Educational Technology

June 28, 2014

Duolingo offers free language learning while helping to translate the web

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

By Erin Carson, Tech Republic

Luis von Ahn was bored. “The goal is to make Duolingo the de facto way to learn a language around the world,” he said. Users sign up and pick a language to learn. Whether on a browser, mobile phone, or tablet, they work through a tree of skills, like adjectives, or possessive pronouns, with exercises that include speaking, listening, and translating. A recent study by the City University of New York said that 34 hours spent on Duolingo equaled a semester of a language class. While Gina Gotthilf, head of marketing and international development at Duolingo says that Duolingo is not a substitute for the classroom, there are several reasons why Duolingo is proving effective. For one, Duolingo is managing to keep users engaged. Online learning has a notoriously high dropout rate. About 40-50% of their more than 25 million users are active in the course, which might be due to how game-like the Duolingo format is.

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