Australian Council on Children and the Media

Duolingo: Learn Languages Free - Duolingo

app image

Short takes

Duolingo is an educational language-learning app

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Duolingo: Learn Languages Free was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 30 November 2014.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Duolingo: Learn Languages Free
Developed by: Duolingo
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play Store: Everyone, Apple App Store: 4+.
ACCM suggested age: 6+
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Duolingo: Learn Languages Free contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

This review focuses on levels: 1-3.

App description

Duolingo is an educational app that allows players to learn a language by progressing through a series of activities. The objective is to play through the range of activities that can take between 5-20 minutes per day, which assist in learning a new word, phrase or sentence. The skills required to play are memorisation, listening, reading, speaking and writing skills, as well as motor skills in typing/tapping the device screen to input question responses.

Reviewers comments

When the app is opened, users are informed that the app is ‘Free language education for the world’. They are also asked if they are a new or existing user. If users are new to using the app, they are then asked to choose a language course (e.g. Spanish, Italian, German, French, etc). After this, they are asked to choose one of four Daily Goals: ‘Casual (5 minutes a day)’, ‘Regular (10 minutes a day)’, ‘Serious (15 minutes a day)’, or ‘Insane (20 minutes a day)’. Players are informed that they may change this goal later. The app takes players to a screen which asks if they are a beginner (and suggests to ‘Start at the Basics’), or not a beginner (in which case, they should ‘Try a Placement test’).

The app then displays a selection of four images with the word labels in a particular language. For example, there is an image of a child with the Italian text ‘il ragazzo’ beneath, an image of a woman with the text ‘la donna’ beneath, a glass of water with the text ‘l’acqua’ beneath, as well as an image of an apple with the text ‘la mela’ beneath. The app then asks players to select ‘the woman’, thus enabling them to pair the Italian label with an image they are aware of. Upon clicking an image, the app offers a voice narrator that reads the word out in Italian. If players choose correctly, they are informed via a congratulatory banner and a small ping noise.

After this, a different activity directs players to ‘translate a sentence’. For instance, users are provided with a sentence such as ‘Una donna’ – they are told that this is a new word, and they may click on it to discover it’s definition. Upon learning the meaning, players must select that meaning from a list of four options. The activity that follows asks users to ‘translate the sentence’ ‘La donna’ by clicking on the words to discover their definition, and then proceeding to type out the English translation.

The next activity offers players only a spoken sentence that they then must type out in Italian based on what they have learned thus far. Players are also told to speak phrases aloud in Italian using their device’s microphone, in order to check their pronunciation also.

Players have a set number of lives – when they get answers wrong, they lose a life. Upon finishing a level, players also gain experience points. After a level is completed, players are informed of how many XP they are away from meeting a goal. The categories are broken down into Basics, Phrases, Food, Animals, Plurals, Eclipses and Lenition.

In order to get items from the Shop, players must create a profile and sign in. Within the online store, players can use their lingots (earned via the achievements gained within the app) to purchase heart refills, outfits for the small owl character within the app, etc. Lingots cannot be purchased with real-life money, as they are received through levelling up, learning a new skill, etc.

In App purchasing

None:

Online information

It is possible for players to connect with friends, but it is necessary for them to create a profile and sign in. They may then elect to Find friends or Invite friends

Gambling

No gambling content found during the review.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

No game playing behaviour which may be of concern to parents was found during the review.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

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The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.