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Language app Busuu releases new efficacy study

Language learning app Busuu has boasted promising results in a recent academic study into the platform’s efficacy.

About 80% of all participants improved their reading/grammar proficiency

The study showcased the learning potential for students when combining self-paced study, a bustling global community, and one-to-one Live Lessons with professional language teachers.

It found that all beginners improved on at least one speaking or reading test, as did 82% of intermediate learners.

“Overall, about 80% of all participants improved their reading/grammar proficiency and about 71% improved their oral proficiency,” the report noted.

“Combining the two proficiency gains showed that 94.4% of the participants improved in at least one of them. More than half of the participants (55.6%) improved in both oral and reading/ grammar proficiency.”

The study was conducted on a random sample of 113 Busuu users ranging from beginners to intermediate Spanish learners during a two-month study period, with a minimum time commitment of two hours per week.

Participants were tested at the beginning of the study and at the end to measure the improvements made in their reading and oral proficiencies. Combining Busuu’s self-study courses and Live Lessons, the study also provided a look into improvements in language ability when given a relatively small, weekly time commitment.

Participants were able to show similar improvements with Busuu when compared to an average US college semester of study but with a much smaller time frame.

Comparing the typical 90-110 hours of face-to-face instruction to the 28-76 hours on average of self-paced learning, the fluency level achieved at the end of the study highlighted the effectiveness when learning with Busuu.

Other notable results include:

  • 77% of beginners improved more than one semester on their WebCAPE placement,
  • Beginners took an average of 28 hours to move up out of their current speaking level, and
  • Intermediate learners took an average of 76 hours to move up out of their current speaking level.

Co-founded in 2008 by Adrian Hilti and Bernhard Niesner, Busuu is changing the way we look at language learning.

“Needless to say, we’re incredibly proud of these results”

As the world’s largest online community for language learners, Busuu has proven once more that its learning model is working better than ever. Busuu is still one of the only language learning apps to continually demonstrate that learning with the app results in significant improvements in spoken fluency, not just reading and vocabulary recognition.

“Needless to say, we’re incredibly proud of these results,” Busuu’s chief learning officer, Kirsten Campbell-Howes said.

“They help recognise all of the hard work and energy that we pour into Busuu, and encourage us to keep building the best learning experience for our community.”

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