Can you learn a foreign language online?

by Arlene Harris, Irish Times

There was a time when having a smidgeon of French and self-consciously ordering a verre de vin could elevate someone to a status of fluency within minutes of a holiday abroad. But times have changed – and being able to communicate well in a foreign language is becoming more and more important for both career prospects and self-development. While being proficient in two or more languages has become de rigueur, finding the time to attend classes is another story. It’s one reason why more and more would-be linguists are flocking to online language courses. Duolingo, a free service, has gained more than 170 million users in the past five years or so. Irish, incidentally, features in its top-10 of most popular languages.

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