Author Topic: Duolingo App  (Read 962 times)

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Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2018, 01:27:24 PM »
Might be able to find tips/materials here or other language exchanges JF - https://www.reddit.com/r/learnfrench/

Oooh... it's helpful because so many people just use French in the subreddit.  Immersion!  Thanks, KoD.  I always forget to check reddit.
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Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2018, 01:34:42 PM »
Oooh... it's helpful because so many people just use French in the subreddit.  Immersion!  Thanks, KoD.  I always forget to check reddit.

I'm on r/Learnjapanese and it's had it's moments. Honestly, if I am ever wanting to learn or know about something or do research, I will use google firstly but Reddit almost instantly second hahah

Offline AweSam

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2018, 09:52:00 PM »
I'm definitely not opposed to doing a language exchange! That would actually be pretty cool! Curious to know how that works really? Do they speak to me in English and I struggle through broken Japanese with them?

Popping in to mention HelloTalk which is a phone app for language exchange that’s really great! I use it to do very basic Japanese introductions and basic conversations with text. The native speakers correct you and it’s great (and you can return the favor by helping those learning English). It takes a while to get comfortable with texting in Hiragana tho!


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Offline KFdancer

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2018, 05:45:30 PM »
I feel like I have life experience that Historyenne will be proud of!

When I was doing my international business degree, I had to be "proficient" at a foreign language.  Basically take the IELTS (or whatever it is) for something other than English.  I studied Spanish all the way through school.  But it was just that - classroom Spanish.

So I started to go to lunch with friends and colleagues who were bilingual and we would only speak Spanish.  I credit that for the only reason I passed my test to get my degree.  Without my Spanish lunches, I wouldn't have passed.  :)

Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2018, 09:18:58 PM »
I feel like I have life experience that Historyenne will be proud of!

When I was doing my international business degree, I had to be "proficient" at a foreign language.  Basically take the IELTS (or whatever it is) for something other than English.  I studied Spanish all the way through school.  But it was just that - classroom Spanish.

So I started to go to lunch with friends and colleagues who were bilingual and we would only speak Spanish.  I credit that for the only reason I passed my test to get my degree.  Without my Spanish lunches, I wouldn't have passed.  :)

 [smiley=2thumbsup.gif] [smiley=2thumbsup.gif] [smiley=2thumbsup.gif]

That's the best way to learn!

On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2018, 09:47:49 AM »
I tried to take an immersion Spanish class once and I really struggled. I had no clue what was going on.
I've never been good at languages* My brain just doesn't work that way to make it easy and I need to actually sit and practise with someone.  But then I feel like an idiot who has no clue what they're doing.   I need patience and to not feel flustered.  I guess I have trouble applying the 'rules' of learning music and new musical styles/instruments to other areas of my life (languages, getting fit, etc) - where I seem to just go with the flow. But why can't I do this?  My brain shuts down! 

I'd love to learn a language, total immersion isn't good for me.  I have almost no time to take an actual course, so these kind of apps appeal to me, but sounding like it's not a good idea. Hmmmm....



*I guess this isn't entirely true, I do actually have a Level 1 certificate in British Sign Language, but I have forgotten a lot of that too.  I was practising a lot with a colleague when I did the course, but she left the business and now I can only have a basic conversation when I see her out and about.   

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Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2018, 03:57:05 PM »
@phatbeetle It's not uncommon for people to feel anxious when they are trying to speak an unfamiliar language. Languages and music are often compared to each other because they use the same part of the brain and because they are at least in part based on skill. Some people can pick up a language or an instrument really easily, while for most of us it takes a lot of work to learn to speak or play. The difference is that when you learn music you don't put the same pressure on yourself because you're not expected to interact with people who play your instrument in such a completely natural way that they don't have to think about it. Instead, you learn from someone who's learned themselves, they help you the way they were helped, and any progress you make you feel proud of because you've clearly gained something you didn't have before. But imagine if you were taking piano lessons from Mozart, you'd naturally be hugely intimidated by someone with such a natural skill that they were composing at the age of 4, and you'd judge yourself much more harshly for not being able to live up to the same standard. Thats kind of like learning language from interaction with a native speaker, you think "these people do this so easily but I am completely lost".

I actually don't approve of the fetishisation of total immersion and native speaker teachers. Native speakers can be hella intimidating, and they are not always sympathetic to the difficulties learners have. It's a pernicious myth that anyone can teach a language if they know how to speak it. When I started teaching French, it was easy; I used the same techniques that my teachers used with me--similar to how a music teacher would teach the way she was taught-- but when I started teaching English, it was a much steeper learning curve. I had to learn the grammar terminology that's used in EFL, I had to learn about the influence of different languages on English learners, about the common mistakes learners make in English and how to handle them, etc etc etc. It's not easy to teach your own language, and a lot of native speaker teachers are badly underqualified and that has a negative effect on their students.

The ideal way for adults to learn a foreign language is a combination of limited immersion and classroom instruction from a qualified teacher with a mix of other students. That means going to a country where the language is spoken and taking a class there. Failing that, any combination of instruction and interaction with native or near-native speakers is the best option. Everyone is different and no method is perfect, so just find the one that suits you and go with it!

The reason I am so against Duolingo et al, is that they're a bit like fad diets. They promise HUGE results in SHORT times with minimal effort or engagement, and that's just never going to work. Unless you are one of those gifted few with a knack for languages, you need to put in the hours and the effort, and you need to invest in qualified teachers and reputable instruction. There are no shortcuts.

I studied French formally for 20 years and informally for 10 and counting, I studied in France, I have a BA and an MA in French language and the DALF (official French language exam) at C2, I've taught it, I work as a French-English translator, I read books in French and watch French films and talk to my friends in French, and there are STILL loads of things I don't know. But I've learned not to hold myself to Mozart standards, or to native speaker ones. I'm not a native speaker and I never will be, but I've worked bloody hard and I speak French damned well.

Tl; dr, if you want to learn a foreign language, don't compare yourself to native speakers. Set yourself a reasonable goal, and then invest the time, effort, and money to achieve it. Find a method that works for you and go for it! But don't fall for snake oil salesmen or apps promising to teach you a language in three weeks. They have never worked and never will.
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2018, 05:09:50 PM »
Wow, thanks historyenne, that is absolutely interesting and fascinating!!
Giving me food for thought!!!
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Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2018, 09:08:10 AM »
Popping in to mention HelloTalk which is a phone app for language exchange that’s really great! I use it to do very basic Japanese introductions and basic conversations with text. The native speakers correct you and it’s great (and you can return the favor by helping those learning English). It takes a while to get comfortable with texting in Hiragana tho!


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My husband heard about that app on Reddit so he uses it now :)