Mobile Assisted Language Learning: Affordances and Limitations of Duolingo

Kyria Rebeca Finardi, Roberta Gomes Leao, Gabriel Brito Amorim


This study aimed at analyzing how mobile assisted language learning (MALL) may be used to aid second/foreign language (L2) learning. So as to reach this goal, the Duolingo platform, one of the most popular apps among L2 learners, was analyzed in terms of its possibilities and limitations for L2 learning as perceived by its users. With that aim, a study was carried out with 80 participants, 45 of whom were L2 learners who answered an online survey about their preferences for L2 learning, 25 MALL users and 10 L2 teachers who were interviewed. Data analysis used a mixed methods design with predominantly qualitative data. Results of the study showed that participants recognize the relevance of MALL for L2 learning and think that the Duolingo may aid L2 learning to a certain extent, but agree that a teacher is necessary to foster interaction and the development of production skills in L2. Based on these results the study concluded that L2 teachers should consider using blended approaches combining MALL in traditional classes.

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