How I Use It
We use Duolingo in class as a way to practice our language basics and pick up some new skills as well. Typically I have students use laptops to sign up for Duolingo and start playing/practicing. I created a teacher account, which allows me to create class groups. I have students join their class. This creates a dashboard for me where I can see which students have completed each level and how far along they are. There are much more elaborate options, such as assigning certain tasks to specific classes or students, but I don't use that. I just like seeing how far students progress and how quickly, also I sometimes post the leaders on the board and often students get motivated to try to catch up to those people. It is a fun, light-hearted way to review our basics and remind us of what we know, or have yet to learn.
Students love Duolingo. In fact, they love it so much that they often continue to do the tasks and levels when we are no longer using the site in class. I have seen students load it on their phone, do Duolingo practice over summer or weekends, and when I offer Duolingo time in class they are often thrilled. What is great about Duolingo is that the system is made to help you learn what you don't know. Therefore, if you struggle in a unit, the system adapts and reviews certain words, phrases, and ideas with you. This is great support for students who don't want to be embarrassed with criticism in class. No one knows but the student! This option for fun, individualized support helps students connect with the language on a personal level in a mode that they tend to prefer (digital). I have even had students start learning NEW languages, just because they're intrigued! This is a great example of a tool that includes some gamification while allowing students to be confident in what they know and grow in areas they don't know as well. Definitely worth using in a language class OR just trying out yourself if you want to brush up or learn a new language!