Language App Duolingo Wants To Give The Toefl A Run For Its Money

The app's English as a Second Language proficiency test is already accepted in over 300 college-level schools

Paula Soprana
São Paulo

Duolingo, a leading app for learning foreign languages, has a new goal after reaching 300 million users worldwide: break the supremacy of Toefl (Test of English As a Foreign Language), usually required for foreigners to be accepted university all over the world.

Toefl scores measure how well a non-native speaker can communicate in English.

With 32.7 Duolingo users, Brazil can be an important market for this strategy, says Luis von Ahn, Duolingo's co-founder and CEO.

The country is the second largest market in users numbers, right behind the United States.

"I believe that in two or three years most American universities will accept Duolingo's certification. We are already in 10% of them and we gain two or three more every week," he said.

Luis von Ahn, Duolingo's co-founder and CEO - Divulgação

Duolingo's benefit is price and convenience.

While Toefl charges US$ 215 for each test and requires scheduling in testing centers, Duolingo's price is US$ 50 and can be done any time, anywhere in a personal computer.  The only demand is that the user keeps his computer camera on so Duolingo's checkers can make sure the test was taken by a real person before issuing the scores.

Duolingo's test also is 30 minutes long, a shorter period of time compared to traditional tests, that can take up to four hours.

Portuguese speakers are increasingly being more requested for English speakers. Duolingo's daily active user growth in Brazil is twice of other countries.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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