What happened when our guest Leonor from Portugal tried Duolingo's Spanish Online Course?
Everybody said it was easy to comprehend, fun to play and that it worked! So I decided to try my luck with Duolingo!
Duolingo had an easy to understand website, a fun design and I was excited to start the training! Although the app's user interface seemed childish at first, the exercises quickly turned out harder… As I was going through the different subjects, I was happy to note that the vocabulary I learned before kept showing up. I was collecting so many new words and the app was making sure I knew how to spell them as it constantly asked me to used the words in different sentences and situations.
It wasn’t until after the second day that I realized Duolingo had dealbreaker: I wasn’t learning Spanish… I was practicing my memory! 🤔
Through repetitive exercises with no room for creativity, learning Spanish with Duolingo turned out to be a series of injections of words that were easily forgotten as I couldn’t associate them with any meaning.
As I was getting more and more frustrated, I couldn’t focus on specific skills since the order of exercises and the frequency of each was decided by the program and not by my needs and difficulties.
But as I was getting upset, Duolingo was feeling nothing but excited about my work! My levels were coming up by the minute and after just a few days my “Fluency Level” was at 25%! And just as I was feeling happy about my pronunciation, I figured out that a simple tap on my microphone could be recognized as a word! 😦
It wasn’t hard to find out what was wrong with learning Spanish through Duolingo… The lack of human interaction is a problem for me. It was easy to lose interest despite the positive remarks made by the little avatar (a cute owl that got very excited each time I finished a set of exercises!) that followed me into the different classes since the program couldn’t provide actual advice or concerns about my progress.
Overall, I understand why people are telling their friends about it... It is a fun way to find out if you really want to get serious about a new language but it is not the right platform to reach that goal.
Thanks for your notes, Leonor! If you really want to surprise your friends, why not learn Spanish with real people who can guide you through own personal journey into this new language? Try a 30 minute Spanish trial class!