Duolingo gives incorrect expectations.
English is not my native language, so please forgive my mistakes in English. It is ra pitty that the native language is not indicated in any contribution, so that the reader knows that the English that he reads is of a correct spelling and grammar.
On 4 skills for the end of the Engish > French course I think my experience to English> French gives me the oppotunity to give some thoughts. First of all I should like to say that Duolingo is a fantastic initiative and that my written English has received a huge boost since I'm French course English > started. This is of course ambiguous: I want to learn French, but especially my English has improved. It is a very good program to get acquainted with a new language. But after you're done the first lessons, you'll be faced with classes full of errors and without grammatical support. It would not ask so much work to improve these lessons: -Vocabulary list with photos -Vocabulary practice for to start exercises with phrases -Grammatical introduction of a lesson -Accept multiple correct translations Duolingo presents itself as the best study material for learning another language. She compares herself with other courses at the University. In the first place should be noticed that DL focuses on translating texts and has little interest for the understanding of spoken words or pronouncing the texts. Therefore should DL not compared with courses that also focus on speech and understanding of texts. The official testing for the beginners, medium and advanced classification does not make sense. The practice shows that at best, after going through a course, the level of a student is a good beginner, or a starter of medium, for writing a language, but not for the understanding of speaking a language. The emphasis on translation and not on means and pronouncing the language is to understand: they must be funded and their lenders where for their money. That is true translations for customers. The ability to understand spooken language and pronounce the language is not necessary. The support of the comments made by the students is also very worrying. In the General list of the discussions are answers and even solutions offered. In the comments of the individual lessons are hardly answers and even after a year are no solution proposed.
Open up to other languages is also understandable: it increases the financial gains for written translations for customers. It is clear that students have not amassed their knowledge be enabled via DL, but this knowledge have gained previously. Here the distinction is made even stronger: -On the one hand the students who gain a basic knowledge of a language, but translations will never come to via DL -On the other hand, students with a prior knowledge of the language, which in spite of the flaws of the course fly through it and can contribute to the translations. DL with success. Especially for the novice. The one that get rather further in the course have criticism. The statistics of DL are also ridiculous. They give the number of students per language group. Many follow different languages in different directions. I follow 5 languages from English and 4 languages to English. This will count for 9 students and I won't be the only one. Others have ever followed a language and its been a year inactive and never come back. Others are students and have double profiles, where they only send spam with it. DL would give more accurate information: -How many students (irrespective of the number of languages) were active, the last week and last month. -How many students (and percentage of the total) have completed a course with fruit -How many students are involved with the translation program (and percentage of the total number). Of course it is not benevolent in helping to spread this information those who DL financial support. It would make sense that the students be informed of the fact that they are possible after years of fruitless study of a language, via DL not suddenly after months will be smoothly in a language and a fruitful contribution to the translation jobs. I fully appreciate the fact that there are only 7 communicators in DL and less than 30 employees, but please, no hopeless expectations for students. It may make sense to publish a statistic: how many of the 10 million students have successfully finished a lesson? How many of the 10 million students have contributed to a translation? And to positively end up: -When can the students take part in improving the existing courses? -When are all the comments left by students on courses in a usable way processed? -When does each lesson started with a correct introduction of the existing courses? -When are all the comments left by students on courses in a usable way the processed? -When does each lesson started with a proper introduction of the vocabulary and grammar? I am a supporter of DL. I know the available time of DL is limited. Give the students the opportunity to participate in the existing classes and speech and listening exercises.
This is a lot to read. I suggest you sum up your points separately to make your message clearer, and edit your post to highlight important points.
From my understanding, you are suggesting that Duolingo :
- Improves the lessons
- provides better statistics
- increases more speech or listening exercises
- focuses more on teaching grammar & language concepts rather than translating
- provides more accurate information?
I'm sure they are aware of many of these shortcomings, however, it is hard to balance the needs of many people, and as far as I'm aware they never indicated what proficiency you'll achieve. First of all, I'd like to make it clear that I agree that there is a lot to improve, and suggestions like these will help.
However, you should really be patient when learning. You've probably only used Duolingo for one year or less, and I think you have unrealistic expectations. Have you tried learning a language from scratch in a formal course to see if you learn more?
- Even if Duolingo was the perfect product to learn a language, the ability to learn a concept varies from individual to individual;
- Be patient; and
- Things will likely improve in time.