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Sat, Jan 10

Teach schoolkids new languages with a free app

In developing countries like Ethiopia, Malaysia, and Mozambique, the market for English language learning is red hot. These are places where, often, English proficiency is seen as a stepping stone to a better job and a one-way ticket out of poverty. But one major kink in that plan is the fact that in many cases, the English teachers within these countries don’t speak English either. And so, the cycle continues.

But Luis von Ahn believes his app could play a key role in breaking that cycle. Von Ahn is the co-founder of Duolingo, a free language learning app that launched two and a half years ago and has since amassed a whopping 60 million users worldwide.

As big as Duolingo—and indeed, the entire online learning market—has become outside the classroom, von Ahn knows that language education still has a crucial place in schools. That’s why, on Thursday, the Pittsburgh-based startup is launching a new platform called Duolingo for Schools, which will help teachers track student activity on the app and tailor their lectures in the classroom, accordingly.

Read more from WIRED.