Duolingo’s latest app wants to teach kids how to read and write


The education app known for teaching users foreign languages, and their very passive-aggressive owl, is branching out into the field of basic literacy. While it’s probably a stretch to keep your kids at home and just use Duolingo to ensure they know all the rules of English, it’s certainly a nice piece of supplementary technology. Meet Duolingo ABC.

Before installing this new software onto whatever iOS device your child uses most frequently, we feel that it’s very important for you to know something about the Duolingo owl. He can be vicious. Barbaric. The sort of hellish creature one only dreams up in a nightmare fuelled haze of Stephen King novels and excessive consumption of milk before bedtime. You better keep him happy, otherwise…well, you probably don’t want to know that.

Yet if your kids are willing to brave his rage (he’s like Gordon Ramsey — far nicer to kids than adults), then Duolingo ABC might be exactly what they need to finally start reading all on their own! While it was meant to launch later in the year, due to millions of kids now stuck at home and constantly bugging their parents, the company behind the original Duolingo app thought it would be helpful to have some form of structured lesson plan in place for kids still learning the basics of literacy.

“We created Duolingo ABC to tackle the global problem of illiteracy,” said Duolingo founder and CEO Luis von Ahn. “Teaching people how to read and write can change lives. By taking everything we know about how people learn languages, and how to keep learners motivated with gamification, we believe we can make a dent in global literacy rates.”

Duolingo ABC will offer users 300 short lessons on reading and writing and is currently available in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand but we doubt it would be too difficult to get it working in South Africa. What’s even better is that the app is both free and won’t run any ads! Duolingo has a reputation for being a really well-structured and effective means of learning a new language, so Duolingo ABC is a great resource for parents looking to help their kids learn to read and write.


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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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