Duolingo for Schools provides an integrated environment for learning, enabling teachers to provide lessons and track the progress of their students using a common dashboard. They can even access detailed reports on what lessons were taken by their students. According to reports teachers could incorporate the service into their lesson plans, use it for homework or even award extra credits when students use it after their regular classes.
According to the creators of the platform, it is possible for students to have a personalized experience in learning a language because the program is capable of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the students and respond to it with fine-tuned lessons. The company also said that their service is particularly useful in countries where teachers who are fluent in English are hard to find.
Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn said that their goal is to create a more personalized experience while learning whereby the instructor could give quick feedback to the student within the classroom. Teachers then will have additional time to focus on more complex concepts, provide answers and assist slower students.
The new platform is free, using all the languages that are available within the service. Based on the company’s website, the languages available for English speakers are Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, Swedish and Danish. For people learning English, the service is available in 21 languages. The Chinese language, according to their press release would be available within the next two weeks. The governments of Guatemala and Costa Rica are currently running Duolingo pilot projects in several public schools.
Duolingo’s approach to learning is similar to a simple game app. Each lesson includes several forms of translation, listening, multiple choice and speaking challenges. The learner immediately sees whether the answer given is correct or not and will be provided with feedback on how to improve. Hearts are available, and a heart is lost when an incorrect answer is given. When all the hearts are used up, the student has to start the lesson all over again.
The Duolingo for Schools platform will have a dashboard that would connect to the Duolingo students’ accounts so that their teachers could track their progress. Gina Gotthilf, the head of communications of Duolingo said that their new service will appeal greatly to language teachers because the app is free, data-driven and has an interface that resembles a game, which will keep students engaged.
They expect North American teachers to use the platform for their foreign language instructions just like they expect teachers around the world to use their platform to teach English.
Image credit – Duolingo image from Duolingo Facebook Page