May 16, 2012

Duolingo

Duolingo is a website designed to teach you a new language by translating content on the web.  It is currently in private beta so you will have to request an invite to get started but once you are invited you will be very impressed.  I signed up to learn Spanish but you can also register for English and German with French, Italian and Chinese coming soon.  Duolingo has a very popular format where you move slowly from one lesson to another all the while earning points and badges (see below) which are recognized and displayed for other users to view.  There is a social aspect to the site where you can follow other users progress or get answers to your questions in the community section.  In my short time on the site, I found it very easy to follow the flow of the lessons and liked the mixed format of fill in the blank, multiple choice, open ended, audio questions, speak your answer and more.


For a quick overview of  Duolingo, check out the video below:




Now What?

Duolingo could have a number of positive effects for teachers and students.  My first thought is how important it is for teachers to be able to interact with students and parents who have learned English as a second language.  Duolingo could also be used to help struggling students in foreign language classes to keep up over the summer or even learn a language that isn't offered by the school.  Maybe a foreign language club?  Check it out today to see what all the buzz is about.

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