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How are you using Duolingo as an educator?

'Duolingo teaches languages a way students respond -- on their phone'

Click here to read the article.


"Bradd Cook and fellow German teacher Keith Szalay incorporated the program into their Classroom Without Walls curriculum, which requires students to choose from several activities outside of school to better understand culture, such as eating German food or visiting a museum. Of the 80 children enrolled in introductory German this year, about 30 choose to use Duolingo to fulfill a portion of the requirement." - Shaker Heights High-School, Cleveland, Ohio.

How are using Duolingo as an educator? Share in the comments below.

February 17, 2015



I have been using it with college students. For my first year students, they have to do five lessons a week, but I give them points based on when they do the lesson. If they do the five lessons on one day, they get less points. I am trying to emphasize that a little everyday is better than a lot on one day a week. I am trying to write an article about the experience. Duolingo is 10% of their grade.

I also use it with third year students who come into the class with different backgrounds. For them, they had the whole semester to complete their trees. It was a way to have them review the basics, without having to spend time in class doing it, and each one could go at their pace.

In general, Duolingo was more successful in my first year course. I am still tweaking everything.

I am also a student of German myself here, so I can know what the students go through.


Mundaysa That's amazing. Yea every day is what we rec as well. We'd love to hear more about this.


Thanks! I am trying now to write an article about it. I collected some information from the students, their opinions about it and how useful they found it and I have to put everything together now.

Together with some other teachers who use Duolingo, we also created a Google Doc with the contents of the Spanish tree, so other teachers can use it as well. The information about the tree is in this post: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6938091

Thanks again.


I think it's great that you are using it yourself too!


I use it in my Danish class in grades 8-10. They practice their English skills as well, which is great.


Hi oddikennari! Where are you based?


I teach Spanish in a private high school near Palo Alto, California. My students are required to do Duolingo as an ongoing assignment which is evaluated every Monday. It is counted as homework and worth about 15% of their grade. While I am computing their grades for the previous week and entering them in Aeries (our grade and attendance tracking program), they have the hour on Monday to get ahead in Duolingo. They have some liberty on what they do and the pace they take. I've worked out a rather complicated system for assessing their work -- you may view it here. Feel free to use it, especially if you'll provide some feedback.

Sometimes I level the playing field by requiring them all to finish a given skill which they will be tested on. I am getting faster at computing their scores with this system. It seems to be giving good results. The majority of my students are managing to earn a grade of B or higher. It is also personally satisfying to see their names with a decent number of XP on the leaderboard, as opposed to before (when I didn't grade DL). I used to see just a few fanatics, while the majority had zeros or few XP and streaks of zero or one. Now many of them have become aficionados!


Does the duoling classroom have a leaderboard? Do you just have them create a personal/individual account as well?


I make them all follow each other so they are all on the same leaderboard. On Mondays the top three (as per Sunday at 4:00 pm, right before the leaderboard resets in our time zone) get to spin a Wheel of Fortune I have, and they can win homework passes, extra credit, bocadillos (snacks), pegatinas (stickers), etc.


I use it with 5th-9th grade students learning Spanish. It is optional practice for 5th and 6th grades, but I require practice as homework for the Jr high students.


Hi Emily! That's great to hear. What books do you use in the classroom?


I teach pre-K through Spanish 2 (9th grade) so I use a lot of different resources. I teach at a small independent, private school so I have the freedom to design the scope and sequence and choose my curriculum. (It's pretty awesome.) I introduce Duolingo in 5th grade. (I find that before that their English spelling and reading skills are not good enough to pass the lessons.) In 5th-6th grade I don't use books. I do grammar lessons with Visual Links and use a lot of www.senorwooly.com In the Jr High I loosely follow the Realidades books 1 and 2 and also a lot of Senor Wooly to keep it fun. Duolingo has improved and filled gaps in my program more than any other resource available. Keep up the amazing work. I am happy to see the program keep improving.


emilybwilliams: Do you use Duolingo as homework or in the class? Also, where is your school based?


I teach at a progressive private school in Boise, Idaho, USA. (Foothills School of Arts & Sciences) I require Duolingo practice as weekly homework for 7-9th grade students. On rare occasion I use it in the classroom; mostly when a student is stuck on a lesson and brings the skill forward in class.


I teach Portuguese to English speakers in Brazil, grades 8 and 9, and we have the Duolingo's Day, on Fridays. That day, I see the weekly performance of students and have a Duolingo Champion of the Week. In the other classes, I work with content seen by students in Duolingo's units. For this I do the units with them. The students are doing the Duolingo's activities in all week, until we do not have classes. The results are great!


Oh I love the idea of the Duolingo Champion of the week!


I trying my best with spanish stuff and its really working now I can read write and understand spanish if I work harder I will speak spanishwell so soon


I have been using it about once a week in the classroom. I call it cross-training since it doesn't really match up with my book very well. I require them to do a minimum of one lesson in 15-20 minutes but most students do 3-4 lessons. I also give them a piece of candy each time they get lingots in class. So far, I just give them a grade for doing one new lesson that day at whatever level they have achieved. I'd love to use it as homework but some students do not have access at home.

I also had the bright idea of doing extra credit on snow days! I gave them points for doing 5 new lessons on our day out last week and about 1/3 of my students did it. I think I'll do something similar for spring break.


Hi there, I'm an English teacher in Poland and I use Duolingo with my 5th and 6th graders as an extra activity they can do at home. They get stickers (not exactly but we can call them that) for doing five lessons a week and a grade (6 - best possible grade in Poland) for every four stickers they collect. It means that those who use Duolingo can get a nice grade almost every month. It works quite nice so far, however I do see that most of them use Duolingo once a week (doing 5 lessons) and I'm working on changing that somehow (less lessons done more often). At least half of my students have worked with Duolingo on a daily/weekly basis for the last five months and the number has been growing, mosty because students see that those who use Duolingo have better grades and pupils tend to shout out loud for example "Mr Jacek this word was in Duolingo!" during the class when we're introducing some new vocabulary. The interesting fact is that children come up to me during the breaks to inform me that his/her parent also started to use Duolingo when they saw the children doing it at home, so I'm planning to do a small conference for parents about new software that can help their children or even the parents to learn or exercise a foreign language. Keep up the good work!


Just starting the semester here in South Korea, our school year starts in March. In my Communicative English classes it is their homework grade.


In addition to the vocabulary and grammar we learn via our textbook, I assign all the Duo basics and greetings at the beginning of the semester as homework, so students get a chance to discover the language before class and later reinforce some of the new words in class. They are all excited when they know ahead of time what a word means, for instance, when I am using it for the first time in class, like colors... Also on a major test, I allow them to use duolingo vocabulary that they have learned on their own in the form of a composition or essay. That way they can see the benefit of exploring more on their own.


I first started using duolingo as a high school language teacher in the United States. 4 years ago, upon my retirement, I moved to a small town in former East Germany, where there is a great demand for language teachers, particularly ESL, French, and German for immigrants. I was recruited by special professional training schools to teach ESL to future nurses and other health practitioners. In each course the proficiency levels vary from beginner to advanced intermediate, which requires to address each student on their individual level. Duolingo has been a perfect platform for my instruction.

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