LingQ keeps updating my level

The system has just raised my level again in from beginner 1 to beginner 2 in Japanese. I’m flattered that it thinks so much of my abilities - what it is basing its assessment on?

When you go to check out material at beginner level 2 in the library, the system will do this to you.

Ah, that explains why I am sometimes so very Advanced! Thank you.

I should mention that we are actually working on this issue. In the very near future, your level will advance automatically as you hit your Known Words targets and will be separate from the level indicated on the library shelf.

If you have the LingQ system automatically updating us based on our number of known words you are going to get CEFR fans like me arguing with you a lot.

The CEFR doesn’t mention passive vocabulary size as such in the level descriptors. It (as far as I can understand it) assess people’s language level based on descriptor sentences (see parallel thread here: Alte "Can Do" Statements - Language Forum @ LingQ). You could work assess someone’s level by designing a test based on these descriptors, or you could simply hand them the list of descriptor “Can do” statements and ask them to rate themselves.

I would suggest a questionnaire asking people to rate their own abilities based on the CEFR descriptors, maybe the ones in this document: You could use the LingQ statistics to trigger the questionnaire, eg when someone’s listening hours hits a certain score, the system sends them a questionnaire of their listening abilities, and depending on the answers they give to the questionnaire, upgrades their listening skill level. Or, when someone’s listening, reading, writing and speaking stats all pass a certain minimum, you send them a questionnaire covering all skills, and when they assess themselves as having gone up a level in all areas then the system upgrades them.

In fact that’s what should be happening already on LingQ, with people manually upgrading themselves based on simplified descriptors. People sometimes are reluctant to upgrade themselves because (I suspect) they don’t really understand the level descriptors.

I very much believe that passive vocabulary is the Gordian Knot, Ockham’s Razor, best and simplest measure of language potential, certainly better than a subjective self-evaluation. It represents the language potential of the learner, especially if acquired through a lot of listening and reading. Eventually increased speaking will convert this into active speaking ability.

What is happening to LingQ? Complication or sophistication? And Steve, why not “a subjective self-evaluation?” Self-evaluation, subjective or not, is inherent in the learning process, particularly for the independent learner.

By the way, I prefer to manually change my level.

LingQ keeps updating your level? You’d better stop it!

Yvette, language learning is very personal and subjective, and of course people should do what they want, enjoy their learning, and constantly self-evaluate.

However, we at LingQ, do have our philosophy of learning. We believe that vocabulary growth is the key to language power, that is if it is achieved through lots of listening and reading. In fact vocabulary growth becomes a measure of both achievement and sustained activity over time.

We believe that a large vocabulary is the base from which learners develop other skills, like speaking, comprehension, writing, and even grammatical accuracy. Vocabulary growth also has the advantage that is can be measured somewhat objectively on our system.

People are free to self-evaluate. We ask them to do so when they join. They can also adjust their level whenever they want.

However, many people get stuck in a rut in their learning. They believe they are not making progress, when in fact they are. Ultimately to be able to speak freely and comfortably we need to have lots of opportunity to do so. If we have a large vocabulary, our conversational ability will quickly progress. If we do not have a large vocabulary, we will have trouble understanding much of what is said around us.

So we, at LIngQ, will continue to evaluate learners based on the goals that we set at LingQ, because we are convinced that these are meaningful milestones and goals, which hopefully keep our learners moving forward, even when they think they are not improving.

Steve, I fully and unequivocally understand LingQ’s philosophy. What I do not understand is the nature of LingQ’s policing activities. If “people should do what they want,” then why does LingQ feel the need to impose certain changes on its members.

And yes, people do get stuck in a rut, but is it LingQ’s job to babysit? Rather than set goals for your members, why not find alternative ways to offer encouragement and support. There is care or there is control; there is either progress or there is domination.

More importantly, there is choice and there is freedom. Learning, at its most fundamental level, is about freedom.

LingQ does not “police” anyone. We are changing the site, constantly, in ways that we think will encourage more and more people to use LingQ, continue studying, and thereby benefit. I feel that providing goals for people, and measuring their progress towards those goals, is an import part of the learning environment.

Individuals are, of course, free to ignore these goals and statistic, and many do. However, many others really appreciate them, and are , in fact, upset when some of our statistics are not working properly.

It is simply not possible to please every member all the time. Each person has to take from the site those aspects that suit their learning style.

Why not offer the members to choose between whether or not they want LingQ to determine their level or themselves to determine their level manually?