Deconstructing the Duolingo English Test (DET)

Deconstructing the Duolingo English Test (DET)

The Duolingo English Test has made a bit of a splash over the last year or so. Priced to undercut the likes of TOEFL and IELTS, and claiming to be accurate, secure and ‘scientifically designed’, it has some big-name adopters including Yale, Uber and LinkedIn. In this guest post, Anthony Schmidt puts it through its paces and is left unimpressed. “I went into it very excited and came away with a very bad taste in my mouth.”

We need to talk about LX

We need to talk about LX

Frustration, anger, confusion, boredom and repetition are all hallmarks of bad user experience (UX); unfortunately, they’re often hallmarks of language learning too, especially when it takes place digitally. But bad UX is not the only reason digital language learning products fail – sometimes it’s the content, sometimes it’s the pedagogy, sometimes it’s the lack of human interaction. Bad UX alone fails to address the complexities of language learning. We need to start talking about bad learner experience (LX). Bad LX could be defined in a number of ways, but at its most basic it’s this: not only did you fail to learn something; you had a horrible time trying.

ELT and disruptive innovation: what does the theory actually tell us?

ELT and disruptive innovation: what does the theory actually tell us?

In this guest post, Ed Pegg looks at disruptive innovation:
The terms ‘disruption’ and ‘disruptive innovation’ seem to have entered the ELT lexicon in recent years but do you know what the terms actually mean? According to Clayton Christensen, the theory’s creator, it’s one of the world’s most misunderstood ideas and most applications of his work are done in error. If we’ve misunderstood the theory, does that mean that our recent response to online learning and other threats has been a mistake?
What we’re reading

What we’re reading

As we move into summer and beach reads, we’re still finding time to read articles on our phones for now. Here’s what caught our attention this week. The rise and rise of Duolingo Duolingo seems to have dropped the translation aspect of its product to...