Note: I wrote most of this post last week but think it’s still worth posting!
I put some extra effort into Duolingo the past few days to hit a milestone of sorts: I am now at Level 2 or higher for every skill in “worlds” (I’ll call them units from now on) 1 and 2!
I figured that would make a good point to do some quick mental math to see how much time I had invested into the app at this point.
So, to do the calculations, the following facts are relevant:
Each skill has 5 levels, with 4 lessons in each level.
Each lesson is supposed to take 5 minutes. I think that’s about right, though some have definitely been longer if you keep making mistakes (you have to get things right to move on).
Therefore, I have completed:
9 skills at level 5 = 45 levels
4 lesson per level = 180 levels
5 minutes per level = 900 minutes
900 minutes = 15 hours.
Doing the same calculation for my level 2 skills adds an additional 17 hours.
Lastly, the one-off, one level skills “Flirting” and “Idioms” would add an additional hour or so.
In total, that means I have spent about 33 hours on Duolingo alone. I suspect with the additional work I have done with YouTube, personal connections, Open Education Resources and more, I am near the 50 hours suggested.
I think a great summary of learning for this project would be recording a screencast of me attempting the Unit 2 quiz shown at the bottom of this image. I have yet to take it, so it will be very authentic (and will probably show I still have some weaknesses), but I have a sense of what it will be like based on the Unit 1 quiz I have already completed and passed.
The best way to prepare for this quiz, in my opinion, will be to level up all the Unit 2 skills as much as I can. Between now and the due date for the project, I want to get as many skills to level 3 as possible. That sounds easy, but for the 25 skills I have at level 2, it would be an additional 8 or so hours. Not impossible, but something that would require a concerted effort.
I think this project has shown me, more than anything, the importance of sustained, constant effort to improvement. I know that’s now a particularly groundbreaking insight, but, like many things, the understanding of the concept is much more clear when you experience it personally.
So now I embark on one last hectic week to see where my understanding at the end of the course lies. What’s exciting is knowing I have established the habit so firmly that I intend to continue the learning past the end of the course.
Note: By the time I had posted this article, I had pushed 8 of my Unit 2 skills up to Level 3. Here’s hoping I can use my last few days well to conquer the quiz at the end of Unit 2!