One of my friends is learning Spanish. She used Duolingo and showed it to me a few weeks ago. I want to learn Spanish, so I gave it a try.
The first experience was strange to me. I am used to a different style of learning. Open the book, read some chapter, and do some tests. By the end of the book (aka year) do a big test of everything to see that I actually know nothing. You know that standard experience at schools. I’m not fond of this style at all, but this is a system in which I was raised in. Deep inside me, it is written that being wrong equals failure.
And now there is Duolingo. There is no theory. No big list of words to memorize. No grammar. Nothing. You go directly to take tests, and that’s the way you learn. You are asked questions you can’t know the answer to! Of course, it means a lot of mistakes. I was so depressed about it! At least in the first days of using that app. Since day one I have a 22-day strike, and I like it so much!
I don’t know the grammar much, but I am getting to be able to say something much faster than I would be in the old fashioned way. I can learn proper grammar later (if I want to) and now just practice simple, useful phrases so I can visit South America and talk to people.
Duolingo is also great because it kind of forces you to learn. If you are learning one week every day, you don’t want to lose that strike, and when the strike is getting bigger and bigger, you are even more motivated. People are just competitive. We are so much competitive that I created a club with my friend, and we fight to have more experience points.
She has again more than me, time to learn! You should try it too. :-)