Duolingo: some tricks to improve learning process

I have already written a few posts about duolingo and how I'm happy with a way it helps me to learn new language, in me case it's Spanish. Technically I've been learning it for ~1.5 years but unfortunately I fucked up my streak a few times. 

Keep your streak healthy

Streak is very important thing which forces you learn or recall things every single day, creating a new habit. 

Some advises:

  • Never postpone daily exercise till 11.45pm as I used to do
  • Unless you're super busy always do at least by 10xp more than you have chosen(in my case I have 30xp daily goal but normally I do at least 40xp)
  • The first thing to do after you arrive to another timezone - open duo app on the phone (or do at least on exercise to be on safe side) - this information will be used to adjust tomezones settings
  • If you're long distance traveller be ready to pay for streak repair. Around February 2017 they changed system so now it's getting crazy when you jump between timezones. Especially back in time, especially at night. I'd recommend you to do minimum right before departure and right after, and of course till and of the day. In worst case you'll exercise twice more. Wait, is it worst case?

Keep your brain busy

You don't eat the same good every day, do you? If so don't feed your brain with the same exercises every time:

  • I know, sometimes often you want to cheat and do circles from the top of the list. Please, no, they are gold already!
  • Visit discussion section often. It's not only helpful for clarification and problem discussion but it's a lot of fun.
  • Start to exercise from the bottom circles which aren't gold. Your brain will resist in the beginning but it's help to stretch yourself out
  • Try to do at least few exercises from the new circle every week - keep moving forward
  • Keep all circles gold - then more you learn then more it irritates. But think about this as a powerful tool to make sure you really can recall things
  • Reward yourself if you found non-good circles at the pot of the page. It means you focused on the right things 🤗
  • Add your friends and compete for the first position in the month by XP

Duo isn't an end of the world

Green owl does amazing job to keep you engaged in learning process by challenging you to finish exercise when you aren't up to learn and keeps you rewarded when you demonstrate good performance and will.

But don't let gamification to substitute the main Goal - to communicate language of your choose. I feel that than more I learn the less role of duo will be there. It's crazy to think that if you finish the course you'll become a fluent speaker, hell no :) it's just a good start

Having said that try:

  • Enforce yourself to translate phrases you just said and heard. It helps  to dramatically speedup "words lookup" and shows what words have to be learnt to make it comfortable to express life routine
  • Have a short conversations with native speakers, if your have any around. Don't be shy, I know it's difficult
  • Set phone's system language to one you're learning
  • Try to watch videos with basic language with subtitles
  • Visit country which speaks language you learn and never use English
  • Try to listen to podcasts

Share yours, it's interesting to see what is your approach.

Enjoy languages 😃