So you want to learn German? You’re going to need some resources…
It’s been 7 months since my last check in on this topic. I assure you that I’ve been studying hard—as hard as a full-time working, pregnant woman can. Basically, my grammar book is set on hold and I am just running exercises in DuoLingo until I settle my new routine. Baby, after all, comes first.
Recently, DuoLingo updated the app with more lessons in the already existing sections. From time to time they do this. It’s pretty frustrating. You feel like all your work has been unwound. Imagine being x-months pregnant, typically exhausted, and trying to fit in lessons when you can (mostly an hour at night before bed). Being overwhelmed with the day to day can make this change defeating.
Most users of the app would prefer new lessons added to the list, or, that when you’ve completed the initial set of lessons, this unlocks the updates. In this manner, the app remains dynamic and engaging. The user gains a sense of accomplishing stages, and thus competency. This time, I handled it by using the feature test out on 90% of the updated lessons. That isn’t an option for everyone. Certainly, as well, it may not be a good idea for me, considering pregnancy can make it difficult to remember the lessons. Repetition, as I have stated in other installments of this series, is really key to overcoming this. DuoLingo will give you plenty of opportunities to practice.
The app should be utilized daily for at least one half hour or however long it takes to complete the lessons marked incomplete. Sometimes this is more than you feel you have stamina for that day. There have been some difficult nights running through them. Imagine opening the app on an especially tough night and finding an update!
Once I completed these lessons, and continued a week or two more in doing practices, I found my competency measured at 47% instead of 23%. Despite the frustration of finding lessons backtracked, the update served to up my skills significantly. Utilizing the test out feature likely had a huge impact on this, because I proved I somehow already knew what was contained in the many lessons. That gave me the sense of gaining competency, and that is a necessary take away for a student to continue forward with learning any topic.
If you use DuoLingo, tell me about your experience so far in the comments below. Are you learning German too, and have found a useful trick to dealing with frustration and overcoming a tight schedule? How do you handle being too tired to learn effectively?
Stay tuned for more tools, tips and discussions on Learning German.