Created back in 2012, Duolingo has quickly grown to become one of the best-known and most popular apps for language learning, offering almost 40 different options from Spanish through Welsh to even High Valyrian (that’s right, Game of Thrones fans). It currently has over 120 million registered users all over the world.
With Duolingo, learning Spanish seems like a game: you get to move up through levels (leagues), setting weekly goals, collecting awards as you progress, unlocking gifts, following friends, and checking vocabulary retention. There is even a Duolingo store where you can buy so-called “powerups” paying with virtual currency (lingots). These features surely help keep users - especially the young ones - motivated throughout the entire process.
When taking up a new course with Duolingo, you can either start from the very beginning or take a placement test that will put you at the most suitable level. The lessons are short and come with exercises that combine reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. Any new content is highlighted and explained or translated to your native language when necessary.
To unlock the contents of a new level, you have to finish all the modules of your current level or take the level test if you think you already know the necessary vocabulary and grammar.
All in all, the app is very well organized and allows learners to keep track of their progress and stay motivated.
- multi-platform (iOS, Android, Google)
- playful and engaging
- user friendly and intuitive
- explains grammar rules
- contents well organized and useful for real life
- only for lower proficiency levels
- The Spanish course is only offered for certain base languages
- the fixed structure doesn’t give users the possibility to pick contents at random
- comes with ads (unless you buy a USD 6.99 monthly subscription “Duolingo Plus”)