I was certainly looking to avoid this with my kids… so back in June I started checking out various websites and apps for practicing foreign languages. Here’s the reasons we choose Duolingo….
#1: It’s a game.
I made an account for everyone in the family – which allowed me as a parent, to quickly see how everyone is progressing. It’s amazing what happens when your score are displayed against the rest of the family, the competitive drive comes out in everyone. Kids love to play games and apparently there’s huge power in fake virtual gold coins. Of course, at the time I wrote this, I’m sitting in third place and have some work ahead of me…
#2: Available on multiple devices.
You can practice on a laptop, iPhone, iTouch, or iPad – which is great. The kids could use any device they wanted to access their account…. pick your screen size and get to it!
#3: Multiple pathways to success
When kids hit a barrier… they can back down to “practice” mode where they can still earn points – but also gain experience to help them prepare for the next level. That’s the problem we found with other sites/apps, if there isn’t multiple paths to success, they want to stop using the product.
To help spark their competitiveness, Duolingo sends daily reminders to both encourage them to practice as well as to acknowledge when they have practiced and improved. In addition, it sends a reminder to you to let you know when your friends have passed your score.
#5: It’s FREE
Yes, that’s right… it’s completely free. No cost to use the website, the apps… no charges at all.
Here’s a few more screen shots to show you what Duolingo is like…..