Since its launch in 2011, Duolingo has become one of the most popular language teaching tools in the entire world, with over 500 million users learning to read and speak over 100 different languages. It’s so popular that Twitch and YouTube streamers even stream their lessons to thousands of viewers. Given this immense popularity, it’s pretty much a given at this point that the Duolingo teaching method has merit. Could that teaching method, then, be applied to other fields of learning? That’s what Duolingo is looking to find out.
Duolingo announced today that, in addition to its catalog of language-learning programs, it will also be adding lessons for mathematics and music to its repertoire. While the full details of these new programs are being withheld until the company’s Duocon event on October 11, it’s looking like the programs will be using the same gamified framework as the language lessons.
“We know math and music, much like language, transcend cultures and connect people, ” said Severin Hacker, co-founder and CTO of Duolingo, in a press statement obtained by VentureBeat. “Soon you will be able to learn math and music in the same Duolingo app – all with the same fun, engaging, and effective experience you know from learning languages with us.”
Increasing learning accessibility
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One of the aspects of Duolingo’s language lessons that makes it so attractive is that it’s completely free. Presumably, this same framework would be applied to the math and music lessons, which could prove to be a major boon to both children and adults seeking additional education.
— Duolingo (@duolingo) September 6, 2023
In the United States, math and music tutoring can be prohibitively expensive, with one-on-one sessions ranging from $20 to $100 an hour. Music tutoring, in particular, is not as widely available in the U.S. as other topics – according to a study released last year by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation, around 1 in 10 students have no access to music tutoring.
If Duolingo’s math and music lessons are as effective as its language lessons at no cost, it could be one of the biggest shakeups the tutoring industry has ever seen.
“Our mission is to develop the best education and make it universally available. Now, everyone interested in music can learn the fundamentals at no cost, all in Duolingo’s playful, motivating format,” said Vanessa Jameson, director of engineering for new subjects at Duolingo, in a statement.