Duolingo Makes Language Learning More Social

Posted on December 30, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile with 9 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)

 

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