Duolingo’s new learning path update: honest in-depth review (and what’s changed?)

When you are learning a new language from Duolingo you see a lot of different activities and features on the platform. Although it is very easy to use the platform, you may find difficulty with each new update. If you are an old user of the platform, we are sure that you are also confused with Duolingo’s new learning path. Thus here we will help you to know everything related to the new learning path so that you do not have any doubts related to it.

Quick Takeaways

  • Duolingo’s learning path is just like the old tree in which you will be completing different lessons and units in a more arranged manner.
  • The difference between the earlier and current versions is the arrangement of the units and the duration of the units.
  • If you are an old user you may find difficulty in using the current version as you have completed a lot of units in it already.
  • The biggest benefit of this version is that you will be getting the content that you have already studied again and again till the time you are clear with it.

However, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any important facts related to Duolingo’s new learning path.

What is Duolingo’s new learning path?

Duolingo’s learning path is the one on which you will be learning a different language like Japanese and Italian by following a particular way. It removes the guesswork (just like perfect lesson boost) which was earlier in the Duolingo tree. All the lessons, exercises, and courses are similar to the old version. To take these lessons, you must have hearts or life. The only difference between them is they are arranged in a manner that will help you to learn the language from a beginner to an intermediate level. However, according to some of the users, they are not able to get this path on the platform. Further, you must try to stay away from distractions so that you do not lose motivation.

Why did Duolingo introduce the new learning path?

According to the CEO of Duolingo Luis von Ahn, there were only two reasons why they introduce Duolingo’s new learning path-

The first reason was that with the old Duolingo tree, there was a lot of confusion on the platform. In the old tree system, you have to unlock a new skill once you have completed the previous one. Though there is always confusion about whether you should do it or not. Along with that, you are also in doubt about when should you go to the next lesson. The old Duolingo crown system also makes it hard for you as you have to give the maximum to a lesson to get the crown on it.

Thus the crown system makes it very confusing for the users as to when and how should they move to the next lesson. There were many users who do love the old system as they have unlocked a lot of new lessons. On the other hand, new users were quite ok with such a loss.

The other goal of introducing the new learning path was to focus on the main learning outcome. Currently, you are only able to learn a language at A1 or A2 level which will help you to get only at an intermediate level. However, the ultimate goal of Duolingo is to provide courses which will help you to get a B level in the language. Further, there are many games which are available on the platform. Thus the aim of many people become to play these games and forget the goal of learning the language.

How is Duolingo’s new learning path different from the old tree?

Following are the different aspects that you will be getting with the Duolingo new learning path-

1. The approach of the new path

The new path helps you to follow a specific approach when compared to the tree which was more relaxed. In the new learning path, when you will move on to the next lesson, you will get to revise the content you read so far. It will help you to refresh the content that you have gone through in the lessons. On the other hand, in the previous approach, you were allowed to go back to the lessons whenever you want to. There were no revisions and you have to open the old lesson by yourself to revise the content. 

2. The new level system

Earlier there were crowns and skills, which have been replaced with new levels of systems. These levels are like a step which you will be taking towards your language learning journey. When you will complete the level it will turn golden colour which will help you to move on to the next option. Rather than completing 5 crowns levels, the platform has added different levels throughout the learning path. You will see different leagues in which you can participate with random users.

3. Legendary levels 

Legendary levels are now known as legendary trophies which you will be taking up when you will be completing the entire unit. To take these levels you will have to spend 100 gems. Further, you are only allowed to make three mistakes in a test. Once you make mistakes on the test, you will have to retake them. 

4. Units are small

Earlier there were long units which were also not in proper order. However, with time these units are now small and are arranged in a proper manner. There is also an option for a Guide book which replaces the earlier section of the tips view.

5. More practice

Earlier the practice hub was only available for Duolingo Plus members. You were only able to practice your mistakes and the old content. But with the new path you can practice your mistakes. However, some of the stuff that you get on the practice hub is still unavailable for free users. 

6. Revising the previous content

One of the greatest advantages of the new learning path is that you can go back on previous lessons and revise the content. Whereas in the earlier system, it was very difficult to go back to the previous lesson and complete it. 

7. Stories

If you have taken a course like Spanish, you will see the option of stories which help you to develop the listening, speaking and writing skills for the language. These stories are now part of the lessons which were earlier available on the different tabs. 

Can Duolongo bring back the earlier format?

Although there is not a proper statement on this, there are no such chances of bringing the earlier system back on the platform. It is because it takes a lot of time to get this update on Duolingo. Also, with the help of the current Duolingo learning path you know which lesson to take first. However as it is in A/B testing, it suggests that the team want to test more with this model so that they can understand if it is worthy for the users or not.

Is Duolingo’s new learning path worthwhile?

Duolingo’s new learning path is much clear than the earlier tree. There is not a lot of difference between both, the ways as all the lessons, units and levels are the same. The only difference when you take up a course in any language like Japanese or Italian, is the units are arranged in a manner that you will be able to get knowledge from the basic to advanced level. In addition to that, you may also use Alternatives with Duolingo. Further, we have discussed the benefits and drawbacks of Duolingo’s new learning path to help you to understand if it is worth it for you or not. 

What are the benefits of Duolingo’s new learning path?

The following are the advantages of the new learning path-

1. The structure is clear

Duolingo’s new learning path is much clear than the earlier tree. When you were using the earlier tree, you were not able to understand whether you want to go to the next level or not. However, with a new path, you now know which lesson to go on next. The units in the course were not so clear and organized. However, with the current path, the confusion about us is removed and you have to follow a particular way of completing different levels and unlocking different achievements and chests.

2. Revision of previous content 

It helps to revise the content that you have already gone through. So if you have any confusion in the previous lessons you will get a revision for it. Suppose you have learned a new word in the previous lesson, it will come in your future lessons and activities again and again till the time you learn it.

3. Passive learning

Passive learning is a way of learning the content in a manner that you will get the content from the platform and you will be testing your knowledge at each point in time. The biggest passive learning part of the Duolingo course is the stories. Earlier these stories were an optional part of Duolingo. However, currently, they are a necessary part of the course. They have made these stories shorter in duration so that you can easily complete them. These stories will help to develop your language skills.

4. Units are arranged in a proper manner

In the earlier method of learning the units on the platform were designed in a manner which does not follow a particular way. You can open any unit any time you want to. However, with the current path, these units are arranged in a manner that will give you knowledge from starting to the end. Every unit in the course is related to the specific topic that will be related to the next unit. When you will be covering some specific topics you will unlock the legendary levels.

5. Best for beginners

Being a beginner it is very important that you are starting from the very basics of the language. The Duolingo new learning path is the one that will help you to learn the content from the basics of the languages. Whereas in the earlier tree, you were not sure which is the basic lesson and you can start from the next level. As there was no clarification in the way of taking the lessons, it will help you to guide which lesson to take as a beginner.

What are the drawbacks of Duolingo’s new learning path?

The following are the disadvantages of the new learning path-

1. Too restrictive

Earlier you were able to take whatever lesson you want to. However, in the current learning path, you will not be able to take any lesson of your choice. You have to follow a specific direction and thus even if you know the basics of the lesson, you will still have to start from the start.

2. Very tough for the old users

Users who were using Duolingo for the long term, have a habit of using the earlier version of Duolingo. Having a fully new version makes it difficult for them to follow the new path. As they were able to navigate different lessons at a particular time, it give them the liberty to take any lesson. But with the new path, they are not able to do it.

3. Not easy to go back

If you have covered the course so far, you can not go back to the previous lesson of the course. This means that if you want to revise the content of the previous lessons you will have to wait till the time they come in the content again. Although you will be having a practice option on the platform which will help you to practice the mistakes. 

4. Stories are not in their tab

As the stories have moved in the units themselves, there is still a separate tab for stories. It makes it haled for the users to find these stories. However, it is very difficult to locate stories for French or Spanish in the units, which were early easy to locate in the old system.

5. Many users are not having it

As Duolingo’s new learning path is the latest update on the platform, it is in the testing process. Thus there are many users who are having it and other who are not having it. However, it is not a big problem as there are very few people who are not having this version. Further, it has also made it difficult to earn the EX points and thus many of the users try using timed challenges like XP ramp-up to getting more XP points. 

What are the options that Duolingo can add along with the new learning path?

Following are the features that Duolingo can think of adding along with the new learning path-

  • Toggle option: The users must have the option of choosing between both the versions. Especially for the old users who have come so far in learning the course. It will help them for completing the course properly.
  • Including more fun games: As Duolingo is a platform which is known for the different activities it has, they must try to include much more activities. It will help you to get more XP points and also if you are only playing a game in a day, it will help you to increase your streak score. Although it will make the lessons longer, will give you more interesting activities to learn the languages like Portuguese.
  • Bringing stories back in the tab: As the stories have shifted in the units, you may be unable to locate them. Thus putting them back in their own tabs is a better option. As you will easily be able to locate it on the platform.
  • More practice opportunities: When you learn a new language the chances of doing mistakes are high. Thus including an option for more practising will help you to get the ultimate goal of learning the targeted language.


When you are learning a new language with the help of Duolingo, you will have to follow a particular path which is known as a tree. However, with the current update, you get Duolingo’s new learning path which will help to arrange all the lessons and units in a particular manner. This new learning path not only has a specific method of arranging the units but also brings the story options under different units.

Thus it becomes tough to locate them in the course. However, when you will go through the new lesson you will get the old content as a part of the revision. The new path is also not available for many users as it is still in A/B testing. However, with time, it will be available for every user.

William Christie