Duolingo, Russian Pop, and the joy of Zoom classes
Can Zoom be the new classroom?
In June 2020 I started learning Russian with the goal to be fluent (whatever that means!) by the end of the year.
Last time I tried the app it was quite simple but they’ve added a lot of features over the past few years, such as Duolingo Events:
Duolingo Events were originally created to “bring your online learning offline”. Of course with Covid everything moved online! Which is great because most people don’t live in big international cities where those kinds of events are usually held.
Events are usually free, even though hosts may ask for a tip. Indeed, most hosts aren’t professional teachers, they’re often native speakers who want to share their language and culture. So the events aren’t amazing in terms of learning and organization. What is amazing is to have people of all ages from all around the world discussing Russian pop, in Russian, on Zoom: I loved this experience!
It’s really exciting and I want to try other events. It even made me want to start one in French, as anyone can be a host. For instance a lesson on “Urban French”, as I think the French language taught at school is quite different from the one spoken in the streets of Paris.
Unfortunately I don’t think those events can replace a proper teacher. So the best is probably to get a private tutor on Italki, but I haven’t tried yet.
Duolingo hosts events in all languages from French and Swedish to Welsh, Latin and Navajo so if you’re learning a language you should give it a try!