I first signed up to Duolingo back in 2013, a year after it was released. I remember thinking it was such a great idea and offer.
I had audacious ideas that I was going to learn all the languages of the world with this nifty app. Like many interests and fads, it quickly fades away with the busyness of life.
Growing up in a suburb of Toronto, French was NEVER used. So, it was just another topic in school that you had to take because it was the official second language in Canada.
Fast forward, to November 2021. My daughter is 2.5 months into a French immersion Kindergarten.
A friend of mine, who had two daughters go through a similar program shared some advice: "She will quickly surpass your basic French understanding and then make fun of you."
With that, I had the motivational drive to learn French. I also thought to myself, I've been saying for the longest time that I wanted to learn another language, and why not now? So, I downloaded Duolingo and got started.
Fun and Structured Way to Learn
When I was a snowboard instructor, I learned that people learn in three different ways:
Read & Study
Provide the technical aspects of snowboarding. Talk about gravity, momentum and carving on your toe or heel edge. Those who love to understand what is happening will study.
Observe and Watch
Demos are great. After explaining the technical basics of snowboarding, I would demonstrate it to my students so they can watch how it is done.
Jump in and Try
There are some people who just need to try things and learn as they go.
Ultimately, repetition and practice is the key to getting better at snowboarding.
It is not different than what Duolingo provides. First off, you can easily follow the structured lessons that are easy to follow and provide the explanation to structure.
Secondly, there are lessons where you read along while the app dictates. you then follow along again and try yourself.
There are also voice lessons where you listen to people talk and discuss the lessons and get you to engage with them.
Lastly, a recent discovery for me, subscribing to their podcast to listen to real conversations that are educational in French.
For the competitive ones, there are plenty of opportunities to feed their A-Type personality.
As soon as you do an activity, you are placed into a League with other students from around the world.
By completing lessons and activities, you gain XP points that update the leaderboard in real-time.
If you are like me, you like to see yourself at the top of the leaderboard, so you do the work.
I mean, that's great. I learn French while winning in a virtual league of other students from around the world. It's great.
On Day 100, I just advanced to the Diamond League - which from the looks of it, is the top league. My new goal is to see how long I can stay in this league.
Aside from the leagues, Duolingo has badges that you acquire by completing different tasks and activities. For example, completing all level 1 in a unit.
Like any learning environment, it's great to do it with friends. You can encourage family and friends to join and cheer each other on.
I love it when I receive a cheer from a friend, or a new friend when I move up a league or gain a new badge.
For more accountability share your badges on your social media network to celebrate and encourage others to join you.,
I am pumped at the new habit I learned in 100-days. With Duolingo, all you need is 15-min per day to get the momentum.
I find myself procrastinating from work or tasks that I have to do to log into Duolingo because I want to keep up in the league and acquire more badges.
So be sure not to get sucked in "learning" while leaving the rest of your life behind. I mean, the key is to live the 100X life by doing it all.
At the end of the day, like anything in life, you get what you put in it. But the way Duoling administers the learning, it's fun.
Follow me on Duolingo by clicking here and let's learn together!