I didn’t get around to strategy in the previous post. Duolingo is deliberately involved in “gamification of language learning”, that is, making it a game. It has weekly contests for how much you can study, measured in experience points. Starting first thing Monday morning (Midnight Sunday night Universal Time) as soon as you complete one lesson you are entered in a league of thirty people (I presume, the thirty people who are at the same level league and completed one lesson at about the same time). In all but the highest level of league the 10 people who have the most points in the next 7 days are promoted to the next higher level league and the five people who have the fewest points are demoted to the next lower level league. In the highest level league only the three people with the fewest points are demoted, and there’s nowhere else for the top people to go. Basically you get ten XPs for each set of about 15 exercises you complete plus up to five points bonus per set for correct answers, or (for a limited set of languages) somewhere around 15 points for reading a brief story and answering questions about what’s happening in it. But there are all sorts of special things going on also — on some days you can get a lot of points for doing a set of exercises within a diminishing set of time limits, for instance. A language course is divided into lessons with (usually) four to eight sets of exercises, and the last set of each lesson is good for 20 rather than 10 XPs, and gives you double XPs for all lessons you do in the next 15 minutes. So that’s where my strategy comes in. I just don’t do the last set of exercises in a lesson unless I want to spend the following 15 minutes doing more, but leave it for the first thing to do the next day. If I go through one set of exercises in each of 8 languages I can rack up 150 points easily with the double points. Currently (but it won’t last long) I’m sitting pretty, at first place in my highest level league:
To be honest, this is a particularly low scoring group for a Diamond-level league. Almost every other week, the person in first place has at least three to five times as many points as I do by this time in the week. I have been in first place on Sunday night (Eastern time, so right at the start of the week’s contest) once or twice before, but never on a Wednesday.
We did a bunch of yard work today, pruning rhododendrons and grapes and tidying up in front of the garage doors.