Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read App Poster Image
Parents recommend
Enjoyable drills thoroughly cover ABC basics, step by step.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to recognize, say, and write letters and words. They start from the very beginning and go through one letter at a time, slowly putting all the pieces together.

Ease of Play

Clear instructions for tapping items and tracing to draw letters.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read uses simple drills to introduce young kids to letters, letter sounds, phonics, and other foundational early reading concepts. One letter at a time, kids play a variety of early reading games that ask them to tap, drag, listen, and speak out loud. Upon opening the app for the first time, parents must enter their kid's name or nickname. Throughout the course of the lessons, kids will learn how to write that name. Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read also uses speech recognition software for games in which kids are asked to read letter sounds or words out loud. For that, parents need to allow access to their device's microphone. Parents are also asked if they want to provide an email address to receive emails from the developer, though it's not necessary to do so to play. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bye.thompson16 February 4, 2021

Toddler loves repeating the words

My 20-month-old doesn’t get much screen time, but she does like to play this “reading game” with us. When the app says “monkey starts with m”...she says “mmmm!”... Continue reading
Adult Written bypoitr January 29, 2021
je aime duolingo abc

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What's it about?

After parents agree to DUOLINGO ABC - LEARN TO READ's privacy policy and terms, provide their kid's name or nickname, enable speech recognition, and decide whether to provide an email address, they can hand over the game to their kids. Kids start by tapping on the first stop of many in a long line of games. They tap through a story about mad monkeys and then move on to the next games which introduce and build on the letter m. Activities include tracing the letter "m", what it sounds like, words that start with "m," the uppercase and lowercase versions, saying "m" words out loud, and so on. Kids must complete each successive game to unlock the next. With 127 units, kids learn each letter of the alphabet and practice tracing letters, reading, rhyming, and more.

Is it any good?

These colorful mini-games take kids on a logical journey towards learning how to read. Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read starts from the very beginning and slowly works its way through more complex concepts. Each step along the path is purposeful as new games review what's already been introduced and then builds further on those concepts. One downside, however, is that kids can't choose where to start on that path. That is, if kids come to Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read with some reading skills already, they'll have to slog through the early levels until they reach material that challenges them. Though the mini-games can sometimes feel like drills, kids interact in a variety of ways, from tapping through stories, to popping bubbles, to tracing letters or shapes, and more. That should be enough to keep them engaged. Even so, Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read may be best in small doses.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about kids' reading progress as they make their way through Duolingo ABC - Learn to Read. Ask kids to tell you what letters they've learned then see how many words you can come up with that begin with that letter. Or let them show off how well they can write new letters or words.

  • Give kids lots of experience with and exposure to written words and the sounds of language. Read books, signs, labels on food containers -- anything you set your eyes on. Sing songs, recite nursery rhymes, and emphasize the sounds in favorite and familiar words and names.

  • It can be hard to put down a game when you're having fun. Be clear with your kids about your family's screen time rules.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love letter recognition and learning to read

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