https://www.duolingo.com/KVMunoz

Using Duolingo to teach ESL students English

I have students from multiple languages that I do not speak. I want to have one class that can serve multiple languages and that allows me to understand what they are struggling with on their screen. Is this the right program for my classroom challenge. I have one student who speaks Turkish and Farsi, and other's who speak Spanish. I also have tried to give them assignments but they are not receiving them.

Thank you, Kathryn from Austin

September 16, 2016

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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You can set up a classroom to use no specific language. Your students can still only choose from the Duolingo courses that are available, though.

September 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KVMunoz

I am not seeing that as a language. It appears that I have to pick a specific language.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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No, right down at the very bottom of the list is "no specific language". You might have to scroll a bit.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KVMunoz

You can change the course that you teach to "no specific language" but that is not an option on languages that the students speak. The last choice is Ukranian

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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I think we must be talking at cross purposes. There is no drop-down box for defining the language that the students speak, only for defining the language the students are going to learn.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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It turns out that there's an A/B test going on - you and I are seeing different versions of that interface.

When you're creating your classroom, what happens if you tell it you want "no specific language" for the language they're learning?

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KVMunoz

Unfortunately, I can not cut and paste a picture of my screen into this box. Once I have selected English as the language they are to learn, a new drop box appears and I have to choose the language that they speak.

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KVMunoz

We I don't choose English, I don't receive an option to choose the language of my students.

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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You don't have an option to choose the language the students are going to study? Really?

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejandraO800131

I have the same type of situation in my room; in one of my ELD groups I have two students that are Spanish speakers and another that speaks Portuguese. For my own peace of mind, I just created a separate classroom for my students that don't speak Spanish. That way, I can make sure that all of his tabs on his screen and the directions for him are also all in Portuguese. I'm not sure if the no specific language is an easier way to do this but having the separate classrooms has been working just fine for me.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/YiselaLeyv1

My struggle is that my students come from Spanish speaking homes but they themselves do not have this as a strong first language either. Thus, these students would benefit from learning English but having the site in English as well. How do I do this? As of now, it seems the only option is to either select English as the learning language and select Spanish as the site language or select no specific language course. Please help, I have been trying for days!

September 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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What you're looking for isn't possible, sadly. You and your students have to choose from the courses available on Duolingo. English for Spanish speakers is probably the best bet.

If you want to look at what courses are available, you can look in the Incubator.

September 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mrarmstrong220

Howdy. Posted this to another discussion on the same topic, but I'll post it here, too. I'd like to confirm the reports by KVMunoz and threebythebee — the no specific language feature does seem to be broken:

When using Safari, I am able to select "No specific language" from the above-mentioned drop down, but saving changes changes nothing. The language my students speak is still set to Spanish.

When using Chrome, however, "No specific language" is not an option in the above-mentioned drop down.

I am filing a bug report as well, of course.

October 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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October 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DiskaFrati

Is it easier for you to teach after using Duolingo in your classroom?

September 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KVMunoz

I am creating groups so that I can have some students on Duolingo while I work with others on other objectives. It allows me to scaffold my teaching.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/emilyjgarrick

My students are from China and I have them set up to use Duolingo in Chinese. The problem I'm running into is that Duolingo frequently gives them a phrase in English and asks them to type the translation in Chinese. We are using English keyboards, and neither they nor I know how to set up Chinese characters for them. Does anyone know how to get Chinese characters, or failing that, how to turn that type of question off on the app? Thanks!

September 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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https://www.duolingo.com/emilyjgarrick

Thank you, this is great!

September 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/emilyjgarrick

My building tech guy helped me find another great work-around for this! The students speak aloud what they want to write into the microphone tool in a Google doc, then copy and paste the sentence into Duolingo. :)

October 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/threebythebee

I have a similar question. The students may have any of the languages. Do I have to make different classes for each language or is it possible for each student to have their own language. When I tried to choose no specific language it went to Spanish automatically.

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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If you set the target language of the classroom to "no specific language", then the students will be able to choose whichever course or courses they want, and you will be able to see their progress.

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/threebythebee

Ok, I'll give it a try. Thank you.

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/threebythebee

I set up a student and tried to log in on her account. Everything was in Spanish and I couldn't find a way to change the language.

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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Ah, ok. I hadn't realised you'd set up the accounts yourself. They will default to whatever base language you had at the time you created the account.

They can change it by going to the Add a new course page, which they can find by holding the mouse over the flag at the top of their screen, and clicking "add a new course". At the top right, there's a button labelled "I speak..."

September 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/threebythebee

Ok, I will start over when I meet my students. Thank you again.

September 28, 2016
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