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Language App Duolingo Launches Platform for U.S. Schools

Language App Duolingo Launches Platform for U.S. Schools

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An app that helps users learn different languages is now expanding its reach to students in schools across the United States.

In response to letters from language teachers and other officials, Duolingo is announcing the launch "of a platform aimed at enhancing earning in formal educational settings: Duolingo for Schools," according to a press release.

According to the release, "despite its deceptively simple game­like interface, Duolingo uses sophisticated machine learning algorithms based on data from its 60 million users to personalize education and keep students actively engaged."

The release said that the app is free and "requires no begging for funding from administrators."

"The goal is to provide a personalized learning experience that gives each student and instructor immediate feedback in the classroom. This can free up teachers’ time to concentrate on difficult concepts, answer questions, and assist students falling behind,” said Luis von Ahn, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and co­founder of Duolingo in the release.

According to the release, "the launch of Duolingo for Schools means educators will finally have a dashboard to track student progress on the popular Duolingo app in a consolidated manner... but that’s just the beginning. The platform can identify patterns in the way individuals learn and react accordingly to reinforce areas of difficulty."

The release said Duolingo’s technological companion for the classroom "will help teachers understand each student’s learning needs at a level of detail previously impossible. For example, if a student hesitates before responding to certain questions, this indicates a lack of confidence and the need for more exercises of its kind. Additionally, incorrectly answered questions may all have an underlying commonality: some students may struggle with listening exercises, while others may have difficulties with verbs no matter the topic."

“The gamification really works with the kids and opens up an opportunity for them to reinforce what is taught during instructional time," said Said Kassem Hamideh, language teacher at Washington High School of IT in Milwaukee. "I am the only foreign language teacher at a school of 750 students. We have been using Duolingo this year, and I'm seeing really novel results."

“Students see Duolingo as a fun activity, so assigning it in class is viewed as a reward for hard work," said Veronique Balou­Kovalenko, a middle school language teacher in Connecticut in the release.

The release said that last year, "Duolingo launched the Test Center, a standardized test that aims at becoming the de facto way of measuring language proficiency worldwide. With Duolingo for Schools, the company hopes to have a lasting impact on the educational system."

Visit Duolingo for Schools here. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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