Day 10: Learn French for 14 days

Learn-french | 27 November 2014

Kristel, 28, has taken on the challenge of being an active beta tester of Lingvist and will learn French for 14 days to see what it’s like to use an adaptive algorithm for language learning. Check out her previous post from Day 8.

Looking at my results on Lingvist’s Dashboard, I noticed that for the last 3 days, my rate of correct answers has got worse every day.  

Learned words total: 827 Entire study time: 9 hours 42 minutes

I think this is probably because the program is actively mixing older words that I learned a while back into the study session. And since the amount of words I should have learned by now is quite big (827!), mistakes are easy to follow. More words = a greater possibility of making mistakes. 

Of course, there may also be other influential factors like being tired or not focused enough. But I tend to believe that the main issue is that I learned a large amount of words very quickly and therefore tend to confuse them more easily. Which is OK in theory. Natural process of learning. But having it visualized in front of your (hopeful) eyes can still make you feel disappointed. 

My suggestion to improve the Beta version:

Maybe the program should think about rewarding the ‘easily annoyed’ people like myself with some sort of virtual ‘candy’. Like automatic ‘Congratulations!’ messages to highlight milestones in learned words and other achievements. Or something similar to offer some reassurance of continual progress. Something to confirm that you are doing fine and should keep going. And that it is normal at certain times to not have as high scores as at the beginning. I think these small ‘rewards’ could be very motivating for the despirited. Feed the vanity of the vain, and people will do anything. 

Lingvist replies:

Many users have asked for a little help on the long-term motivation front, so these issues are on our desk at the moment. We’re testing ways of making you understand and rejoice at your progress, as well as ways of pushing forward users who are at many different levels of proficiency. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced language learner, please let us know what you’d like to see on Lingvist as we’re always brainstorming and happily incorporating the users’ ideas into this design process. Email or drop us a line via the feedback button in the program.

We’re waiting on the other end!