Author Topic: Duolingo  (Read 2690 times)

Offline Fleur-de-Lys

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Duolingo
« on: February 16, 2020, 03:23:36 PM »
Does anyone else here use Duolingo?

I don't rely on it for serious study, but it is entertaining.

I started the Vietnamese course just so I can read the menu at my favorite restaurant.
 
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 04:01:55 PM »
I play around with it in a few languages. After studying languages in graduate school, the glacial pace of Duolingo is maddening, but it is entertaining.
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Offline Prayerful

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 04:05:11 PM »
I use the French and Latin, but not the Irish, I think some of the translations there are just not right, Anglicisms to beat the band.
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 05:15:39 PM »
Certainly know of it, but I am not familiar with its approach. Fleur, as a linguist, would you mind giving a condensed pros and cons critique of Duolingo's modus?
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Offline Fleur-de-Lys

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 05:57:47 PM »
Certainly know of it, but I am not familiar with its approach. Fleur, as a linguist, would you mind giving a condensed pros and cons critique of Duolingo's modus?

Well, I'm not a linguist, Heinrich, but based on my own experience, I would say that the biggest weaknesses are the use of translation, which keeps you tied to your first language and inhibits the second language system from developing, and the lack of opportunities to use the language creatively. In order to internalize a language, you really need to use it in ways that are personally meaningful.

Despite that, I find that I am able to learn using the program. Duolingo's approach uses implicit input and spaced repetition. Though you can access explicit grammar explanations, the idea is to present you with a series of sentences from which, over time, you can pick up the patterns. The amount of repetition needed to internalize the grammar this way does become tedious, as aquinas mentioned, but it is effective.

Over all I don't think that Duolingo alone is a very effective way to learn a language. But combined with other sources of input, such as videos and readings in the target language, and a concerted effort to use the language creatively, by speaking and writing it in real-life contexts, it can be a useful tool.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 06:01:40 PM by Fleur-de-Lys »
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 06:07:12 PM »
F.D.L.
Is there any language learning system that you would recommend? I would be interested in improving my French and learning eye-talian.
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Offline Fleur-de-Lys

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 06:13:30 PM »
F.D.L.
Is there any language learning system that you would recommend? I would be interested in improving my French and learning eye-talian.

I still believe the most effective method is classroom instruction. As for independent study, I think a good book combined with audio and video materials works best. That said, I admit that I find myself spending more time using less effective online programs such as Duolingo simply because it is easy and entertaining. And at the end of the day, I think the most important factor is your motivation to learn and your enjoyment of the process. That wins out over the relative effectiveness of any method in my experience.
 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2020, 06:33:44 PM »
I started the Vietnamese course just so I can read the menu at my favorite restaurant.

Like this one?

« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 06:46:32 PM by Vetus Ordo »
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Offline Fleur-de-Lys

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 06:50:04 PM »
I started the Vietnamese course just so I can read the menu at my favorite restaurant.

Like this one?



No, they don't have any of my favorite dishes. :(
 

Offline Lynne

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 07:05:08 PM »
One of their French lessons (or was it Latin?) was a woman has a wife...

 >:(
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Offline Fleur-de-Lys

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2020, 07:08:18 PM »
One of their French lessons (or was it Latin?) was a woman has a wife...

 >:(

Yes. They also have male speakers reading sentences in the feminine and vice versa, which seriously undermines the learner's ability to learn gendered forms.
 

Offline Heinrich

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2020, 08:01:15 PM »
Certainly know of it, but I am not familiar with its approach. Fleur, as a linguist, would you mind giving a condensed pros and cons critique of Duolingo's modus?

Well, I'm not a linguist, Heinrich, but based on my own experience, I would say that the biggest weaknesses are the use of translation, which keeps you tied to your first language and inhibits the second language system from developing, and the lack of opportunities to use the language creatively. In order to internalize a language, you really need to use it in ways that are personally meaningful.

Despite that, I find that I am able to learn using the program. Duolingo's approach uses implicit input and spaced repetition. Though you can access explicit grammar explanations, the idea is to present you with a series of sentences from which, over time, you can pick up the patterns. The amount of repetition needed to internalize the grammar this way does become tedious, as aquinas mentioned, but it is effective.

Over all I don't think that Duolingo alone is a very effective way to learn a language. But combined with other sources of input, such as videos and readings in the target language, and a concerted effort to use the language creatively, by speaking and writing it in real-life contexts, it can be a useful tool.

You teach French at the university level, know all the Romance languages along with German and Turkish, and we could bore the crap out of the forum with a deep structure syntactical symposium on relative pronouns, but your not a linguist? Vous êtes si humble.
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"Die Welt sucht nach Ehre, Ansehen, Reichtum, Vergnügen; die Heiligen aber suchen Demütigung, Verachtung, Armut, Abtötung und Buße." --Ausschnitt von der Geschichte des Lebens St. Bennos.
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2020, 09:29:55 PM »
Why not just order in French? :)
 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2020, 09:52:45 PM »
Why not just order in French? :)

How colonialist of you.
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Offline Fleur-de-Lys

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Re: Duolingo
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2020, 09:54:39 PM »
You teach French at the university level, know all the Romance languages along with German and Turkish, and we could bore the crap out of the forum with a deep structure syntactical symposium on relative pronouns, but your not a linguist? Vous êtes si humble.

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