Many years ago, I spent a good amount of time working on my Spanish language skills with the Duolingo app. I got far enough on it that I was able to converse fairly well with my Spanish speaking grandmother the last time I was able to visit her. I even made a joke in Spanish about my dad being old. Very proud of myself for that one.
I reached the end of the lessons, and I even took a language placement test and tested into Spanish 201, which I took in 2016. I didn’t continue with university classes, because I didn’t like the experience of the class. The instructor tried to take a hard line of not speaking English, but they caved quickly under the pressure of a silent classroom. I guess I also felt like I was done with taking classes for the time being.
I had only taken the class because I ran out of Duolingo. What I didn’t realize was that while I was ignoring it, they were adding more lessons. I came back to it earlier this year and realized that there were a whole lot more units than there used to be. I got to work. It would be great to be able to understand when my dad and his siblings broke into Spanish during our family Zooms.
I found a rhythm for myself, moving forward to more interesting lessons, and cycling back to the easier lessons to level them up. Stories, which were a new feature to me, every now and then.
And then they completely changed the interface! I could no longer navigate back and forth between easier and harder lessons, oh no. I’m on a single path, and I have to follow it. I’m not super fond of this change. I liked being able to change topics if my brain was just refusing to get a grammar concept. Or if I wanted to rack up quick XP and rise on the leaderboard.
I’m determined to keep going on it. There are now far more units than I think I could possibly finish, but I’ve wanted to learn Spanish for a very long time. Some things are starting to click in my brain, and I’m hoping that will continue. I have a 75 day streak as of today, and I’m happy to keep learning.