Battle of the Owls: Duolingo vs. Glossika

Owls chatting. Photo by Ross Dismore, freeimages.com

You have to hand it to the owls. For a start, they’re wise. And they love learning. Well, at least in educational lore, having long been considered symbols of all things academic. They make very apt representatives for our language… Continue reading

Avoiding the Translation Crutch in Language Learning

A page from a German dictionary with the translation of various words. Image from freeimages.com.

I was on a mission this week: to minimise the interference of English translation in my language learning. You are probably familiar with the scenario – that slow, faltering, stoppy-starty feel to conversation in a language you are learning. In… Continue reading

Exhausted Duolingo Gaelic already? Try these resources for size!

A thistle. Learn Gaelic, know Scotland a little better. Image from freeimages.com

Got your Gaelic fix with Duolingo but hungry for more? You’re not alone. The ubiquitous language learning platform delighted users with its latest addition. But like all first-phase courses, it is not the lengthiest – yet. More will almost certainly… Continue reading

Approaching Duolingo : One Way to Catch An Owl

An owl - not the Duolingo one, but probably related. Image by Pamela Benn on freeimages.com

In case you hadn’t noticed, Duolingo released its Scottish Gaelic course early this week. And naturally, I leapt straight in like a pig in mud! Like many, I had waited patiently and eagerly for this release, not least since I… Continue reading

Battleground Duolingo : Sun Tzu’s Art of Language Learning

The Terracotta Warriors would no doubt fare very well on the Duolingo leaderboards.

Duolingo aficionados cannot have not have failed to miss the recent frenzy over competitive leaderboards. Perhaps you have – no doubt luckily – escaped the red mist and hidden sensibly away from the hordes. Instead, you might have recognised it… Continue reading

Building linguistic muscle memory with Duolingo

An owl. Probably not the Duolingo one, but I'm sure they're friends. (Image from freeimages.com)

I achieved not quite a lifelong dream this week. Let’s call it a months-long dream. I finally reached level 25 in German on Duolingo! When the moment of glory came, it was more with a fizzle than with fireworks. As the… Continue reading

Five ways to maintain variety in your language learning

Variety adds a bit of a colour to your learning. (Image from freeimages.com)

Routine and regularity are cornerstones of language learning. But if your structure is too rigid, you might find yourself tiring of the same old, same old. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to work some variety into your language learning plan… Continue reading

Duolingo: Five reasons it’s a show-stopper for linguists

An owl, much like the Duolingo mascot!

I was quite late to the Duolingo party. It might be a wee bit of jealousy, perhaps; as an educational app developer, you look at software like Duolingo and think: wow, that is an educational app. But lately, I’ve bitten the… Continue reading