Learn English for free

lifestyle May 11, 2017 12:17

By The Nation

With more than 170 million users worldwide, Duolingo has won accolades for its free learning content, game-like approach to teaching, and bite-sized lessons that can be done in five to 10 minutes per day.

Now the app has arrived in Thailand with a free English language course created for Thai speakers.

The learning tool will appeal to anyone who lacks time and resources to sign up for an expensive language classes. Thai speakers can learn to read, write and speak English through fun, game-like lessons. Duolingo is available now as a free app on the App Store and Google Play, and on the web at duolingo.com

“Of the 1.2 billion people worldwide who are learning a foreign language, 800 million are learning English in order to improve their job prospects and gain access to better life opportunities,” said Luis von Ahn, CEO and co-founder of Duolingo.

“We started Duolingo to make language education free and accessible to everyone, and are excited to now offer the first free online English language course for Thai speakers. We hope the course will help open up new educational and job opportunities for Thais, while providing a fun learning experience.”

The Duolingo English course for Thai speakers is the first free language-learning program of its kind in Thailand. Like most of Duolingo’s courses, it was created by a team of bilingual volunteers including Songphon Klabwong, chief technology officer of a Bangkok-based software company and a former lecturer in Computer Science at Rajamangala University of Technology.

“When I was teaching, I noticed that the language barrier among my students was one of the biggest challenges to their learning experience and therefore encouraged them to start learning English,” Songphon says.

“When I found out that Duolingo was developing an English course for Thai speakers, I was inspired by the company’s mission and decided to contribute to the course. I am hopeful that it will encourage more Thais to develop their English skills.”

For Thais who already read, write and speak English, Duolingo also offers 22 language courses, with plans to add Japanese, Korean and even Klingon, the extra-terrestrial lingo from Star Trek, this year, too.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Duolingo has raised US$83.3 million (Bt2.9 billion) in venture capital from investors including Google Capital, Union Square Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins, Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher and internationally renowned author Tim Ferriss.

While all learning content on Duolingo is free, the company monetises through optional in-app purchases, ads at the end of lessons and a relatively low-cost English language certification test that is widely accepted at universities and organisations around the world.

Duolingo is available on Android, iOS, Windows devices and the Web with seamless switching between platforms. See