Posted at 11:20 a.m., April 29, 2016

Parle on par with dual language app

Learning a language from a phone

When trying to learn a language, not everyone is able to attend a class or work with a tutor. While it’s not guaranteed to work as well as an actual class, the app “Duolingo” is a free alternative.

With a website that allows you to practice on a desktop as well, “Duolingo” is a daily-use app that is supposed to help teach the user another laguage. The app is broken up into sections with anywhere from one to 10 chapters within each section, and each chapter must be complete and passed before another one can be.

Depending on what goal the user sets, the app will tell them how many chapters or points they need to earn in a day to remain on track. To stay on track with their goal the user has to practice in the app every day, or else strength within different chapters will deplete and they’ll have to practice within that section again before moving on to others.

While the set up for the app is practical by establishing what the user knows and then building from there and also making them review regularly, the one downfall for the app is that it doesn’t make the user actually speak the language they are learning.

The app has the user write and read in the language they are learning, as well as translate between their native language and the one they’re learning, but by not making them speak in the language they are learning I feel like the app isn’t as effective as it could be.

Being able to write and read in a second language is great, but if someone is using the app as a way to prepare for a trip it may not fully prepare them since they’ll need to speak that language. Making the user speak in the language they’re learning may come later on, but thus far I’ve completed 15 sections and the app still hasn’t made me say anything aloud. Even if the app does make the user speak in later sections, when you take a language class you begin speaking in that language from the first day to get used to hearing and speaking in the language you’re learning.

I’m not saying the app isn’t useful just because of one downfall. It still sends you notifications in the morning and evening reminding you to practice, and after six weeks of using it I feel like I have learned and improved upon my language skills.

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