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What should I do with students whose languages are not present on DuoLingo

Greetings. I teach in California, and now have a Beginning ELD class with Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Hindi, and Tagalog speakers, as well as one student, my first ever from Myanmar. I have set up each language group as a separate class in DuoLingo, but am having a little trouble placing a the only speaker of Tagalog, and my student from Myanmar, who speaks Burmese. Does anyone have any suggestions? Does anyone know if there is a way to give students the English coursework without listing a language of origin?

August 28, 2016



If they're going to use Duolingo, that means they'll be using one of the courses that Duolingo offers.

The Spanish language is taught a fair bit in the Philippines - it might be worth asking whether your Tagalog speaking student can access the English for Spanish speakers course. It's a bit of a long shot, but it's worth a try.

I'm out of ideas for your Burmese speaking student, sorry.


Yeah I agree with Hugh here. Spanish is the closest language to Tagalog/Filipino among the languages present in Duolingo.

We're trying to have the English for Tagalog speakers in Duolingo soon. :)


Actually, that's not quite what I was saying. Tagalog has gained a fair bit of Spanish vocabulary, but the languages aren't particularly closely related. If we were going to choose a closely related language, I think the closest Duolingo course would be English from Indonesian.

It's just that Spanish is taught in the Philippines quite a lot.


Haha that's actually true, take it from a native lol but Indonesian is still in incubation so when Duo asked me as to what's the closest among those already offered so they could pattern the English for Tagalog course I chose Spanish. If Indonesian was already present that time, I would've chosen it.

Spanish teaching back at home is declining. More and more Filipinos would rather choose Mandarin because, as they say, "it is the language of Asian business." There's only a few of us left learning Spanish, mostly those with known Spanish heritages. :)


Isn't "the English coursework" also different in some of the different English courses?

From the forums I got the impression that English for Russian speakers, English for Chinese speakers, etc. are definitely not just the same course with Russian, Chinese, etc. interfaces.

Likewise, I'm taking English for Spanish speakers to practice more Spanish now that I've finished the Spanish for English speakers course (that's why the U.S. flag is next to my username even though I'm a native speaker ;) ).

Not long ago English for Spanish speakers had some new Skills units added. That didn't happen to all the other English courses at the same time, right?


Each Duolingo course is designed differently, yes. Partly because the languages are different, so things need to be done in a different order, and partly because of the different preferences and decisions of each course team. As a result, if you create a Schools classroom without a specific language course, you can't set skill assignments, only XP ones.


I am a Filipino and I have lived in the Philippines all my life. Filipinos speak English very very well because English is also our national language. Ever since we were children, we are heavily immersed with the English language and that is the language we use in documents. So, I don't think the Filipino child would have a hard time improving his or her English :)

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