Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Duolingo: What's next?

Luis von Ahn founder and CEO of the free language learning service Duolingo held an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit today.

Here are the main take aways:

  • User-generated language trees

Duolingo is working on tools to let the community add crowdsourced language trees. An explosion of new languages should follow...

  • Live language exchange

Allowing video calls between students is an area of intense interest but Duolingo is weary of becoming the next chatroulette and hasn’t yet found a way for people who don’t speak the same language to have a good learning experience together.
Luis doesn’t rule out opening the service only to people having made significant progress in their language trees. A confidence rating could also be introduced.

  • Classroom support

A classroom support feature should be added before September, allowing teachers to use Duolingo to track their students’ progress and address their difficulties in class.

  • Cheat sheets

Duolingo is working on cheat sheets that summarize grammatical concepts at a glance.

  • Tablet support

More work is being done on the iOS and Android apps, in particular to make them more tablet-friendly.

Perhaps more importantly, Luis von Ahn again insisted that final translations obtained through Duolingo were more accurate than professional translators and that the language learning service will remain free forever.

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