I’ve been using Duolingo since 2013 as a fun way to learn and practice languages. Sure, apps can’t quite match a proper course or even going abroad and learning there. But among other language apps and websites, Duolingo stands out and has worked for me personally the best.
For most of the time I’ve had this app, I used it randomly, but if I’ve learned something, it’s that if you don’t use or practice a language regularly, you start forgetting it. Fast.
So what helped me stay on top of learning even when life gets busy? I’d like to share these four tips with you that have worked for me.
1) FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY
Making a commitment to your friends about your goals or setting a common goal with each other is something that has worked for me time and time again. I wrote about my experience with doing the self-tape challenge in a group in this article. There is something about commitment to others that keeps us from giving up on something, unlike when we are trying to achieve something solo.
2) FRIENDLY COMPETITION
Wanna have fun with it? Turn it into a friendly competition! For my language goals, I’m working together with my brother, because we both are very driven on self-improvement and ‘sibling rivalry’ works in our case as well. He’s winning, by the way, but I’m breathing on his neck! 😉 So my recommendation? Tap into your competitive side (we all have it, even if we don’t admit it to ourselves 😉 ) and turn it into a game.
Duolingo has a Leaderboard feature where you can see your friend’s progress. Often I found myself not very motivated to do anything until I looked at the Leaderboard and saw I’m behind… game on!
3) CHALLENGE YOURSELF
Make a commitment to practice for a certain amount of days. I just challenged myself to reach 30 days and I’m continuing beyond that. I’ll be honest, I’ve attempted to reach this goal a few times and failed. I usually remembered a few minutes after midnight and it was just too late, which was frustrating. This time I finally did it. So don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time.
Sure, there is a function of streak freeze and even though I bought it with my lingots, I promised myself to not use it. The app notifies you on how many days you are on streak, which is great as you don’t have to keep track of it.
4) SET A TIME FOR PRACTICE
Finding a time for practice created this habit and inner need to learn, but it wasn’t easy. My schedule changes every day as I’m a freelancer, so I have to be able to quickly adapt to whatever comes my way. The only time I’ve managed to practice languages was after waking up and when I got into bed before I went to sleep. It’s how I was able to manage the 30 day challenge, but it’s probably not the best thing to stare into my phone first and last thing of the day. Let’s be honest, though, it’s better than browsing through social media… in my opinion. 🙂
How do you use Duolingo? What time do you practice and which languages are you learning at the moment? Lemme know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
Join me on Duolingo here.
I haven’t been paid to write this article, I just really love Duolingo! 🙂