Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it’s 100% free! Users can learn French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and many more on their mobile device. This app is entertaining, easy to use and motivating. Duolingo is ideal for ESL/ELL students, world language classes, and anyone who wants to become bilingual.
Through Duolingo, languages are taught in a traditional way, in the sense that you learn vocabulary in stages, starting with things such as the present tense, animals, food, plurals, possessive, clothing, conjunctions, etc. Within each of these levels, you have anywhere from one to 8-9 or more lessons, which in turn comprise a number of exercises. As you progress, the phrases you practice in the lessons/exercises get progressively more complex. Additional verb tenses are introduced much later as you progress through many levels.
Duolingo has an addictive element to it, and as you progress through levels and stages, you get a sense of accomplishment. Since the app tracks your progress and the number of points you acquire every day, it also motivates you to keep going and beat your previous records. You can also challenge your friends on Facebook. Plus, as you gain experience points and pass through different levels, you earn “lingots” with which you can purchase items and bonus lessons.
We have had great success when trialing Duolingo. Students enjoy learning languages and competing against themselves.
Learning languages can be reversed within the app so this is an ideal app for ELL students. We highly recommend this app for students that must take a foreign language in middle school, high school, and college as additional practice. Or, simply for users that would like to learn a new language in an exceptional way.
We love the versatility of this app for a variety of users. Another reviewer, a psychologist by training, shares how this app has been beneficial for not only language learning, but improving mental health! A male Persian Gulf Veteran, Army, in his 40s with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been isolated for some time. He does not work, so his social engagement is quite limited. His engagement in pleasurable activities is also quite limited as he experiences great discomfort being around others. He asked this reviewer to help him communicate with his yard man who only speaks Spanish. I mentioned Duolingo as a means for him to learn Spanish in the comfort and privacy of his home.
He began using the app and expressed his delight in learning. Recently, he sustained an injury to his ankle in a fall and has not been able to run. He had been running to manage stress, foster his health, and to do something that he liked. This had been his only regular source of activity outside of the home other going to grocery shopping. He expressed how he had maintained his Spanish lessons with Duolingo, which kept him from focusing on all the stress because of his injury. In fact, he wanted more information as he did not feel there was sufficient instruction on conjugation, so he began to explore other Spanish apps.
As his desire to learn more grows, we have started discussing attending a class with other people. This step would provide a means to increase his social interaction, foster his self-esteem, and help him move toward his desired goals. A language app being used to facilitate symptom reduction and psychosocial functioning would not have initially occurred to this reviewer! I have been pleasantly surprised how helpful this app has been. It is easy to use, free, and the modules are brief. The added benefits are the positive mental health outcomes that have resulted.
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