This year has definitely been a year of improvement for me as I learn to be proficient in French, learn new software, and ultimately HTML. A new segment that I wanted to add to my blog will be called “Improve Thyself” in which I talk about ways to improve yourself, review products and services that can help, and share my own experiences. For this post I want to focus on Duolingo*.
For those of you who don’t know, Duolingo is a free language learning program set up as a game that you can do on your computer or through an app on your phone or tablet. Words are grouped together based on grammar, such as verbs and adjectives, or by themes, such as words for animals and clothing, with roughly 2-10 lessons for each section. There are various checkpoints where each section will build off what you learned from the previous section. For every group you complete you can win lingots that can be used to purchase more life when doing the lesson, do timed practices, and unlock lessons for more informal language skills such as idioms and pick up lines.
So the big question is does it work? As someone who is currently on a 22 day streak learning French I can say yes. Its set up to fit right into a busy schedule and can be done on the go wherever. If you’re someone who learns better by seeing it as a game then this set up will definitely be advantageous for you on your way to learning a new language. One aspect I like in particular is the reminder to strengthen your skills when you go to your home page. Sometimes when we complete something we want to forget about it and having Duolingo give the incentive of leveling up through replaying past word groups id definitely a positive.
The other part of Duolingo is the immersion and discussion sections. The immersion involves translating various documents such as Wikipedia articles or newspaper articles. I haven’t done much with the discussion section but the immersion section has been a good experience to practice reading in French and translating text. My one issue is that if you hover over the words you do get the definition and I feel like it may be more beneficial to not have that aspect so that a person can truly test their language skills.
The only other issue is that there is a limited number of languages you can learn and there are no languages from Asia such as Chinese or Japanese. This is not a flaw that I foresee the company having for long as more people use it and those who are proficient in those languages contribute to the website.
Overall, I give the website a 9/10 and would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to get the basics of a foreign language. If anyone wants to compete with me learning French my username is J_is_learning_19. I wish you all the luck in learning a new language and if you have some other websites that you feel would help with learning languages just leave a comment!
*This post is not sponsored by Duolongo nor do I work for the company. I merely am using their services.