Duolingo combats the language barrier between hosts and refugees helping to welcome Ukrainians arriving into the UK.
Homes for Ukraine
Last week, the government launched its Homes for Ukraine site for those wanting to host a refugee on Monday, with 100,000 sign ups on the first day. For those taking in a refugee, language learning app Duolingo is offering free codes for Duolingo plus, in the hope that it acts as a tool to help ease any language barriers and make Ukrainians feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar home.
Spike in People Learning Ukrainian
Duolingo is a free app that can be downloaded in seconds and helps users get up to speed with key phrases quickly. Since the devastating invasion of Ukraine began, Duolingo has experienced a large spike in people learning Ukrainian, with the number of people signing up to the course increasing by 485% globally.
The company will be taking the ad revenue we get from people learning Ukrainian, for at least the next year, and give it to Ukraine relief efforts as well as matching any employee donations.
Duolingo is partnering with UNHCR, IRC and other organisations working to help refugees from Ukraine to distribute codes for Duolingo Plus to refugees and their hosts, with the premium version aiding learning by providing unlimited hearts and removing adverts.
In addition, the Duolingo English Test is working with partners including UNHCR and Ukraine Global Scholars to expand its Access Program and provide fee waivers so Ukrainian students can take an English proficiency test required for their university applications.
Luis von Ahn, CEO & co-founder of Duolingo said “We are devastated by the ongoing war in Ukraine, and stand in solidarity with Ukrainians seeking safety and everyone working towards peace. As the conflict in Ukraine continues, we’ll continue to engage with our partners and learners to ensure everyone who needs it has access to high-quality education.”
The UK is asking people who wish to offer a rent-free space in their home or a separate residence, for at least six months, to register their interest online. Each household housing a refugee will be offered £350 a month, tax-free and will not be expected to provide food and living expenses but can choose to offer this.