Editor’s Note: This article has first been published in EducationInvestor on April 3rd 2014. The recent launch of Duolingo for Schools and Rosetta Stone’s prediction for language trends underline the need to flip the language learning classroom.
When it comes to language, Europe is in a unique position. In a small geographical area, connected by a common market and to some extent common culture, we have access to nearly all the world’s most important languages: English, of course, but German, Spanish, Portuguese and French all play major roles in global trade, too. And the European Commission is keen to get people learning: a year ago, it announced the lofty goal of making every European speak at least three languages, calling this multilingualism strategy “mother tongue plus two”.
Language learning community busuu.com dug into its learner data to find out if women are better language learners and came up with an infographic.
I have talked often about using a “language helper” to learn the language and I want to take a bit of time to explain it today. But first I will talk about what a language helper (LH) is not.
A LH is not a teacher. They are not a tutor. They will not be experts in grammar – at least not any more than the average American is an expert in English grammar – who can tell me what a participle phrase is?
Duolingo, the rising star in the language learning space, is this year’s most downloaded application in the education category on Google play. On iOS, however, the app did not make it in the top ranks this year.
This difference in rankings on the two leading mobile operating systems is a good indicator for the different mindsets and needs learners in industrialized countries and the developing world each have. According to Gina Gotthilf, head of marketing and international development for the company, 67% of Duolingo’s 50 million users are now located outside the United States.
First published on EDUKWEST | January 28, 2014
Cambly is a new platform that connects English and Spanish learners through video chat. Sure, this sounds very familiar as startups like Colingo and Verbling are essentially fishing in the same pond.
Interestingly I had a chat about live video lessons among other trends with busuu.com’s co-founder Bernhard Niesner last week in London. As I was invited to give a short intro to the Edtech Innovator Award I had put live video lessons on my list of trends to watch in 2014.