More than a year ago, I learned about Duolingo from my students. Yes, from my students. Those who are really into it are always searching online. 😉 In December 2013 I wrote a reflection about using Duolingo. My first attempt didn’t go much further and the use of a notebook to keep vocabulary didn’t work out either.
Vicky’s new blog shared on twitter a week ago reminded me of my desire to learn German. Then on the 14th, I decided to give Duolingo another go. This time I’m using Evernote to keep a learning diary.
Day 1: I could do the first few lessons easily. As I did them all again, I paid especial attention to spelling. The recording/check tool for me is not really reliable. I’ve noticed that it accepts oral recording even though I know I have made a mistake in pronunciation/grammar. But it makes you practice pronunciation. And how annoying when it can’t understand you. I am not 100% sure that I really learned it just because I moved easily from one lesson to another. I still can’t really create my own sentences without a prompt. I think this can really fool us into thinking we are doing well or learning.
I didn’t practice for two days. My aim was to practice at least for an hour every day.
Day 2: I wanted to also read books as stories are for me very motivating. I try to read at least one fiction book a month through audible. I was browsing my audible account then, and found this book: Ich bleiben hier ( English version Don’t let me go ). As soon I read the summary in English I got very interested in the story. So after doing some lessons on Duolingo, I gave the book a shot. I tried working with the sentences in different ways, but the level of the book is way too high for me a total beginner to go much further without getting stuck. Identifying verb tenses is particular difficult as I haven’t really had much input on verbs yet. I got also the same ebook in German.
On the same day, Gemma posted her reflections.
Day 3: Duolingo has a tool that enables us to set the amount of points we want to make a day. I set it to 50. I didn’t understand yet what the STRIKE mean, but if we don’t keep practicing I think we lose something. Today I achieved my goal and then decided to try to find a book in German for Children in Amazon. There is this wonderful Kindle Unlimited that I got for Emanuel and I though I’d use it to get a book in German.
The book: Monsieur Caruso und der Erdbeerdieb by Fabian Lankes.
I downloaded a dictionary eng-germ and used google translator tool to help me build comprehension. I am also using a notebook.
I managed to read two paragraphs today and I’m glad that I was able to understand almost a full sentence without the help of the dictionary or google translator. I had to check only the meaning of a noun!