You've Leveled Up! Now What?

Definitely good to get the basics right for tonal languages indeed! Glad to hear you started taking Chinese italki lessons early on, which helped with this. Just out of curiosity, I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but if you use voice input, does it detect the different tones accurately? I imagine that for example dedicated Chinese voice recognition software should be able to do so, but I’m not sure if for instance Google’s voice recognition (which seems to be used here in “Speaking” review mode) will be able to pick up on these subtle differences?

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I don’t seem to have speaking mode for Mandarin Chinese, though I do for French (using Chrome on a computer). My experience of it on Duolingo and HelloChinese is that it isn’t good enough to be confident that your tones are correct.

I do find it useful to record myself and play it back. Sometimes I feel certain I’ve been very clear with my high, low, rising and falling intonations, but the recording shows otherwise!


Playing a bunch of French sentences here (plus audiobooks later on, when I needed longer-form content) did magically improve my listening skills. I’m almost evangelical about the power of Clozemaster to improve listening ability! I vividly remember only being able to catch words here and there of the first sentences I tried in 2018.

I’m optimistic about the possibility of learning to speak fairly well using programs like this, too, with enough focus on it. I just don’t think speaking naturally flows from reading and listening skills, at least not for me.


@kadrian, love your “evangelical” comment. I’m much the same re: Cloze Listening and know that it has done wonders for mine.

Listening to the very varied native speakers here is a real challenge but so satisfying when you recognise them and get the answers right.

Happy listening!


Clozemaster has done wonders to both my listening and reading skills in French and Spanish, but no, I have not started speaking yet either. Then again, if it is going to take time, I’m not in a hurry. In Spanish I could see it happen organically in time, because I do find myself forming words and short sentences from time to time. I think I would just need massive amount of listening. Bur with French… not sure about that. The problem is that pronunciation, as well as recognition of words within sentences, is so much harder that I think it would require more active work. I’m not convinced that I’ll ever find time for that.

On the matter of reviews, though. I recently set 100 % to never, and yet they keep coming. I’m kinda disappointed, because the crazy amount of reviews has been keeping me from progressing (and no, I’m not just able to ignore them), and I thought I had found a solution to that :frowning:


Yeah it’s a bit sad there’s no way of just “binning” the outstanding ones based on a selection critereon, like “if I’ve already reviewed the sentence x times”, “if I never got this wrong”, etc.
Changing the review intervals sadly only ever works for scheduled upcoming reviews when completed, not existing already scheduled ones :disappointed:

While I can see the logic behind it, I think many of us only realised once we started drowning in reviews, that we might want to tweak the settings, and at that point there’s likely already mountains of reviews still awaiting us for 180 / 365 / … days to come (until we’ve caught the last “outstanding” ones).

It is for this reason that the “search by % mastered” feature or some “see clozes scheduled for upcoming reviews” management would be so useful.


I promise you that life goes on when you decide to stop worrying about reviews! You can break free, and probably learn a lot more when you put that time to other use!

Reviews are great when you actually need the spaced repetition, but at some point they become very time-consuming for not much benefit, unless you’ve somehow had the foresight to set your review intervals for each sentence perfectly.

If they’re actually discouraging you from learning new material, and you’re getting a high percentage of your reviews correct (or close enough!), I would move on. You’ll see those words come up again in future in other sentences here, or “in the wild” in native materials.


Promise? Perhaps I can give it a go and set myself free.

Yeah, I do get almost all of them correct. And it really is true that I will encounter them again at some point – and I can even go back to the reviews if I feel like it. Somehow our brain (or at least mine) keeps telling us that we need to be systematic or everything will be ruined, but in reality the amount of input is the key.


@kadrian Thanks so much for your thinking and yes, comforting words, about reviews. And as @hooetvee says, we can become systematic.

Two really helpful posts that might just stop me feeling the need to tidy up!

A dopo…


On the question of how to achieve fluency using Clozemaster, I would like to point out that there’s a hidden danger in the system, if one tries to actively learn all the words that one comes by, especially as one advances to the less frequently used words in the FFT.

I have started reflecting on this lately, after finding that I often stumble for words, choosing between synonyms. So now I’m trying be more relaxed about not knowing every single cloze to perfection, just as long as I know that I know some other word that I can use instead.

I think this is an endorsement of the advice about not thinking too much about the 100% mastered reviews and focusing on steadily exposing oneself to new words. Just keep in mind that some words are more important than others!


@morbrorper Wise words indeed! And I like your comment about some words more important than others!

Best to you;-)


Those discussions about reviews really lightened my whole view of CM. I am not alone in this and finally gotten out of that demoralizing piling up and cleaned a good part of those Augean stables with no apparent damage to my review forecast. I decided that a feel of progress in moving to new sentences and new challenges is more important to me than the stagnant , mind numbing repetitions of the words I already know and stopped worrying if I did not get 100% right on 100% mastered. They are tiny amount and I will get them in other sentences in the future collections that I do know are there. What is the saying? The best is the enemy of the good?