What is Duolingo?

Duolingo is a free language-learning app that works on iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices as well as the web. With the help of Duolingo you can attempt to learn around fourteen different languages, including most of the main European languages such as French, German and Spanish. The selection of languages available on Duolingo continues to increase, so you’re sure to find one you’d like to have a go at! The video embedded below gives you an overview of what the app aims to do.

What does the app look like and how do I use it?

Duolingo is a brightly coloured app that’s fun and simple to use. Once you’ve signed up for an account you choose the language you’d like to learn, and then proceed through a series of lessons of increasing difficulty. Repetition is encouraged – if you don’t grasp something straight away, the app will suggest you spend more time on that specific area.

Screenshot of the duolingo interface

Duolingo is brightly coloured and engaging

In terms of lesson style, Duolingo makes heavy use of gamification. Each lesson consists of a variety of challenges – filling in missing text, choosing the correct meaning of words, translating spoken words or even pronouncing words or phrases into your microphone. All of these challenges are instantly graded, so you get immediate feedback on what you got correct and what you got wrong. If you get an answer incorrect you’ll lose a heart, and once you’re out of hearts you have to start over again – just like a game. The app gives you hints on what to work on, based on your scores.

To keep you coming back day after day, Duolingo records how many days in a row you spend learning your chosen language(s). This ‘streak’ keeps increasing until you miss a day, so make sure you don’t!

How could this app help me?

Whether you need to learn the basics of a new language for work or leisure, hope to get more out of your summer holiday, or want to get a head start on your IWLP course – Duolingo is a fun (and free) way to begin.
Ideas for Duolingo:

  • Teach yourself a new language in time for your summer holiday.
  • Learn an uncommon language for fun.
  • Brush up on that half-remembered French from school – and turn it into something you can put on your CV.

If you’d like to learn more about Duolingo visit their website – and have a go!