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Duolingo launches accessible English test

Language learning firm Duolingo, which rose to prominence with its eponymous smart phone app, has launched an ‘Access Program‘ to widen participation in its Duolingo English Test.

The launch may have taken place in Kenya, but Duolingo made clear the offer is global. Photo: Duolingo

The DET is currently accepted by the admissions offices of several US HEIs

The program will give fee waivers to “high-achieving, low-income students,” to allow them to gain a recognised English language qualification, without the price tag associated with traditional tests.

“We began in Kenya because they were enthusiastic about what DET can mean for students”

The global program was launched in Nairobi, Kenya, a location chosen because of its links to one of Duolingo’s international partners, the HALI Access Network. The Network operates across the African continent, and “strive[s] to level the playing field in international education to increase inclusion, access and scholarship support”.

Jen Dewar, the head of strategy for the DET, said the global aspirations of the Access Program would become clearer with time, but the enthusiasm of partners such as HALI made Kenya the obvious launch pad.

“While we don’t intend to be exclusively offering programs in Africa, we began there because they were enthusiastic about what the DET can mean for their students in terms of breaking down barriers,” she told The PIE News.

Dewar also confirmed that Duolingo have held conversations with interested stakeholders in Singapore, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, and Costa Rica.

The fee waivers are applied in the form of coupons, which counsellors and agents can request for students they believe fit into the bracket of ‘high achieving, low income’. These applications are then assessed, often by Dewar herself.

“We ask them some questions about their organisations, if they’re involved in other professional organisations, so we can vet them in someway to know they truly are working with low income high achieving student populations,” Dewar told The PIE.

The DET is currently accepted by the admissions offices of several US HEIs, including: Duke, Washington University (St Louis), Columbia, Tulane, and University of Southern California.

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5 Responses to Duolingo launches accessible English test

  1. Hello respectively.
    I live in Iran.
    Unfortunately the rate of exchange money here is to unfair and I have difficulty paying for DUOLINGO.
    I have serious financial problems and my family income is too low that makes the condition even worse for me.
    I want to study abroad and I need to show how well I am in English thus I have to participate in the exma but my financial situation does not allow me.
    Thank you in advance for your help and support.
    Please let me know if you are agree.

  2. Hello
    i am from Uzbekistan where exchange rate is so high. I have found difficulty to gather some money to take DET. My family has a low income that I have to manage 100 dollars for monthly expenses, including rent, food and transport bills. If I spent a half of it, it would be so hard to survive. It would be highly useful to achieve a fee waiver code from DET because I am going to study overseas, and English proficiency Test certificate is required to prove my english language skills.
    Thank you for your help.
    Please contact with me if I am eligible for this.
    Firdavs Juraev

  3. Hello sir
    I would like to request a fee waiver on online and center english language tests becouse of being too expensive when change their price to rials in Iran.

  4. Hello sir
    My name is Israel Bekele and I am from Ethiopia. I want to take Duolingo English test, but Duolingo asked me the fee. In this case I can not taken the test because my family is very poor. Even we pay for Duolingo we have no wealth for our necessity life. Please can you waive this fee? To confirm you can contact my high school director.

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