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Duolingo will now teach you elementary-level math

You can sign up for the Duolingo Math beta today.

duolingo's new math lessons
Image: KnowTechie

Duolingo is expected to launch its flagship math (or maths, depending on what side of the Atlantic you live on) course today.

Duolingo Math is a dedicated app for iOS and iPadOS. It re-uses the company’s gamification mechanics to teach third-grade maths.

Users complete challenges, reinforce their learning with practice, and gradually tackle harder problems.

The app starts with simple multiplication exercises. As the player’s confidence grows, it poses more challenging subjects. These include lessons in geometry, fractions, and division.

Check out an example of Duolingo’s math lessons

Understandably, Duolingo is starting small. The inaugural math course targets third-grade kids, with more advanced courses to follow in the coming months.

For older players, Duolingo now offers brain-training exercises. It targets these lessons at players aged 13 and above.

According to The Verge, the company plans to initially offer Duolingo Math for free while the company determines its “product fit.”

Duolingo has increasingly monetized its product in recent years. This process began with in-app purchases and culminated with Duolingo pivoting to a subscription service, with some features hidden behind a paywall.

duolingo math beta
Image: Duolingo

Even with these charges, a huge portion of Duolingo’s core functionality is available free of charge. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the company pursue a more aggressive monetization strategy with the math course.

Languages are something you learn over a lifetime. They require constant practice. For Duolingo, this translates into engagement. It provides more opportunities to make money from ads and in-app purchases.

I can’t imagine the same is true for a math course. Unless you really like brain teasers, the main users of Duolingo Math will be those looking to pass a test or augment the stuff they’re already learning at school.

With a smaller timeframe to make money from users, Duolingo will likely be forced to rely heavily on subscriptions or microtransactions.

Tempted? You can sign up to the Duolingo Math beta today by clicking this link. A full release will likely follow later this year.

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Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Past work can be found on The Register, Reason, The Next Web, and Wired.

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