As our most popular language to study globally, teaching English is a priority at Duolingo. We know that English can open doors for many people academically or in their careers, but to unlock those doors, learners often have to prove their English skills via an English Language Proficiency test. That’s why we prioritize both learning and assessment!
Today may be English Language Day according to the UN, but we celebrate English learners every day at Duolingo!
Meeting the needs of English learners
English is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, with millions of people learning it as their first language, and millions more as their second.
Because it’s the international language of business and education, a lot of people are motivated to learn English for academic reasons. In fact, ”school” is the number one reason young people on Duolingo take up English in Brazil, Germany, and the U.S.!
To support English learners around the world, we have a team of English experts dedicated to developing our 24 English courses. We’re also aligning more and more of our courses to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages, and English learners will soon enjoy new features like advanced stories to build reading skills for particular contexts and targeted English pronunciation exercises.
Helping English learners achieve their goals
It’s no wonder many view English as a passport to career success. But in order to work or study in an English-speaking country, you often need to demonstrate that you speak English via a proficiency exam.
It’s well known that testing can be a barrier to international study. From inconveniently-located test centers to restrictive acceptance requirements, testing organizations and international institutions are closing the door to millions of would-be applicants. That’s why we launched the Duolingo English Test nearly 7 years ago, to address these disparities and make it easier for people around the world to access fair and secure English testing.
Digital testing, led by Duolingo, can help institutions lower barriers for students to access university. The digital-first DET met a need during the pandemic, but its influence remains strong: It is now a preferred assessment method, as indicated by steady year-over-year growth in test takers. Since 2021 we’ve seen students certifying their English across the globe and from more than 20,000 different cities.
Though the pandemic accelerated our growth, our data shows that the DET’s user base is only growing. More and more people are taking the DET in locations that don’t have a traditional test center, and in 2022, we saw a 50% year-over-year increase in tests taken. There’s clearly a universal desire to study and work abroad—and a need for a test that makes it easier and more affordable to do so.
To infinite opportunities, and beyond!
At Duolingo, we envision a future where language learning is easy and accessible for everyone. Whether a learner is starting out on their English learning journey, or ready to test their proficiency to study or work abroad, we want every learner to take advantage of exciting opportunities afforded by English proficiency. So we will continue to celebrate our English learners the best way we know how: by developing the best educational tools possible to support their learning journeys!