An evaluation of Duolingo as a CALL resource for upper-secondary English L2 classrooms in Sweden
Abstract: The usage of digital tools for learning in today’s classroom is increasing in pace with our technological developments in our digitized society. This has created several digital language learning platforms that are now available for students and teachers to use for learning. It can be difficult to determine the quality of any learning material and especially new material. In this study, I will examine how well the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) material Duolingo functions as a learning tool for upper-secondary language learning. The purpose of choosing Duolingo was to investigate what qualities modern language learning tools have and to stress the importance of evaluating materials before using them. This was done by evaluating Duolingo in three steps, in an external, internal, and overall process. The evaluating process determines the structure, content and, function of Duolingo as a CALL-material. In the evaluation, pedagogical principles and the English syllabus were used to investigate if Duolingo could be used for educational purposes. The research questions for this study are how appropriate Duolingo is as an educational resource for English upper-secondary school learning and how well it meets the directive of promoting digital tools for knowledge acquisition, communication, and learning. The overall result shows that Duolingo could function as supplementary material but not as the main material since it does not cover the communicative aspects of language learning and works solely with rule-based competence. While Duolingo meets syllabus directives with respect to knowledge acquisition and learning if used for working on grammar and form, it lacks communicative elements and therefore does not support the broad communicative goals of the English subject in upper-secondary school.
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