I love keeping up with internet trends and watching YouTube in my spare time.
This App Can Teach You Languages Better Than You Could Learn Them In A Class Room
My best friend was the one who suggested I download this app. She was learning french because she lives in Canada. I told her I had taken french in high school and she wanted to practice her french with me. Since I was thirty-four years old, I quickly realized that it had been a really long time since I'd taken french or spoken it at all, so I remembered next to nothing.
I worried I would struggle to keep up with her, especially since, even when I was in school, there were aspects of french that I struggled to understand.
What I didn't expect was to get a deeper understanding and love for the french language (and I'm also taking Spanish now too!) than I ever had while I was in school.
Below are some reasons why I think learning a language through Duolingo is better than taking a language class.
I was excited to see lately that I can understand the majority of what is being said in this french video after only taking french a short amount of time every day. This means I know more french now than what I learned in my two years of taking french in high school. I've only been using Duolingo for half that time and I've still learned so much more.
It's harder to learn a language as an adult than when you are young, so logically, I should be learning and retaining this language slower now, but that's not the case. Here are ten reasons why I think that is...
1. Using Duolingo Is Like Playing A Mobile Game
It doesn't feel like you're taking a class. There are no boring lectures or lists of words to memorize. Instead, the whole thing is set up like a game--with levels, points, and even lives you can lose. It makes the learning more fun and even addicting, so you are motivated to learn.
2. You Get More Practice Speaking The Language
In traditional classroom settings, you get a lot of practice reading, writing, and listening to the teacher speaking the language, but you don't get a lot of practice speaking it yourself because the lessons aren't one-on-one. You can hire an expensive tutor to practice speaking your new language, but that takes a lot of money.
Duolingo regularly asks you to speak the words you are learning. It asks as often as it asks you to listen, write, or read. It uses the microphone on your phone to assess whether you are pronouncing the words correctly. If you do it wrong, you can hear the pronunciation of the words again and try as many times as you need to practice.
I especially like this technique because it allowed me to practice saying words without the embarrassment of butchering the pronunciations in front of another human being. This made me feel bolder when it came to speaking the words and allowed me to become better at pronunciation than I've ever been before.
3. You Can Learn In Short Bursts Every Day
It's hard to have the time to practice speaking a language for hours at a time. Most courses require you to do that, but with Duolingo, you can practice only five to thirty minutes every day and still be right on track.
The lessons go by so quick and easy that I'm able to fit them into my schedule, even when I'm really busy.
4. It Teaches You At Your Own Speed
When you add a language and begin your lessons, it allows you to start your classes at whatever level you need to. If you know nothing, you start at the beginning. If you are somewhat fluent, you take a test to assess your level.
Once you get further into things, if you are getting everything right with no mistakes, it allows you to skip ahead if you want to. If you're struggling and falling behind, it provides you with a variety of ways to review areas where you are having difficulty understanding.
The lessons change to cater to your needs as you work through them, helping you learn better.
5. It Allows You To Unlock New Things To Keep It Interesting
One of the things that keeps the app exciting is earning points that you can spend. These points allow you to unlock new lessons and items you can use.
You also earn levels and crowns. The more crowns you get, the more the game changes.
I've unlocked stories, audio lessons, competitive review, and more.
The app evolving like this keeps things more interesting and less repetitive.
6. The Review Keeps You Fluent
The worst part of learning a language is when you fail to speak that language for a long time. Without practice, all your work goes to waste and you forget everything you've learned. One of the best parts of Duolingo is the amount of review it has you do. Not a repeat of old lessons, but new and interesting ways to go over old material.
I'm excited because I know when I finish all my lessons, it will continue to do this for me. This is how the app is set up, to constantly create new material (and even podcasts) for the students to use in order to keep their skills sharp! That means, for less than ten minutes or so a day, I can continue to practice and be fluent.
I would have quit using Duolingo by now if that wasn't the case. I want to keep the skills I'm acquiring forever.
7. You Can Use It From Anywhere In The World
Duolingo is not just for English speakers wanting to learn a new language. It's for a large variety of different native speakers to practice and learn new languages and they're always adding more.
8. It Has Lots Of Features To Help When You're Confused
Duolingo doesn't want to confuse people. It wants to help people learn, so it has built in language dictionaries, buttons that allow you to hear words or phrases repeated, lessons you can access for review, and forums where you can discuss rules of the language.
If you want to take it even further, you can also go on facebook and join groups that have been created to discuss learning each language on Duolingo and also practice speaking it.
9. It Gives You Ways To Use What You Have Learned
No more skills going to waste. Duolingo allows you to make friends and listen to podcasts where you can use your new language skills in an organic setting.
10. Duolingo Is Free
The app is completely free. They use volunteers (native speakers) to create the lessons. Many people work on them and perfect them for free, allowing them to offer the lessons for free.
Mostly, they just want the app to be used by people around the world to connect with each other.
I do pay a small fee each month for infinite lives, but this isn't necessary at all. You can earn as many lives as you want through review, I just wanted my experience to be a little more expedited.