“Spider versus Bear”, “I am the cheese”, “the police are after me”: Duolingo is iconic for its gameified style, its colourful badges and its weird mess of vocabulary.

Screenshot April 2019: Owl logo credit Duolingo

The randomness is no more. The massive new changes for the Spanish and French courses introduce a more traditional topic structure, which brings them in line with scores of other programmes, including Babbel, Memrise, Mondly and Busuu. There is also better integrated instruction on grammar.

Interestingly, they have announced Duolingo’s CEFR level, which is A2 or upper beginner. We always knew it would not be intermediate, but it emphasises that casual language-learning is fun, but maybe not as fast as people expect.

Finally, why not check out the new Duolingo service, launching today, April 1st!

In the coming week I’ll be feeding back on my 7 day premium trial with Mondly, getting entangled in the por/para debacle, and looking at some big 2019 anniversaries for German culture and politics…