Hi! I have just started to teach, can I have some help?
I am about to start classes with my students from young ages, from 8 to 12 years old, so I was wondering how Duolingo can be used, due that I´ve been learning with it many other langauges skills and think it is a great tool to learn, I decided duolingo for schools could be great, however I am not sure how to use it, I´d really appreciate if you had any advices for me to use in class!
By the way, greetings for you all teachers, and keep doing great!
First of all, how would you rate your 8-year olds on their reading skills? There will be a lot of reading and typing.
I am assuming you are remote teaching. Here is what I have done: I made a video explaining how to log on to Duolingo and connect to my classroom. (Have the students do their first lesson, then create a username. Hopefully it's one that you will be able to recognize. Then they click on their blue silhouette in the corner, scroll down to settings, click on progress sharing, and then enter your class code. You get your class code when you create a classroom in Duolingo for Schools.)
Then I made a second video introducing all the vocabulary that students were going to encounter during the first skill. For French and Spanish, this meant explaining gender in nouns, and how "to eat" conjugates. For Japanese, this meant explaining how important greetings are.
Then, I made a third video watching me do the lesson. "Oh, look here. We're going to have to make this word feminine to match the noun. Oh, look at this one: We're going to have to change the verb to match the subject." etc.
You can create assignments in Duolingo for Schools. Since you have young ones, I would suggest that maybe you assign XP (experience points) instead of skills. Are your 8-12 year-olds all in the same class? There is a world of difference between their abilities. XP would give them all the same assignment, but they could work at different levels.
If they are not in the same class, then I would suggest that certainly the 11 and 12 year-olds can probably complete one skill (five lessons) in a week, doing one lesson a day.
My final piece of advice is to use Duolingo for homework only. The great thing about Duolingo is that it will give you the instant feedback that you are craving to give your students. Class time, that is, whatever video conferencing you use (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, whatever), should be used for connecting with your students, getting to know them so that you can introduce vocabulary that resonates with them.