Duolingo’s current listening exercises ramp up the difficulty too quickly without properly training people. Because of the steep incline in difficulty, people fail listening exercises more frequently and take out their frustration by skipping listening exercises altogether.
Ultimately, these issues lead to a drop in time spent learning on Duolingo (which is no bueno).
Duolingo exercises are typically quick and snappy, but for this activity, we needed to introduce friction to get learners to pause and focus on singular words and sounds. To nail this, we obscured the target word
using waveforms, which causes learners to have to rely on their ears to complete this exercise.
We built this experience on the learning principles of Sound Discrimination and Sentence Segmentation. Both are key in beefing up folks' listening skills early on.
Sound Discrimination is the the ability to tell different sounds apart —think telling apart your "j" sound from your "a" sound. Sentence Segmentation is the ability to breakin sentences into parts (nouns, verbs, things like that).