Last Updated: May 13, 2021
What is Duolingo?
Duolingo is a privately held company that is American-based and focuses on foreign language learning
through their website and mobile app. This initiative began in 2009 and was originally created to teach the users of the program a foreign language and help them translate phrases from documents. But the program has since removed the translation feature and focused only on the foreign language teaching model.
The company has an iOS app and an Android app now that helps people that are interested in the course to download the app for free and learn the foreign language of their choice. They have a freemium model with an additional premium feature that people can avail themselves of if they absolutely need to since the freemium model has most of the features available at no cost whatsoever. The app has over one million paid subscribers and 500 million learners availing the app for the foreign language learning experience that is otherwise quite expensive.
The Duolingo team has also started providing a language proficiency test like the TOEFL and IELTS called the DET or Duolingo English Test
. The Duolingo English Test is a cheaper and reliable option when compared to the other popular language proficiency tests and is being accepted worldwide by both universities and job markets alike as a more feasible option.
Language Courses Offered by Duolingo
The language courses offered by Duolingo are mainly meant for an English audience who want to learn foreign languages. The language learning process has been converted into a game format where the people who enroll will be able to glide through the languages with ease all the while considering it a game.
Features of Language Courses Offered by Duolingo
The Language courses offered by Duolingo have the features of-
- Personalized Learning- The Duolingo Team claims to have each lesson personalized to the user's needs and learning requirements. The courses are adaptive in nature and focus on the level the student is in rather than forcing them to progress at a particular pace set for all users.
- On-the-Spot Grading- The grading of every test or exercise is done immediately since there is no pen or paper involved. Candidates will be able to see their answers instantly and improve the way they tackle language challenges as they process further. The Duolingo algorithm repeats the questions that the student needs help with, until they have mastered them.
- Rewarding System- The rewarding system in the app makes the user feel like the learning process is in fact a game they are playing. For each exercise or level that the user completes they will receive virtual coins that can unlock other levels which encourages candidates to perfect their vocabulary, learn new words, and grammar.
- Learn-as-you-go- There are various types of questions, some require the student to listen to the question and type the answer, while others require the student to read the question and record the answer. Duolingo is able to compare the recording to the correct answer, helping the student learn the spoken language as well.
Language Course Content in Duolingo
The courses that are offered do not often stick to grammatical rule-focused learning which provides the candidates with the option of learning the language in a fashion similar to how they mastered their mother tongue. It allows you to communicate well in real-life conversations and other stand-out phrases that might not be deemed important for a new learner.
- Real-Life Conversations- The functional approach that Duolingo has to language emphasizes the uses of language candidates might have as a new learner. Learning content that cannot aid in holding conversations in the language totally defeats the purpose of having learned the language in the first place. Duolingo focuses on this aspect ensuring that candidates can achieve real-life goals of language speaking.
- Stand-Out Content- The stand-out content that is prevalent in the program allows students to not expect the content they are about to encounter during translation. This helps them be able to understand the content spoken to them irrespective of the context in which the conversation is moving in. Leaving out the guesswork involved in deciphering the new language, it focuses on making the users efficient in understanding the language they are learning.
Candidates also have the benefit of learning through other mediums like events from individuals, stories, and even podcasts that can help the users acquaint themselves with the new language. According to the Duolingo Team, “additional formats help learners with interaction, conversation, and reading and listening comprehension”.
Languages Offered by Duolingo
The foreign languages that are offered by Duolingo for English speakers are-
- High Valyrian
- Scottish Gaelic
Language Courses/Duolingo For Schools
Duolingo is offering a feature that lets teachers make use of Duolingo to teach the students the different languages in their syllabus by providing them with personalized learning that is not often possible in classrooms with large numbers. The teacher will be able to find the different assessments and progress charts of students individually on their dashboard letting them focus on students that are lagging behind and also ensuring that the experience of learning the language is more game-like than academic spiking the interest in students more than before.
Schools and even governments have started using the app for creating a blended environment that offers users the best of online and offline learning together. When a student account is the default account in Duolingo, people can also create teacher accounts that act as a classroom and lets teachers invite students and learn about their progress through the teacher account. They will be able to view content, hide inappropriate content according to age and restrict social features all for the benefit of the students. The option of creating an exclusive class with students who are struggling also helps them train the student better giving them attention in the areas they require it.
Duolingo English Test
The Duolingo English Test is an alternative test that students can take instead of TOEFL or IELTS at an affordable rate. It is gaining popularity ever since both TOEFL and IELTS have started providing exams in the online mode due to the pandemic. The test that has been created by Duolingo is completely online and takes both lesser time and money to complete allowing students the option of applying to as many places as required without incurring any additional charges.
Registering for the Duolingo English Test does not have a lot of procedures associated with it. The student will be required to have a quiet, well-lit space where they can take the online test, a computer with a reliable internet connection, speakers, microphone, etc. along with a photo ID card that has their full name and a valid expiration date that they have to upload in order to take the test.
The student has to sign up in the Duolingo App using their mail ID and pay the required amount after which they will be able to take the test at any time by uploading their ID and following the instructions.
Format of the Duolingo English Test
The Duolingo English Test takes a total of an hour to complete while other language proficiency tests take more than 3 hours in general for the same. The sections that are analyzed in all these tests are Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. While these sections are provided separately in the other tests, Duolingo believes in adaptive testing where the sections are all combined and overlaps into one another. The difficulty level of the questions depends on the way in which the student answers each question. Each question that is answered provides them with a tougher question and each unanswered question provides them with an easier question.
The student will have to set up for their test in the first 5 minutes of the test after which there will be 2 sections. The two sections are
- Graded- The Graded section has the sections of Reading, Writing, Listening combined. This section is provided with 45 minutes in all and each question provides a 5-point increment.
- Ungraded- The Ungraded section has a video interview in order to access the speaking skills of the student. This video will be sent to the institutions as a part of the test though it is ungraded.
Cost of the Duolingo English Test
The Duolingo English Test requires the student to pay an overall fee of $49 for taking the exam. Paying the registration amount after signing up in the app provides the student with the option of taking the exam anytime, anywhere within the next 90 days.
This test also lets students send their score report, which will be available to them within 48 hours of taking the test, too as many as 20 institutions without incurring any additional cost. When TOEFL and IELTS require students to spend an average of $15 per additional score report after the free 4 or 5 they can send, DET has made it possible for students to send as many applications as they require.
If the candidate wants to send applications to more than 20 institutions, they will have to contact the Duolingo Support team who would like to confirm if the candidate is in fact applying to all the mentioned institutions. If they are, even sending the score report to more than 20 institutions does not incur any additional charges.
Scores for the Duolingo English Test
The Duolingo English Test is scored on a scale of 10-160 where each question has a 5-point increment. There are no negative markings for the test. The score report will contain both the overall score of the student and the subscores.
The subscores are provided for the factors of-