Duolingo Makes Language Learning More Social

Posted on December 30, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile with 10 Comments

The Duolingo language-learning app picked up new social functionality this week with a new feature called Clubs. As you may know, I've used Duolingo daily for over two years, and recommend this app highly. (In fact, I'm about to crack a 600 day usage streak.) And it's improved steadily, including the recent addition of bots, which let you converse in a new language in new ways. This new feature presents a similar step forward, but instead of relying on machine learning and AI, Clubs are more about taking advantage of human nature: We tend to be more motivated when other people we know are involved. “Learning a language is an inherently social experience,” Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn says. "One of the hardest things about learning a language is staying motivated, and we believe this new feature will draw friends and family together around a common goal to help our users hit their goals more quickly." Available as a new top-level option in the Duolingo app for Android and iOS, Clubs works a bit like social networking services like Facebook, but is entirely private. You can create your own clubs and invite others, or join clubs that others have created. And then there is a feed that displays each person's achievements---"Paul practiced French!", "Paul did lessons in Abstract Objects 3," and so on---so you can comment on or react to them. I've created a little club with just my wife and I, though we discuss Duolingo, French, and language learning in general pretty frequently already. But I could see this being a nice incentive for people. Download Duolingo for Android Download Duolingo for iOS (iPhone/iPad)

The Duolingo language-learning app picked up new social functionality this week with a new feature called Clubs.

As you may know, I’ve used Duolingo daily for over two years, and recommend this app highly. (In fact, I’m about to crack a 600 day usage streak.) And it’s improved steadily, including the recent addition of bots, which let you converse in a new language in new ways.

This new feature presents a similar step forward, but instead of relying on machine learning and AI, Clubs are more about taking advantage of human nature: We tend to be more motivated when other people we know are involved.

“Learning a language is an inherently social experience,” Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn says. “One of the hardest things about learning a language is staying motivated, and we believe this new feature will draw friends and family together around a common goal to help our users hit their goals more quickly.”

Available as a new top-level option in the Duolingo app for Android and iOS, Clubs works a bit like social networking services like Facebook, but is entirely private. You can create your own clubs and invite others, or join clubs that others have created.

And then there is a feed that displays each person’s achievements—“Paul practiced French!”, “Paul did lessons in Abstract Objects 3,” and so on—so you can comment on or react to them.

I’ve created a little club with just my wife and me, though we discuss Duolingo, French, and language learning in general pretty frequently already. But I could see this being a nice incentive for people.

Download Duolingo for Android

Download Duolingo for iOS (iPhone/iPad)

 

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (10)

10 responses to “Duolingo Makes Language Learning More Social”

  1. Avatar

    3355

    I a still on a Windows phone, so sad. (950xl) but I have an android tablet. January I upgrade to an iPad 4 where all should work better. I finished Spanish but will be a long time on French. Thanks for info.

  2. Avatar

    3355

    where are the bots? Iwas hoping for more advanced Spanish since I finished it. I don't have anyone to start a club with.

  3. Avatar

    8834

    Sadly it's still missing one of the most requested features -- Japanese language support.  

  4. Avatar

    1753

    The biggest problem with learning a new language is practice. If you don't/can't practice it every day, then you will forget bits. If the clubs get you chatting with real people, then it is a good move.

    For me, it wasn't until I got to Germany and ended up living in a small village where nobody spoke English, that the German finally started to stick...

  5. Avatar

    8853

    Duolingo is a great app. I like to use it on my computer as well as on my phone.

    P.S., Paul forgot to add: Download for Windows

  6. Avatar

    6555

    Duolingo isn't a good way to learn a language. Machine voices, mistakes in the lessons, poor explanations, far too slow compared to better courses. A better approach is Michel Thomas (all levels) followed up with Assimil. You'll be roughly around A2/B1 after those two courses. At this level you can start reading/listening to native material.

Leave a Reply