With the era of the new technology and more and more e-learning programmes for children in primary school and high school to understand technology or train languages in a different way, as a fourth year student I see already a big difference then when I was in the last year of primary school, using rarely a computer, had to write paper by hand with a calligraphy pen and a fountain pen and using typex for mistakes. And for the decorations we made our own drawings of the subject.

In high school I worked with a word-learning-program to repeatedly type in the answer of a translation of a word. Teach2000 as it was called. Fill in your own word rows and you can repeat them easily with this program. It worked for the short-term memory but for the long-term memory…it’s questioned.

Duolingo; the new free language learning program

Now I am a student, I discovered last year ‘Duolingo’. And easy website where you can learn different languages by words, hearing, speaking and reading. Your vocabulary grows, you get to understand the grammar and it is repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat. It is set up by some volunteers and they are making more and more languages available.

You can choose which language is your main language and then you can learn other languages from that starting point. So for example, my native language is Dutch, so when I choose to learn from Dutch another language, the option now is English. No other language yet. But when you are bilingual, you can contribute to help develop the program for other languages. For example you speak Dutch and you want to learn French from Dutch.
You see here the overview of languages that are coming up: http://incubator.duolingo.com/

But I can learn many more languages when I manage to understand the English language pretty well. From English as a starting point, I can learn French, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Irish, Italian, Danish, Swedish and Dutch haha so the other way round as well which is also useful. I am eager to learn Norwegian but I have to wait until this language is developed in the program.
The program in general has developed as well. Now you can set a goal to reach a certain amount of xp every day so you keep up with you languages. It is not bad when you skip a day if you really can’t practice, but Duolingo is except on the internet also available offline on you smartphone.
My goal is to practice every day so I reach like a 50xp a day. Which is a lot because it means I have to take five tests a day. But I can choose from any language, or do different languages a day. It’s about the total amount of xp of all the courses you follow.

Enjoy Duolingo and develop your skills!
My profile: https://www.duolingo.com/sophie.vda

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