Duolingo Review

Background

  • Subject: Second language learning
  • Skills learned: Vocabulary, grammar, listening, writing, speaking
  • Languages: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, English
  • Audience: Anyone who wants to learn a second language, middle school and up
  • Social features: Scoreboard with friends
  • Platform: iPhone, iPad, Android, Web
  • Pricing: Free

Summary

  • Pros: Very easy to use, learn through multiple input methods, targeted lessons
  • Cons: Lack of feedback, no grammar tutorials

Ratings

  • User interface: 5/5. The layout is clear and simple. There are some graphics that make the app look nicer. It’s very clear how to use the app. Few instructions are needed because the interface is intuitive.
  • User experience: 4/5. Duolingo has some great animations and smooth transitions between menus. The app can become addictive if you want to keep on completing new lessons. This is because the lessons are each pretty short and you unlock more levels if you complete more lessons.
  • Learning: 4/5. It’s a great learning experience. You need to learn to read, write, listen and sometimes speak the language. You go from very simple to advanced topics, and can only advance once you’ve mastered certain skills. The lessons are well planned and typically build on previous lessons. Previously learned material is integrated into lessons. It would be helpful if there were more explanations of new topics.
  • Motivation: 4/5. During each lesson you need to keep your three hearts to pass. At the end you get points for completing the lesson. You can compete against your friends.
  • Feedback: 3/5. The app tells you if you entered the wrong answer to a question and tells you the right answer. However, there isn’t much explanation on why your entry was wrong. You can practice the questions you got wrong later.

Ben Meline

I'm a student at Northwestern University majoring in computer engineering and minoring in German. I'm interested in studying the usage of mobile applications for learning.