I love Duolingo as a language learning tool. It has pretty interface, very light, simple exercises that don’t consume your brain power too much and has many languages for learners wanting to brush up their skill.
Having said that, I honestly do not attend proper class to study Spanish and since 2013 I have been hopping from one textbook to another and frequently use Duolingo to keep myself in track.
What I really love about Duolingo?
First, It is FREE!! Nothing can beat a free app in your smartphone. Not only it is free but it is also educative.
Although you obviously cannot magically speak Spanish fluently in a day just by using Duolingo, but being able to start communicating using a few phrases of another language is definitely COOL, right?
You can run duolingo in your computer, tablet and smartphone. I love it on my Android and I put myself into 3 lessons per day goal for about 15 minutes. As it is fun, sometimes I don’t feel like I am learning a language. Duolingo feels like a game and very addictive!
Second, definitely helping me in building my vocabulary bank. Although from time to time I still need to check with a dictionary just to make sure that I can differentiate the masculine from the feminine noun.
There is no grammar explanation in Duolingo though (which I wish the team could include that in their future updates) so I still need to learn some grammar first before attempting the lessons. As I progress, the lessons become progressively difficult too. It makes learning fun when the lessons get harder.
Third, the forum ( I like to call it as such for now). In each test sentence or word there is an accompanying section where you can comment and give your opinion. I definitely can learn a lot from other native speakers’ comments be it if they are Spanish from Spain or from other Spanish speaking countries.
Fourth, the daily goal. I can do one lesson per day, three or five. Depending on my strength or whether I really want to push myself to learn Spanish faster or not.
I have opted for 5 lessons per day (insane) previously but from my own observation, I became very bored once I reached the 4th lesson. It is as if I am forcing myself to learn. Hence, I am l sticking to 3 lessons per day goal. Yeay! I am categorized as a serious learner there.
Fifth, finally…I love this added bonus skills like idioms, proverbs and flirting where I can practise it with my husband and we laughed like crazy whenever I used them incorrectly. Hahaha…Learning Spanish with Duolingo is seriously fun!
When I look back, I don’t know why there was little to none interest in me to learn Spanish before. It seems natural to learn Spanish after English, right? No!
The only thing that connects me to Spanish culture before was the Spanish telenovela. Among my favorites was the Venezuelan telenovela Mi Gorda Bella in 2002 which was adapted to Manjalara – a local Malay drama in year 2007.
But now with Duolingo, I think I can revive my interest in Spanish language and make myself study a little bit harder than before. Alhamdulillah.
Vamos a aprender Español !