Duolingo’s New ABC App Teaches Young Kids to Read for Free

The Duolingo ABC app on an iPhone
Duolingo

Duolingo, known for its apps that teach you other languages, has a new iOS app for you to download. Only this one is for your young children, and it will help them learn to read. The best part about Duolingo ABC is that it’s completely free. But, at least to start, it’s aimed at the youngest of children.

We went ahead and downloaded Duolingo ABC just to see how good it was. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the app has no ads, no in-app purchases, and while it does ask for a parent’s email, you don’t have to provide it.

Three Duolingo app screens, one showing handwriting, another spelling the word monkey, and the third a lesson plan.
Spelling monkey is reminiscent of Endless Alphabet

Duolingo starts off by asking for the child’s name and age. You might think that will tailor the app based on their likely reading capability, but that didn’t seem to be the case. We specified a 7-year old child, which puts them at a first-grade reading level (or better). The first lesson was a story:

One Monkey
Two Monkeys
Three Monkeys
Moo

That’s far too simple for a first-grade reader; this is something closer to a preschool level. The app does move on to lessons reminiscent of Endless Alphabet, where drag the letters to their silhouettes to spell “Monkey”) and even it even touches on handwriting (draw the letter M on the screen). But for any children well on their way to reading, it probably won’t be that helpful.

However, if your child is preschool age, or struggling with reading in general, the Duolingo ABC might help. The app has over 300 lessons, and from what we could see in our limited testing, it does grow in complexity over time.

And ultimately, the app is entirely free. Free as in, no in-app purchases, no monthly subscriptions, no up-front cost to download. You have nothing to lose in giving it a try.
Duolingo ABC is out now for iOS and iPadOS, and the company says it’s working on an Android version for the future.

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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