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Duolingo - Fun, effective resource for foreign language learners

I recently got a tip about this language-learning app from Duolingo and have been test-driving it on my iPhone for a few days in Spanish, a language I've never formally studied. And I like it, quite a bit in fact.

As an ESL and German teacher of many years, and someone who has dabbled in a variety of other languages, I put a lot of thought and study into the process of learning language. Duolingo covers many of the important bases by incorporating key principles into its design:

  • Activities for all four facets of language study: writing, reading, listening, and even speaking (you speak into your device's microphone and it judges your pronunciation). 
  • Moving gradually from passive recognition (What does "Adios" mean? - choose from word bank) to active use (What is "Goodbye" in Spanish? - no word bank).
  • Overlapping reviews, incorporating grammar and vocabulary from previous lessons into new lessons.
  • An emphasis on daily practice - they will send you a daily reminder, via email or push notifications, if you want.
  • Making learning fun and engaging by accumulating points and competing with friends.

I'm only a few days into it, but I anticipate I'll find more that I like. I highly recommend this for language learners of any beginning to intermediate level, for both review and introduction to new material.

The best news - it's FREE! All you need to do is create an account, or sign-in via Facebook. To quote their website, "No ads, no fees, no subscriptions."

Visit these links to sign up, see which languages are offered, and download mobile apps:

http://www.duolingo.com/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/duolingo-learn-languages-for/id570060128?mt=8

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