duolingo_300x200For the past few months it has been my personal mission to begin learning Spanish. As a Texan and an educator, it has never been more crucial for me to be able to communicate with the large Hispanic population in my city and in my classrooms! To accomplish this goal, I have been using Duolingo, and it has completely blown me away!

Duolingo is a completely free online tool that allows you to learn a new language. It is scientifically proven to be more effective than university-level language instruction, and provides a game-based approach that is fun and engaging! You can choose from English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese and move through different levels to accomplish your individual language learning goals.

For a quick introduction to Duolingo, check out the video below:

So far, I’m still on the basic levels, but with the combination of written practice, oral practice, and picture matching activities, I really do feel like I am learning a lot! One of my favorite things about the program is the game-based approach, which makes leveling up and learning new skills feel like a fun, video game. This might especially appeal to younger students or students who are competitive in nature. Additionally, Duolingo sends me reminder emails everyday (these can be adjusted) so that I never forget to log on and get some practice in everyday.

Best of all, Duolingo is available as a free app so that you can take your language learning on the go! This program is a wonderful way for schools without language departments or large funding to ensure that students are able to explore and learn new languages. Plus, the self-pacing means that each student gets a completely individualized program that allows them to grow and learn as they feel comfortable.

Adios, amigos!

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