Wowowow, @ben , you are on the roll!
I skipped learning during the Midsummer weekend - the biggest fun of the Nordics, and now am back. Daily goal today - 300 cards. I might, after all, clean up my repeat stack and learn some new words
100 completed, 200 to go.
So many things to love. Starting with your list:
The minimalist design - oh my goodness yes. I'm so tired of gaudy, overdone designs in every app that's trying to sustain me through my supposedly limited attention span. I appreciate the clean and calm.
Milestones and progress at bottom; separate stats page - yes, both of these. I appreciate the understated but immediate feedback on where I'm at, and being able to get a more thorough look at how far I've progressed through the content, how that relates to reading text.
The fact that it teaches words by frequency - Absolutely appreciated. Especially appreciate how you have them set up so that it's not thematic from the start, like most programs' beginnings.
The example sentences - While I don't necessarily love the business focus that I hit early in Spanish, I can appreciate that they are frequent words and thus included. Otherwise, I've been impressed with selection of sentences, with some using more complex grammar than I can yet decipher, but it gives me that first exposure. Related, I also love the reinforcement of vocabulary throughout your example sentences. For example, I first learned "señale" as a new word in a sentence. Maybe 5 minutes later, I learned another new word but "señale" was part of the sentence. Reinforcement without testing that word again! I've seen this over and over again, and it's a strategy that has really been missing from many other programs I've tried.
The voices that read the sentences - I don't know about sexy, but the voices are truly great. They are clear, distinct, faster paced without being incomprehensible, and consistent throughout. Voice recordings vary in quality/volume/clarity in other programs, so I appreciate the selections (for French and Spanish, at least).
(haven't seen the forums until today; grammar is definitely helpful on a few words, but hasn't been one of my key strategies since this is based on contextual learning. I get more grammar through my supplemental learning, and don't crave it here--contextual learning and simplicity is perfect for this!)
And some other things:
Some offline - I highly appreciate that I've been able to use the app for a while even though I'm offline, not connected. It meant I could continue to train in one of my languages while on a flight recently, and that in general I don't have to worry about maintaining steady connection (hello Metro). Don't know how far I can continue offline, and haven't been able to switch languages while offline, but it's still better than any other apps I've tried. (Of course, would love to have the option to have everything work offline...)
Simplicity of offerings - You do a few things, and you do them really well. As much as I really want other offerings (videos with subtitles! long passages! audio to follow those passages! Live conversation! Role playing! Compose your own text!), there is immense value in what you already offer, and I'd hate to see you suffer by stretching too thin. The contextual, production-based, smart SRS training that allows you to test into a higher level and is useful to intermediate learners is not something I've found elsewhere, and really needed. (haven't tried your conversations much, seem to be less enthused with those from my limited exposure, but I'm still happy with the primary service!)
Backed by research - Everything I've been reading up on emphasizes contextual learning of words, reducing the use of translation as much as possible, SRS, etc. This fits in with this. There are some things missing, but I don't think you'd be able to scale them to this app (recall images--Memrise tries to do this but it doesn't really work; pronunciation trainers--haven't seen anything effective for this yet). But what you can do? You've developed into this.
Gentle gamification - There is gamification, but it's not extra. There's goals to meet, but there's no made-up story line, no incentive for cheating, no daily notification or guilt-trip to get me to come back in if I need to take some time off, nothing superfluous. This ties back into the minimalism mentioned above, but it goes beyond design to include the experience. It's simple, enticing for those of us that are intrinsically motivated, and I love it.
"Immersion" via text - Tying back into the comments on contextual learning, I love that I'm not translating full sentences--I'm reading full sentences with one word missing, and only that word is a translation. It would be hard to do this without that one word of translation, so I can't begrudge that, but otherwise reading everything in my target language? Talk about a confidence builder! And for those sentences I just can't figure out, there is the optional translation--I pull that down, review the sentence to decipher what I was missing, and then the next time I see the sentence I usually don't need the translation again.
Not just for beginners - I'm a beginner in Spanish, but have a fair amount of imperfect French under my belt. I'm missing some basic words and a lot of grammar, but also have an odd collection of advanced terminology. So, testing in to a higher level to skip all the basic stuff I definitely know? Invaluable. This app has really helped me start to pull that all together in a way that verb drills can't, because I"m not training on a particular verb tense at one time (and thus committing the structure to short-term memory), I'm training on all of them as used in the language (and thus getting used to thinking of those verb tenses in different contexts). There's a lot of beginner friendly apps, and not a lot of intermediate/advanced, so this definitely meets an important need.
So... kind of a lot. Sorry not sorry for the book, but since I know there's real people on the other side of this technology, I decided it was worth laying this all out. I appreciate the work you do, that you've created this app that is essentially what I had spent a couple years looking for. Thank you!
I would say make sure there's some note about the change that is visible to users if they become mandatory. I got tired of typing üöä and capitalizing because I was trying to just breeze through the words fast. But I was never wrong about whether I thought an umlaut belonged there, and I certainly never was wrong about whether a word ought to be capitalized. I just got more pressed for time.
Although I guess the first word I missed for diacritical reason I'd realize "oh they're mandatory now"
Can I switch off the words I find “unnecessary”?
This is not possible at the moment, but we would love to hear your thoughts. If you were able to choose the type of words you could learn, reply below to let us know how and why you would use this function!
I'm really waiting for this feature myself, @Walker-Moore! Our devs are passionate and dedicated. Things that take time are complex tasks and sometimes they themselves can't work on solving the riddles that they really want to solve because of priority battles. At the moment, while we all are waiting for the progress reset feature, we can reset your accounts manually. I'll be the first one to shout all over this thread about the feature when it's ready, uncorking the virtual champagne. I'm already savouring the moment.
Sorry for the bad experience you've had. The placement test can be quite harsh at times leads to frustration. However we're looking at ways to improve this (especially by taking into account words with a similar meaning) and your feedback is definitely valuable to us. In this case the best way would be to get through these initial easy words - if you get them correct on first appearance, they won't appear again for months. Alternatively you could create a new account and try the placement test once more but this obviously isn't an ideal solution.
@jonn Dynamic goals would make the experience so much better. Though if you are going to take slower action, of the three goals, new word number is I suspect the one most would like control over. You could leave the card number and percent correct alone, then allow users to set their daily goal.
Or an easier kludge would be just give users the option to stop new words for a given section and do as many of their old stack as possible. Do that, and see how users utilize it and you will have some actionable data to decide what to do when you finally let users control their own goals. Make it so that it automatically returns to adding new words after an hour, and users would have to click it again to continue. That way you would still be defaulting to adding new vocabulary.
That was what made DuoLingo a great program for me - I could do as much as I wanted of practice and I would only advance when I felt comfortable. For the smallish vocabulary that I got from Duo, I know that on a more "comprehending" level. That is, instead of El alcalde -> The mayor -> Concept of what a mayor is, it goes directly from El alcalde -> Concept of what a mayor is. It would also let users practice when they are not tip-top intellectually. If I have been at work and used Spanish moderately-extensively, I have noticed that if I practice right before bed that day, I cement words in my brain better. However if I already did 50 cards and ran up against the limit of having to add new vocabulary in order to practice then I don't because it's just too intellectually taxing after a 10 hour shift in the ER.
This is not a malfunction, so I'll move your question to the "Questions" category. You've been learning with Lingvist for 129 days and to-date you have seen all the words, available in the course. Your review queue counter at the moment is 1 (you only have 1 word worth reviewing).
Our app runs on the spaced repetition formula, which means that you only see the words that you need to repeat at the given moment. In your case, your learning speed and performance is literally ahead of your learning curve (right now).
Here's what to do:
Take longer breaks between learning sessions, which will allow for the repeat stack to accumulate. For example, if you spend your learning time elsewhere until June 11th (not doing cards on the app), you will come back to 120+ words to review. And on June 12th you will already have around 200 words to review.
As I see, you have incomplete challenges, so you could diversify your learning by doing those while waiting for the repeat stack to fill up. I can also see that there is a wave of repeats coming up ahead of you, so you can be certain that all the words you have ever seen in the course are coming back.
Do join our Graduates group and look through the resources published for French to find alternative ways of practising for the few days ahead.
Most importantly, well-done for completing the course!!