Mini-guide: Duolingo

LQ: 9.5


Brain grade: 10.0
Fun score: 8.6

Platform/Console: , , , , LWK Recommended Age: Any Thinking Skills Used: ,

Duolingo is a free website and app created to help people learn a foreign language in a fun way. As of January 2018, there are 28 languages to choose from, including Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and even fictional languages.

Duolingo feels like a game rather than a traditional language learning course. There is a placement test users can take if they have previous experience with the language. There are also lives to keep track of, a completion streak to encourage you to play every day, and a fluency tracker. Finally, it’s possible to join a “club” to connect with other people who are learning the same language. In the club you can encourage each other to reach goals and even compete for leader board positions.

There are non-video ads at the end of every lesson with an ad-free version available to purchase. The ESRB gave Duolingo an E for Everyone rating and LW4K stands by this rating.

Duolingo helps kids practice and improve the following skills:


Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Duolingo provides the perfect opportunity to practice long-term focus. While it does an excellent job of making the user feel as if they are learning right from the start, it is still only a start. To truly learn the language will take a long-term commitment of time and focus. Learning a new language is not a goal that can be achieved over night. If the user does not stay focused on their goal, they will learn a few words, but not a new language.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working. 

This app also depends a large amount on using and improving the working memory skill. Duolingo is, after all, all about helping the user practice remembering a whole new language. This requires the user to retain information not only through the entire lesson, but in later days when it is once again being practiced. If they do not use--and strengthen--their working memory, the user will fail to learn whatever new language they are working on.

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