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https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz

A Promo for Timed Practice.

jellonz
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Having completed the Spanish tree and the reverse tree and gone through the strengthening process a couple of times I thought that was about as much as I could get out of DL. I had found the course had helped a great deal with reading Spanish, but had done little to help me with listening to it. Anyway, just for the sake of it, I bought the timed practise option and gave that a go.

Wow. I was staggered by what a difference the inclusion of a simple timer made. Where before I would read every word and mentally translate, I suddenly found myself focussing instead on the audible. The urgency associated with translating or transcribing in the timed practice mode triggered something in my brain that made the rapid nature of Spanish speech less confounding. Words had become clearer and more distinct.

This may just be me, or the type of people like me (I have always found the pressure and urgency of exams makes my brain crank up a gear) but if you are having difficulty understanding spoken Spanish I would highly recommend giving the timed practice a go, just to see if it has the same effect on you.

3 years ago

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

If I could upvote this more than once, I would. Having the timer forces you to listen rather than read. It's not perfect, and of course there are other ways to practice your listening comprehension, but it's a simple thing we can do within Duo to get practice when we otherwise wouldn't.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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100% agree. I just wish I had always had the timer on when I have done strengthening in the past, which was really the point of this post: to promote the use of the timed practice mode to those who are going back and strengthening, especially those who want to concentrate on their listening skills.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

I wish the timed practice was promoted more (perhaps by moving it toward the top of the store, with a better explanation of what it is/does - that it unlocks the timer for you as a permanent option for future practices). Even better would be an automatic timed section every so often as you work down the tree, for the people like us who took our time purchasing because we didn't realize how helpful it would be. I'm sure the latter would be a decent amount of coding work, so I don't expect it to happen, but the way I envision it would be for any "built in" timed section to test only your strong words, instead of your decayed ones, so that everyone gets the idea without getting frustrated, and then more people would be inclined to purchase the timed practice from the store for regular use.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zariuq
zariuq
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It is pretty heavily promoted once you buy it, at least. Before that, yeah, one doesn't really know what it is.

The experience you get for untimed practice is trivial in comparison: 5-10 for the whole practice session instead of 1 per correct answer? Why would anyone bother (much)? :3

(Is Immersion then even better than timed practice for xp?!?)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Listening to anything without a text available forces one to listen, not read. You don't have to do it with time constraints, though. A program like the one at www.languagetransfer.com is purely auditory, but the emphasis there is to think things through and get them correct, not hurry through to beat a timer.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronTupaz
AaronTupaz
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Your link seems to be down. But here's their youtube channel. I forgot about how useful this program was. But I highly recommend it. I use to listen to 3-5 lessons a day on my way to work and back home. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeA5t3dWTWvvwf5fw0Nl7mVk0OUjP1Ln2

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mangakoibito
mangakoibito
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Not broken mistyped it should be .org not .com

For those not aware it has Spanish, Greek, Arabic, English for Spanish speakers, and they are posting Turkish a few lessons at a time They seem to get by on donations and word of mouth The lessons focus on getting you talking and pointing out the similarities that make the language easier They push you to think it through instead of memorising so that you can make connections to things you already know

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ketoacidosis
ketoacidosis
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What is the program? What's the ratio of spoken English/ Spanish? Does it describe grammar? Is it conversations?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seveer
seveer
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If you can actively listen, then yes. The advantage of the duo exercises is that they are interrogative. If your mind drifts you get immediate feedback. Most people have difficulty concentrating without some form of meaningful interaction.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mangakoibito
mangakoibito
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Language transfer is a .org site not .com

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seanchai35

I love programs like language transfer, but like so many language learning systems, they don't offer Irish (yet, anyway). Few general language learning systems do, in my experience. It's unfortunate, and I wish more organizations and companies would branch out a bit. It looks like language transfer is starting to do exactly that with Turkish, Greek, etc, and that's commendable. Meanwhile, Irish learners have three modern options (none of which are free or even low cost, and only one of which is downloadable), and three or four other systems on cassette tapes (some of which have been ported to CD format, some not). It is what it is, and at least now we can get Irish language radio and tv online, plus bits of youtube here and there, and websites which sometimes have a short audio series.... but sometimes it makes the whole "the best way to learn is to listen!" mantra a bit frustrating.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MargoBoylan

Hello Rspreng.....The site you quoted is www.languagetransfer.org ...it is NOT ".com". I looks very good and I will give it a try. Thank you. Wow! It has 90 segments....one ought to learn something.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zariuq
zariuq
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The point the poster is making, I believe, is that when practice is not timed, you can simply replay the audio over and over again until you finally get it. Whereas in timed practice, you are forced to learn to hear large chunks of the language 'at once' (or at least in 2-3 trials), which then becomes a qualitative difference.

(And, on translation problems, you cannot leisurely look up the definition of each word. You're forced to take the risk sometimes.)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronTupaz
AaronTupaz
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While I agree with you that timed practice will put more pressure on you, causing your brain to think faster like an exam, I don't think Duolingo is the best place to practice your listening comprehension. I suggest you watch spanish movies, listen to music, listen to podcasts (I listen to coffee break Spanish), and converse with real native spanish speakers. There's lots of online sites for that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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Thanks Aaron. While my reading/writing has become competent at a basic level my speaking/listening skills are woeful at present. I've tried Spanish movies and TV but couldn't understand a word of it. As far as native speakers go, I think I'd just embarrass myself. Still, I will be sure to try all you have suggested once my abilities reach a basic level.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronTupaz
AaronTupaz
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From my experience dealing with lots of people learning languages, you are putting yourself in a trap by focusing on only reading/writing. Speaking and understanding should begin at day one. Right after I learn the alphabet and basic pronunciation, I immediately learn short phrases and sentences without yet knowing the meaning of each individual word, when I begin a new language. It is better to have a small vocabulary base that you can master (read, write, speak and understand) at first. I've met too many people who can write and read in their target language using all these tenses, but can barley converse.

I suggest you start having shower conversations. This means talking to yourself, being in both sides of the conversations. You can do this alone, and even in public. If that's too embarrassing, get out a phone and pretend you're talking to someone. As for embarrassing yourself, that's part of learning. Just the other day I spoke to a native in Ukrainian for the first time and embarrassed myself. But by the 3rd native, it got easier. Look at children, they make so many mistakes but they don't care.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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Great advice Aaron. Unfortunately DL is geared towards reading/writing (understandable given its income source) so the trap is set. Touching on Seanchai's point, it is what we can gain from within DL's framework that I was promoting. I absolutely agree with you that to learn how to properly speak a language other methods and platforms, such as those you suggest, are essential.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I agree that learning to speak fairly early is important. However, I'm surprised that no one ever seems to mention conversation classes here on Duo.

The problem with talking to yourself in a foreign language (assuming you have zero experience with it) is that there is no one to correct you. Repeating something incorrectly only reinforces the wrong thing in your brain. It can become a habit that is difficult to break later.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seveer
seveer
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Isn't "trap" a bit of a strong word? Sure, it is better to speak from the beginning, but then again it would be better to be dropped in a village of native speakers and forced to survive. From what I've seen, reading/writing first is not an impediment to future aural/vocal skills, assuming the correct pronunciations are absorbed, it is just not ideal. You will have to learn those skills in sequence instead of in tandem which will take more time total, and possibly more time individually, but you are still progressing, not regressing. If we all had access to native speakers we probably wouldn't need duo.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronTupaz
AaronTupaz
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It's a trap because increasing your writing and reading abilities while neglecting your speaking and understanding tends to put people in the cycle of, "Oh I'll start speaking when I learn more grammar, or when I learn more vocabularies." It gives people a false sense of fluency and they get embarrassed to speak because their comparing they're speech ability to their literacy ability. Now it's true some people can escape this trap, but if you take people who learns how to speak first in day one, they can immediately start using the language. Then if they choose to, they can learn to read/write. This is closer to how kids learn. Kids do not open grammar books until they have first acquired thousands of vocabularies. We don't need to be dropped in a village of native speakers, because we're lucky to have the internet now. There are Polyglots who'll argue it's easier to learn a new language through Skype, because you don't have to worry about learning and adjusting to a new culture at the same time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SofritoBandito
SofritoBandito
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For me the news in Spanish is impossible - it's just too quick. But I was able to understand a lot of what the characters were saying in Gran Hotel.

I wonder if you'd have better luck watching a favorite film, such as a movie where you know all the words in your native language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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I've tried this, without luck. Although I can pick up words, phrases require a mental process of translation for me, which is of course the problem. Even if I know what the characters should be saying I still find myself mentally converting their words into English before I think I can understand. This is the by-product of the translation focussed learning system DL employs. Instead of hearing and understanding, I'm hearing, translating, then understanding. And, unfortunately, I just can't process that extra step fast enough. That's where I have noticed a huge difference with the timed practice. The urgency associated with it makes me drop the middle step. My brain jumps from hearing to understanding, which is of course the only way most of us would ever be able to comprehend spoken Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seveer
seveer
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Timed exercises, if I recall correctly, used to be the default, but I believe enough people got frustrated after failing a couple of times that they introduced the non-timed format to give them a crutch. It certainly wasn't a lingot-store feature. I think this was something of a mistake. People naturally get used to the non-timed format if it is their first experience and then get comfortable with it. Non-timed practice is both inefficient from a reward-center perspective (it takes a lot longer to get XP if you are making frequent mistakes), and less effective at promoting the benefits you described. If I could tell every new user only one sentence it would be: "Always use timed practice."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JBW.
JBW.
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Yeah, the timed practice really helps! For some reason, I didn't have to buy and equip it, it was just there when I started doing Duolingo on the PC more.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SylviaElia2

I bought the timed practice and have absolutely NO idea how to use it, access it, etc. When I bought Idioms and Proverbs, it showed up on the tree as enabled. Any one care to help? Gracias!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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When you go back to strengthen a unit you have already completed (assuming you are on a PC) you will see the option for timed practice.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SylviaElia2

Gracias! It's really good, I did some simple stuff and figured it out. Now on to tough stuff. Thanks.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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De nada Sylvia :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CJaneSpence

Thank you for turning me on to this. I will try it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr-Pen
Dr-Pen
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Wait, you had to purchase the timed practice option? I thought that was always available.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jellonz
jellonz
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It either used to be included, or was possibly included for a test group. I had to buy it through the lingot store, but it's only 10 lingots, which effectively makes it free.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lydiathechica

is your avatar from Presidents verses Aliens?

3 years ago