As I was browsing the internet recently, looking for a website to improve my Spanish, I came across a website for language learning called Duolingo. What I instantly loved about this website is that there were no complex lessons, definition or rules. The software encourages you to learn intuitively by learning from the examples in the quiz. Duolingo allows you to learn other languages such as English, German, French, etc.
In order to use the website you have to sign up. You can either sign up using Facebook or Google, or you can enter a username, email, password. Additionally, you can upload a profile photo. Once you log in to your account, you will see a language tree representing the lessons that are available for the language you are learning. The lessons are in the form of short quizzes where you have three lives, and if you happen to lose all of them, you will have to start over.
However, there are a lot of language learning websites out there. I mean a LOT. What kept me coming back to Duolingo over and over are these six things.
Addictive gamified learning process is a perfect way to engage students. It is similar like playing games and you try and try until you pass the level. Losing hearths and limited number of mistakes within one test keeps you really focused on the game. As if I was playing any other game, after I’ve lost all the lives in one test and after I’ve see little Duo’s sad face, I simply had to try out again.
Learning can get really tedious since it is a long process that requires a lot concentration and motivation. Game-like design, modern look and engaging exercises make it very interesting. You learn a language by discovering on your own, without boring definitions and rules you are not sure how to apply. In addition, it is possible to interact with other members in the discussion stream or help with translating the documents.
Each lesson brings new words and phrases that you have to combine with what you have already learned. Unlocking new lessons and passing the tests is a real challenge, regardless of the level you are at. Learning from your own mistakes will boost up your determination in mastering a specific lesson.
The lessons combine the usage of all four language skills through different types of exercises within each test. Speech-recognition technology helps you refine speaking. Other exercises include writing what you hear, translating, choosing the correct answer(s), finding the correct word order, etc.
Mobile-friendly websites and apps are definitely our future and as the world is going mobile, we expect to use our mobile devices like we use computers. Luckily, there is Duolingo app that is almost identical when it comes to the quizzes. Lying in my soft in the living room is a perfect place for me to learn with Duolingo.
And finally, Duolingo is completely free! There is a Duolingo store where you can buy additional exercises and lessons with Duolingo’s currency – lingots. However, besides purchasing the lingots, you can get them if you practice with Duolingo on regular basis. Leveling up, finishing skills and completing a lesson with full hearts are some of the ways to earn lingots.
Hopefully, you will find this website as useful as I do. Feel free to share your impressions in the comments.