I love Duolingo. Really I do.
But when you reach the later intermediate levels in a language, it can become a comfort thing. You get tricked into feeling like you are making progress, but really you could be doing so much more with your time.
Recently when I was playing Duolingo on my phone I found myself thinking “I could be keeping my tree gold, OR I could actively read a book in Danish”
I would consider myself something of a Duolingo evangelist, so these thoughts were blasphemous! I’m still convinced that Duolingo is a brilliant tool, particularly in the early days of learning a language. But once you have completed your Duolingo tree, and regolded it (which takes almost as long as the original tree!) then I think it is a sign to move on. Or in my case, severely cut back how much you use Duolingo.
I have decided to adjust my Duolingo level to a ‘casual’ 10xp per day. My Danish tree will not stay gold for long, and I’m ok with that: the knowledge is still in my head. Right now it is getting back its colour and I am getting more confident with myself as an independent language learner.
The weekly check in
Prepare Exercises for “Ordet er Frit” so I can work on them during my train journey
I prepared one exercise! I’m going to be grateful for this small victory. And it helped me to tackle the next goal…
Work through exercises for “Ordet er Frit”
I completed the one exercise that I’d set out to do. Again, I am choosing to celebrate a small victory here. It has taken me weeks to even get to this point. Hopefully this will help me to gain a bit more momentum.
Continue writing 4 Danish sentences a day on Lang-8
By Wednesday morning, I had a five day backlog of uncorrected Danish journals and had spent what must have added up to several hours correcting other people’s journals and helping complete strangers learn English. It felt like I could be doing a lot more to learn Danish. I also wrote a journal in Thai on Thursday in celebration of Songkran / Thai New Year.
I technically failed the goal of writing an entry every day for the past week, as I didn’t write a journal yesterday. I have recently found out that I can save drafts on Lang-8, so hopefully that will help me with this goal in the future.
Have 2 italki Danish lessons
It sounds like I’m being paid to write this, but italki really is such a great investment if you are serious about learning a language. I secretly dread my lessons because it still feels very weird to speak Danish, but afterwards I always feel so much better. It was also the same when I was getting Thai private lessons in a coffee shop in North London all those years ago.
Goals for next week
I’m going to mix up the format a bit, and rather than listing if I have achieved goals or not, I plan on writing about what I have learned about Danish language. For those who are curious about my goals, I plan on “doing more of the same”. So more Lang-8 journals, more italki lessons, etc.