In 2022, English was the most popular language studied on Duolingo, ranking #1 in 119 countries! Given how many people around the world study English, it's no surprise that their reasons for learning English vary, but how else are they different?
To dig in, we examined the different study patterns in a few countries with the most Duolingo learners: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, India, and the U.K. We wanted to answer who studies English the most, and why.
Here's what we found!
English learners in India complete the most lessons
When it comes to the average number of lessons completed daily, English learners in India were #1!
Indians might be especially motivated to learn English on Duolingo because of its increasing use in younger generations and how important English is for career opportunities, including in India's emerging technology sector and for young people looking for opportunities abroad. Germans are also likely thinking about the value of English for their careers and earning potential.
The U.K. is next in line at #3. The U.K. requires immigrants and job seekers to learn English, but government support for language learning isn't meeting the demand. It's clear these English learners are up for the challenge!
English is also important for career advancement across Latin America, including in Brazil and Argentina. For example, Argentina leads Latin America for the highest level of English, so it's no surprise that Argentinians are committed to learning on Duolingo, too. In recent years, Brazil has risen in English proficiency rankings, in part due to the importance of English for career advancement.
Why are learners in India so dedicated to English?
We compared learners with different motivations to see which group completed the most lessons per day on average. We found that learners who want to use English to connect with others are doing the most lessons per day! Here’s the full list of motivations, ranked by average number of lessons a learner completed per day:
- Connect with people
- Prepare for travel
- Spend time productively
- Boost my career
- Support my education
- Just for fun
People’s need for social connection is very strong, which is why these learners may be powering through their Duolingo lessons. Using English during travel is another form of social connection, so it’s not surprising that learners with this motivation are so driven.
Surprisingly, work and school reasons rank lower when it comes to daily lesson completions. There are likely several reasons for this pattern. One is that people learning for school may be completing additional English coursework in classrooms and so complete fewer lessons than self-guided learners. And although English is important for job opportunities and school success in India, learning English because it’s required may not be as motivating as studying for more personal reasons.
Serious learning for personal reasons!
Our data shows that English learners in India are some of the most dedicated in the world when it comes to doing their Duolingo lessons. Learners who want to connect with others are doing the most lessons per day on average, showing how important people, families, and culture are in motivating learners.
About the data
We analyzed data from learners from Argentina, Brazil, Germany, India, and the U.K. who joined Duolingo in 2023. We calculated the average number of "new" lessons per day that each learner completed in March and April 2023. "New" lessons are those occurring next in the learning path, and excludes other lesson types (such as Legendary lessons and Practice Hub lessons).