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Mobile-assisted language learning: A Duolingo case study

  • Shawn Loewen (a1), Dustin Crowther (a2), Daniel R. Isbell (a3), Kathy Minhye Kim (a4), Jeffrey Maloney (a5), Zachary F. Miller (a6) and Hima Rawal (a7)...

Abstract

The growing availability of mobile technologies has contributed to an increase in mobile-assisted language learning in which learners can autonomously study a second language (L2) anytime or anywhere (e.g. Kukulska-Hulme, Lee & Norris, 2017; Reinders & Benson, 2017). Research investigating the effectiveness of such study for L2 learning, however, has been limited, especially regarding large-scale commercial L2 learning apps, such as Duolingo. Although one commissioned research study found favorable language learning outcomes (Vesselinov & Grego, 2012), limited independent research has reported issues related to learner persistence, motivation, and program efficacy (Lord, 2015; Nielson, 2011). The current study investigates the semester-long learning experiences and results of nine participants learning Turkish on Duolingo. The participants showed improvement on L2 measures at the end of the study, and results indicate a positive, moderate correlation between the amount of time spent on Duolingo and learning gains. In terms of perceptions of their experiences, the participants generally viewed Duolingo’s flexibility and gamification aspects positively; however, variability in motivation to study and frustration with instructional materials were also expressed.

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Keywords

Mobile-assisted language learning: A Duolingo case study

  • Shawn Loewen (a1), Dustin Crowther (a2), Daniel R. Isbell (a3), Kathy Minhye Kim (a4), Jeffrey Maloney (a5), Zachary F. Miller (a6) and Hima Rawal (a7)...

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