Contribute to Language Lessons with Duolingo Incubator
I’ve written in the past about Duolingo’s language lessons and their mobile apps, but now the service is releasing another new feature. Last week, Duolingo debuted their new Incubator feature. This newest part of their website allows bilingual users to contribute to new language courses. Aimed at allowing Duolingo to expand the number and type of language lessons that it can offer, users must apply to contribute through the incubator by writing a paragraph about why they are interested in contributing to the project in the language they propose to teach and then translate that same paragraph into the language of the users to whom they hope to teach the first language. Users cannot contribute until their application has been reviewed and approved by the Duolingo staff. The application warns that applicants must be bilingual, committed to putting several hours each week into the lessons and passionate about language instruction. Applicants can also volunteer to be the moderators for the lesson, thereby being in charge of keeping the lessons on track.
New lessons will go through an incubation phase where the content of the lessons are created, a beta release phase where these lessons is tested and finally will be fully released. Currently seven new language courses are in process, including such options as English for Japanese speakers and Portuguese for Spanish speakers. As of now, new courses are restricted to teaching English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and German, but the company has said that “it will be possible to create courses in all combinations of languages” by the end of this year. Overall, this is an exciting new piece of Duolingo. If these new lessons prove to be as high in quality as the original Duolingo lessons, this will make it an even stronger language learning tool and a formidable competitor for paid services such as Mango Languages and Rosetta Stone.