In November of last year I wrote the following blog piece about my continued “(mis)adventures ” with Duolingo:
In earlier posts, I shared my initial explorations with Duolingo. I have completed a 672-day streak and think I have a reasonably good idea of its strengths and weaknesses. Here are some other things that I learned during those 672 days.
- For me, there was value in upgrading to the $60 per year version of Duolingo Plus. I prefer not to be distracted by ads, my investment helps keep it free for others, and a number of the additional options are helpful as my motivation for a while moved away from relearning the language and instead to “gaming.”
- I will add the Spanish keyboard to my machines if I continue using it.
- I noticed quite a few differences in my learning experiences when I was using my MacBookPro laptop and when I was using my iPad or iPhone. The latter allowed my dictating my responses when translating Spanish to English faster and with fewer errors.
- I enjoyed “following” and being followed by other Duolingo users (and “competitors”). I chose to identify myself with a photo of me and my dog Rollie and my “professional identity” ( i.e., a former university professor).
- By regularly monitoring competitors’ progress on the “Leaderboards,” I could “engineer” winning first place for two weeks and 2nd place for one week. That last competition was fascinating because I suspect the winner may have been a “bot” programmed to make me spend more money (one can buy additional minutes on Duolingo Plus in timed competitions).
- The “stories” exercises are clever, engaging, and often quite funny. Alas, I have exhausted them.
- Letting this program seduce you into gaming rather than focusing on language learning is very easy.
- It is more “fun” than its competitors.
- I’ll probably continue using it.
- I have a good sense of how it works and how I can make it work for me.
Tonight as I conclude an 812 Day streak and my 47th week in the “Diamond League, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to spend less time on Duolingo and to devote more time to other learning tools.
I plan to spend no more than half an hour a day with the Duolingo app and I am no longer interested in maintaining my position in the Diamond League. This will free up time for other intellectual pursuits- especially, writing.
Hasta la vista. Or, as we used to say in Mrs. Bode’s Latin class, “alea jacta est!”