by Johannes Helmold

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The age-old question of whether to use language learning apps like Duolingo or immerse oneself in the target language has sparked a lively discussion on Reddit. In this news piece, we delve into the captivating conversation and explore the pros and cons of both methods, featuring insights from various Reddit users who shared their experiences. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of language learning!

Duolingo vs. Immersion: The Great Language Learning Debate

Reddit user u/HappyLanguageLearner kicked off the conversation by asking whether they should ditch Duolingo and devote their energy to complete immersion instead. It’s a question many language learners face at some point in their journey.

Supporting Duolingo, u/FriendlyPolyglot mentioned that the app is an excellent tool for beginners to build a foundation. “Duolingo helps learners get familiar with the basic structure and vocabulary of a new language, making it easier to tackle more advanced material later,” they explained. In contrast, u/RealWorldLinguist championed the immersion approach, arguing that there’s no substitute for being surrounded by the language one is trying to learn. They shared their personal experience of moving to a Spanish-speaking country, where they picked up the language far more quickly than they would have by using an app.

As the discussion continued, one fellow Redditor pitched in the idea of using both methods. They pointed out that Duolingo could provide a solid foundation, while immersion helps with fluency and real-life conversation skills. “It’s a balanced approach that many language learners find effective,” they added.

According to u/EagerLearner1990, motivation plays a crucial role in language learning. They shared how Duolingo’s gamified features and daily reminders kept them engaged. For some learners, this might be just the push they need to stick with their language goals.

User u/PatientPolyglot, reminded us that immersion requires a significant time commitment that not everyone can afford. They emphasized that one could still make great progress with Duolingo and other learning resources, even if full immersion isn’t possible. The importance of speaking practice was highlighted by another user, who shared their experience of using conversation exchanges and language meetups to supplement their Duolingo learning. “By engaging in real conversations, I’ve seen my language skills improve dramatically,” they said.

As the thread continued, u/ResourcefulLearner suggested a combination of Duolingo, immersion, and other resources like podcasts, books, and websites to learn foreign language. They stressed the importance of diversifying one’s learning methods to keep things fresh and engaging.

While traveling to a foreign country might be ideal for immersion, one of Redditors offered an alternative for those on a budget: create an immersive environment at home by consuming media in the target language, joining online language groups, and using apps like Tandem for language exchanges. Ultimately, as u/IndividualLearner pointed out, the best method depends on personal preferences and learning styles. “Some people thrive in immersive environments, while others prefer the structure and guidance of apps like Duolingo. The key is to find what works best for you and stick with it,” they concluded.


The Reddit discussion thread painted a vivid picture of the language learning landscape, revealing the strengths and weaknesses of both Duolingo and immersion. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, it’s clear that a combination of methods tailored to individual needs and preferences can lead to success. So, whether you’re a Duolingo devotee or an immersion enthusiast, remember that the most important factor in language learning is persistence and a willingness to explore new approaches. Happy language learning!

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