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Old 2013-03-12, 20:19   #1
kladner
 
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Default Online language-learning course

I happened onto this in a sidebar to an article I was reading.
Quote:
Duolingo is a free language-learning website and crowdsourced text translation platform. The service is designed so that, as users progress through the lessons, they simultaneously help to translate websites and other documents.
-from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duolingo
-more
http://edudemic.com/2013/01/how-duolingo-works/

Here is the article I first saw which reports the results of a study which rated the Duolingo approach higher than Rosetta Stone.
http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/17/stu...rosetta-stone/

I've only poked at it, so far. It is an interesting model if nothing else.
http://duolingo.com/

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2013-03-12 at 20:20
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Old 2013-03-12, 20:30   #2
Dubslow
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http://www.mersenneforum.org/showthr...light=duolingo
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Old 2013-03-12, 20:32   #3
kladner
 
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Thanks. That's a forum area I don't usually view.
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Old 2013-03-12, 20:35   #4
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Only_human alerted us to Duolingo this some time back in this thread.

I joined as a result of his recommendation there and started trying to make some headway with German, but I didn't get a good impression of the teaching methods. It's quite possible that I wasn't really using it properly - in fact I couldn't seem to "get anywhere" in the system beyond a few simple tests - and it was this that put me off going further. Normally learning a language from whatever level you have of that language is extremely hard work in itself, but I found myself expending the effort on trying to understand the site instead.
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Old 2013-03-12, 20:40   #5
only_human
 
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I haven't visited the site lately but I got this email from them today:
Quote:
We want to share some exciting news! We work hard to make Duolingo the best way for you to learn a language, and now there's scientific evidence to show that our work is paying off.

A team of independent researchers recently found that students on Duolingo take 34 hours to learn as much as a one-semester university course. Since a university class typically takes more than 34 hours of work, we think it's awesome that Duolingo won't only save you money, but time too!

Here’s a link to the official report and the Tech Crunch story about how Duolingo is measurably more effective than Rosetta Stone.

Stay tuned: our mission to make Duolingo the best (and freest!) language learning method in the world is just getting started.

Help us spread the word:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
-- The Duolingo Team
I've intended to put more time into it but, well, it is hard work. I didn't find the website to be hard to use but mostly ignored the social networking aspects.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2013-03-12 at 20:45
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Old 2013-03-12, 21:08   #6
only_human
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Only_human alerted us to Duolingo this some time back in this thread.

I joined as a result of his recommendation there and started trying to make some headway with German, but I didn't get a good impression of the teaching methods.
I found that I made more progress in Spanish than in German. I found the grammer and flexibility of word order in German to be slow going. Also the training method mostly de-emphasizes grammar tables and, for German, that slowed my understanding of the overall scheme (I feel). I spent even less time on French -- I did not want to ingrain bad pronunciation into my learning and was having trouble with my listening. I might take a look at Italian if I go back.

I found it much better to stick with one language at a time. I would get bored and try one of the others and that didn't accomplish much over short intervals.

This is a 352kb PDF of the study that the email mentions: http://static.duolingo.com/s3/DuolingoReport_Final.pdf
Quote:
Conclusion

This study on effectiveness of Duolingo answered some very important questions. The vast majority of the participants in the study liked the product and most of them succeeded in improving their knowledge of Spanish. The improvement was statistically significant and on average Duolingo users gained a little over 8 points of WebCAPE placement test per one hour of study. Based on these findings we can say that for a completely novice user of Spanish it would take on average 26 to 49 hours of study with Duolingo to cover the material for the first college semester of Spanish. This result is based on the transformed 95% Confidence Interval of the effectiveness measure and the language test’s cut-­‐off points for 4 semester Spanish college sequence.

Only two factors were shown to matter for the progress of the participants per one hour of study. First, their motivation; with people who studied Spanish to travel having the biggest improvement. People who studied mainly for personal interest and school had more modest improvement. Second, the initial level of knowledge of Spanish was another contributing factor. People who were beginners (Semester 1) had the biggest improvement and more advanced people (Semester 2 and 3) had the smallest improvement.
Here are my Duolingo statistics:

Spanish:
7794 Skill points
110 Sentences translated
1699 Words learned

German
1270 Skill points
6 Sentences translated
267 Words learned

French:
271 Skill points
0 Sentences translated
100 Words learned

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2013-03-12 at 21:54
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Old 2013-03-12, 22:35   #7
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http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/4...-possible-know
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Old 2013-04-18, 02:26   #8
only_human
 
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Today Duolingo offered to send me some swag:
Quote:
We noticed you finished the Duolingo Spanish tree. Congratulations!

We’d like to send you a small token of our appreciation* and ask if you’d share some thoughts on your experience. [...] *We may not be able to send you swag depending on where you live :-( If that happens, we’ll let you know so that you’re not sadly awaiting the post each day.
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Old 2013-04-18, 03:08   #9
kladner
 
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I congratulate you on the accomplishment!
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