I recently decided I wanted to improve my Irish language skills. Being a former Gaelscoil pupil I have a great understanding of the language but my grammar is not what it used to be because I haven’t used it in 10 years. I took to Twitter to find a podcast to try improve with but instead it was recommended that I try the Duolingo app.
Duolingo is a free language education app which was selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year in 2013 and by Google as Best of the Best for Android in 2013 and 2014. With over 80 million users, Duolingo has become the most popular way to learn languages online in only 2 years. Duolingo offers the choice of learning 22 different languages, 12 of which are for English speakers wishing to learn a new language.
I set up the app to learn Irish. It is easy to do. Beginners start at basic 1 but there is also a placement option for more advanced users. I used the placement option and got to skip the lessons and went straight to the first gate test. The content is very engaging with a wide variety of methods used to teach words, aurally, written English to Irish, written Irish to English, pictures , matching of English words to Irish words. Points are awarded for completing lessons, I also like the daily reminders to use the app. Repetition is key and I plan on completing the whole course over the next few weeks.