I've been using DuoLingo to learn Russian (as you do). They do a really good job switching up the challenges so you are asked to interpret what you see, what you read, and what you hear.
- What You See: New nouns are introduced with an image of the noun, which feels like cheating. I try to ignore the image, for some reason. I don't know why I'm trying to make Russian more challenging.
- What You Read: I fail consistently on interpreting what I read, not surprising given that when I read I think things like, "That starts with the L sound, so I should search for the answer that looks like it has bird legs in the beginning." (For those unfamiliar with Russian, Ls look like bird legs, F's look like two Ps standing back to back before a duel, and V's are Bs, and Zs are 3s.)
- What You Hear: First off, everything sounds as if it's being read by Ambassador Molari from Babylon 5, so it's all vaguely comical. Second, they made an effort to record each word in a flat affect so it can be plugged in to any spot in any sentence, except for one word: Ukraine. They throw a little emotion in to that word. Just a little touch of excitement, but next to all the other words it sounds like it's the name of the hot new Broadway show, Ukraine! Amerika, yawn, Ruzsia, yawn, and introducing uKRAYnnnn!
I understood exactly one word in the video below: Hello.