayers can point at as obviously meaningless are counter productive.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MKTanksley

It's actually really irritating, because every couple days/weeks it will tell me "You've achieved 54% fluency!!" and then the next day it's back to 53% again. It's worthless and hard to ignore. If Duolingo doesn't get rid of it, they should at least make it minimizable/hideable via the settings.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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What you said!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MmeHibou1

I agree with these comments about the definition of fluency and immersion/ translation etc and also with all the appreciation of the practice and help this site gives for improving mastery of languages - really, truly appreciated.

It is FRUSTRATING to have done loads of practice, got 4.4/5 of the test that you can take for 25 lingots, and then not to see any improvement in the overall score on the shield (whatever you want to call the shield).

HOW CAN I IMPROVE THE SCORE BY THE SHIELD ?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Hey, guy(s)! Thank you so much for giving me three lingots!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Wow!! 35 Lingots!! I am honoured. Thank you, Muchas gracias, Tack så mycket!!!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForeverBlu1

What's the maximum Spanish learners can get

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rosie759525

I agree. My high fluency score was 38% in Spanish and has fallen to 25% for no legitimate reason. The strength of many of the skills I have completed keep dwindling even though I feel it's unfounded . I have to spend time strengthening skills I already know and have to neglect progressing through my tree. Please hear and respond to this feedback or you'll lose customers. It's extremely frustrating!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuniorSniper

Dutch does not have a fluency shield!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larry123846

It seems like the more lessons I do the more they reduce my fluency rating. I get most right but if I miss one or two they reduce my fluency rating. That is not right.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Romanophile

I think it's been scrapped. Our posts have been answered!

10 months ago
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