Grades 3-4: Duolingo
- Create and build the habit of studying a language in short spurts, on a regular basis.
- Work independently at his/her own pace.
Students began the year working on the Duolingo app in class for five minutes a day, 3x/week. Partway through the year, this was assigned as homework; fourth graders were expected to be working on Duolingo 3x/week. There was a very wide range here: some students went crazy, earning more than 16,000 XP over the year (rockstars!, some had streaks of 100+ days in a row), while others ended the year with less than 1,000 XP.
The overarching goal was to give those extra-motivated students an outlet to work at their own pace–which they most certainly did–and to gently encourage and build the habit of studying a language a little bit each day. I will structure this differently next year for more accountability on the students’ part (~the homework piece was more a lack of maturity, since some were not even 9 years old at the beginning of the year!).
- NOTE: The commentary above is directed toward fourth graders only. We tried using the app with third graders as well, but it fizzled out–those who were not on grade level for reading in English were discouraged. That said, I had the native speakers choose a different language to study (in lieu of Spanish), which was a good challenge for them.
- The majority of second & third graders preferred the Fun Spanish app, but we did not have the paid version this year (I will look into that for the future) and the free version was very limited.