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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