You can do both of these things with Duolingo. It’s a free web resource that lets you learn just about any language you want … for free. No ads, payments, or anything.
How It Works
So how does Duolingo make money? They throw sentences and fragments at you from the language you’re looking to learn (chosen by an algorithm based on your skill level). Then, you try to translate that set of text. You can mark words that are causing you trouble, go back and review them with digital flashcards, and basically learn a language one sentence at a time.
The crazy brilliant part of this system is all that source material. Duolingo is in the midst of creating a language revolution that’s not often talked about. All that text is being translated (for free, by you) into other languages with astonishing accuracy. Duolingo is then free to sell or do whatever it wants with this newly-translated text. Brilliant.
It’s crowd-sourcing language learning and translations on a global scale. Check out the video above for more details.
Using Duolingo In The Classroom
What’s the use of a fancy new web tool if you don’t start thinking about deploying it in education? Duolingo is not going to replace language teachers but it will give them a (free) tool in their toolbox to use for either homework or in-class training. Best of all, it’s a highly evolved and simple-to-use tool that you can deploy in language learning centers, your own classroom (there are Duolingo apps, not to worry), or at home.
A new study has even shown that Duolingo can be more effective than college courses or even Rosetta Stone. Whether that’s true for your classroom is up to you.
We’re not being paid or compensated in any way for offering up a glowing review like this. We’ve tried it out, put it through its paces, and really liked the functionality and methodology behind the product. As someone trying to learn a new language in the near future (Spanish, ahoy!) I’ll be sure to keep Duolingo in my bookmarks. In the meantime, go on and give it a try yourself.