December has arrived, and Duolingo has posted its 2023 Year in Review statistics for its language learners. I figured I’d join in and post my stats, and offer a few quick words about Duolingo.
For the past year and a half or so I have used Duolingo (almost) daily for fifteen minutes each morning and fifteen minutes each evening. This has to do with the way experience is awarded; if you consistently use Duolingo mornings and evenings you will earn double experience. This is important if you wish to advance in leagues. A significant aspect of Duolingo is its gamification of language learning; taking part in competitive leagues and occasional tournaments is part of the game.
As a language learning tool, I find Duolingo is a fun way to practice language on a daily basis. The program uses spaced repetition, meaning words pop up in your lessons right around the time you might start to forget them. There are also numerous stories and podcasts available to listen to in order to practice listening comprehension.
On the other hand, I’m not as fond of the competitive nature of the program. In order to remain in the highest (Diamond) league, succeed in weekly friends quests, and achieve monthly challenges, it is necessary to complete a certain number of lessons per week. The more lessons you complete, the more challenging those weekly quests and monthly quests become over time, which means you can’t “roll back” to easier quests and challenges unless you start failing them. As I am a competitive person, I feel I can’t *not* work hard to stay in the Diamond league or win the tournaments that occur every few weeks.
This is why, as of this week, I’ve set my account to “private”, which you can do using the web interface. It means that I will no longer take part in any leagues or tournaments. This is great, as I won’t have to worry about gaining experience anymore, and can spend much of the half hour of language learning I complete every day reading books, watching movies, or practicing writing instead of making sure I don’t drop out of the Diamond league.
If you’ve been using Duolingo, I hope that your language learning has been going well. Daily practice has been the most effective way I have found to continue progressing with my language studies. However or whatever you’ve been learning, best of luck!
I’ve included a bonus picture of the New Town Hall on a snowy day here in Prague. It’s pretty. Pretty cold, that is!