Have been duolingo Wildly successful. It has generated 500 million total registered learners, 40 million active users, 1.5 million premium subscribers and $ 190 million in booked revenue in 2020. It is a creative and attractive product. , And ambitious plans for expansion. Just one important question in the midst of all those milestones: Does anyone actually learn a language using Duolingo?
“Language is first and a social, relational phenomenon,” said Sebastian Dubreil, a teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “It’s something that allows people to talk about meaning and each other and to run a business of living – and when you do that, you use a wide variety of resources that include vocabulary and grammar Are not packed. “
Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn predicts that Duolingo’s upcoming product development will give users zero knowledge jobs within the next two to three years. But for now, he is honest about the limitations of the stage today.
“I wouldn’t say that with Duolingo, you can start from zero and make your English as good as mine,” he said. “This is not true. But the same is not true with learning a language at a university, it is not true with buying books, it is not true with any other app.”
While Dubril doesn’t think Duolingo can teach anyone to speak the language, he feels that it has taught continuity – a tough nut to crack in EdTech. “Duolingo entices students to do things you can’t give them enough time to actually do, which is to spend time in that textbook and reinforce vocabulary and grammar,” he said.
This has been an important focus for the company since the beginning. “When I started Duolingo and I still firmly believe it: the hardest thing about learning a language is being motivated,” von Ahn said, comparing it to how people exercise : It is hard to stay motivated, but a little speed one day goes much further.
With a notable leadership in its category, Duolingo seeks to bring the quality and effectiveness of its curriculum on par with its product quality and branding. With growth and demonetization secured, Duolingo is no longer alive. Instead, it is in study mode.
In this final part, we will explore how Duolingo is using a wide range of strategies, from rewriting its courses to dubbing Operation Birdbrain, to becoming a more effective learning tool, all for development and demonetization. Balancing the need to maintain. Route for an IPO.
“Just a weird game that’s probably not as bad as Candy Crush.”
Duolingo’s competitors see the app’s large-scale integration and solitary experience with high-quality language learning as inherently contradictory. Basu and Babel are two subscription-based competitors in the market, both focusing on real-time users talking to native speakers.
Bernhard Nisner, Basu’s co-founder and CEO, founded in 2008, sees Duolingo as an entry-level tool that can help users migrate to their human-interactive service. “If you want to be fluent, Duolingo needs innovation,” Niesner said. “And this is where we come in: we all believe that you should not just learn a language by yourself, but [ … ] Together, which is our vision. “Basu has more than 90 million users worldwide.
Duolingo has been the subject of several studies of efficacy over the years. One of its most positive reports since September 2020, it shows that its Spanish and French courses teach the equivalent of four American university semesters at half-time.
Babel, which has sold more than 10 million memberships in its language-teaching service, doubts the power of these findings. Christian Hilmeyer, who led PR for the startup, said Duolingo only tested for reading and writing proficiency – not for speaking proficiency, even though it was an important part of language learning. He described Duolingo as “just a fun game that’s probably not as bad as Candy Crush.”
Putting ed back into edtech
An irony of Duolingo’s development is that for many years it outsourced the creation of its education curriculum to volunteers. This is a legacy the company is still trying to improve.
After its inception, in 2013, Duolingo launched its language incubator. Similar to its original translation service, the company wanted to leverage crowdsourcing to invent and refine new language courses. Volunteers – at least at first – were seen as a scary way to bring new content to the growing Dolingo community and more than 1,000 volunteers have helped bring new language courses to the app.