Written by 4:37 pm What we reviewed

Duolingo – language learning

Learning a different language is like tackling a new aspect of life you have never explored before.

Duolingo is a free language-learning app/website which has gained millions of followers in the recent times. With the Duolingo mobile app, you can learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Hebrew, Welsh, Swahili, Romanian and English. It allows you to practice your speaking, reading, listening and writing skills, while playing a game.

Duolingo was developed by a professor at Carnegie Mellon University as a gamified foreign language program and it was released to the public in 2012. Just one year later, Apple named it its ‘iPhone App of the Year’. Since then, it has grown to over 30 million users worldwide, including many homeschooling families. It is currently available for free, although you can choose to purchase a paid upgrade that eliminates ads and provides offline access to the app.

With the help of this app, you can improve your vocabulary and grammar skills by answering questions and completing lessons. Start with basic verbs, phrases, and sentences, and learn new words daily. The age group that I would recommend this app to, would be 10+. It is a little bit too difficult for younger kids to navigate. It would also be too much for them to fully comprehend the games, the instructions, to keep track of points and to engage consistently. The app is fairly easy to master, as it is designed in the form of a game and makes learning more fun. Duolingo provides corrections and immediate feedback – an essential to ensure that errors don’t become permanent patterns for a language learner.

According to Duolingo’s terms of use, account holders must be 13+ years of age. If you have a younger child who wants to use the app, I suggest that you set up an account with your name and e-mail, in order to abide by the terms of use. This will also protect your child from potentially dangerous communication with other users. The social features of the app require parental vigilance.

I love this app, its free and it’s so simple that anyone can use it. It is educational, fun and the examples it uses are appropriate for all ages and does not contain any objectionable content. Duolingo provides students with regular, encouraging reminders to practice their language skills. I highly recommend this if you want to learn a foreign language.

Rating: 8/10

By Sandeep Menon

Sandeep Menon is an IT expert with more than two decades of experience in IT Service Delivery Management. He holds a Master’s degree in IT & Project Management and technical review is his passion. Sandeep is the Director of Cochin Herald Media Network – http://magazine.cochinherald.com. He lives in God’s Own Country – Kerala, India – with his wife Sneha and son Sohan.

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