For many people, learning a new language can be a hassle if it’s not incorporated into our everyday lives. Taking a language course through school can be either a hit or a miss depending on how the individual learns best. There are so many variables to consider when learning a language in class, including: the teacher, the way it’s taught, and how well the student can comprehend and keep up. I myself have been guilty of struggling to learn French in both high school and college. I’ve had a range of teachers and methods of practicing and I know the best way to learn would be to go to France and learn in the environment. However, that’s not really a possibility for myself let alone most people who want to learn a new language.
Instead, relief came in November 2011. Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker created the language-learning platform called Duolingo. They both saw the need for a fun-learning environment for those who wanted to learn language. The creators knew that language education was limited and not the easiest for most people. They combined their efforts to create a platform that was free and could be spread universally and help people learn a new language easily and accurately. Duolingo became this platform to teach people a new language through games and interactive activities.
Since it’s creation in late 2011, Duolingo has grown to cover several languages and is working to add more. The platform has been developed into an app and programs that are accessible to people on Apple, Android, Windows products, and more in order to reach as many people as possible. Thanks to this, it allows people to learn on a portable device without carrying a textbook or paying for an electronic subscription.
Duolingo incorporates games, making it much easier for users to develop new language skills. Games range from multiple choice, fill in the blank, spelling, and speaking, all of which encourage the user to think, remember, and recall information learned during a gaming session. The platform also uses a simple art style to depict images of objects or people in order to make the experience straight-forward, easy to remember, and understand. Each time a new section is completed, the user can earn lingots and badges that encourage the user to complete and learn more. Lingots can be exchanged in the virtual store for language learning bonuses.
Learning is also not completely isolated. Like in a classroom setting, Duolingo offers users to ‘compete’ with friends and learn alongside others to encourage progress. There are even professional speakers accessible through the app for speaking practice purposes.
Overall, this platform has grown to be very helpful for not just myself, but millions of people worldwide who are trying to teach themselves something new. The company is very open to reaching out and incorporating more education to help out new learners. Their website is easy and simple to understand and navigate, making their method of education outstanding in how well it works.