Empowering Students with Goal-Setting and Progress Tracking using Duolingo

DALL·E. (2024). [AI-generated image]. OpenAI.

According to the U.S. Department of Education (2018), when students set learning goals, they are more likely to be motivated and gain self-management skills, further enhancing their academic achievements. The importance of goal-setting is also evident in research conducted by Bursztyn et al. (2020), which revealed that task-based goals can significantly improve completion rates and overall course performance among college students. However, it is essential to recognize that goal-setting takes more than planning the tasks. It takes collaboration between the teacher and the students to keep on track and follow the plan. Therefore, the effectiveness of the goal-setting strategy depends on how educators design and implement it with students, monitoring the process to help and empower students until the goal is met (Victoriana, 2023).

Question: How can teachers empower students to use learning data to set goals and measure their progress using technology tools like Duolingo?


Goal-setting and progress tracking are quickly done on Duolingo, a language learning platform. Duolingo prompts new users to set a daily goal in terms of experience points (XP), offering options ranging from Basic (1 XP) to Intense (50 XP). This feature not only facilitates personalized learning but also encourages students to take ownership of their learning process. Learners commit to a specific, measurable goal and gain a sense of responsibility toward their language learning journey (Retrieved from Duolingo website). Teachers can help students by utilizing Duolingo’s goal-setting feature. When teachers work with students to set goals and monitor progress until they achieve measurable goals, it empowers and enhances students’ learning (Victoriana, 2023). Adjusting the daily goal on Duolingo is also simple. Students can modify their target goals anytime, ensuring their learning objectives align with their changing needs and capacities. This flexibility is crucial in maintaining engagement and motivation, allowing learners to set realistic and achievable goals (Bursztyn et al., 2020).

Tracking progress is another key aspect that makes Duolingo stand out among other language apps. The platform offers various tools to monitor learning achievements, such as viewing XP, streaks, and achievements. The built-in progress tracker on the Duolingo website and third-party tracking tools like Toggl provide valuable insights into students’ learning activities. These resources enable learners to quantitatively assess their progress, making goal-setting a dynamic and interactive process.

Retrieved from Duolingo website

Duolingo offers research-based data to demonstrate their language learning efficiency and provide evidence of students’ success. They recently conducted a study for learners in the U.S. who completed Unit 5 in Spanish or French with Duolingo, and the final assessment resulted in proficiency levels comparable to university students who had completed four semesters of language courses (Miller, 2021).

Moreover, Duolingo offers achievements like the Sharpshooter and Long Streaker statuses, which serve as milestones to celebrate learners’ consistency and accuracy. Such rewards play a vital role in sustaining motivation and engagement by acknowledging the efforts and accomplishments of students. Incorporating technology tools like Duolingo, allowing students to set personalized goals, track their progress, and celebrate achievements, educators can foster a supportive environment that promotes self-directed learning. This approach aligns with intrinsic motivation and self-management principles and equips students with the skills necessary to thrive in their academic achievements (U.S. Department of Education, 2018).

As stated in ISTE Standards for Coaches: 4.6 Data-Driven Decision-Maker

Coaches model and support the use of qualitative and quantitative data to inform their own instruction and professional learning. 4.6.c Support: Student Data Use – Partner with educators to empower students to use learning data to set their own goals and measure their progress. Empowering students with tools like Duolingo can transform their learning experiences. Students setting personalized goals as they adapt to individual learning needs gives them control over their learning data, developing self-management skills that could impact and enhance their learning habits. Also, teachers guiding students to achieve their goals through interactive progress tracking make students more likely to succeed(Bursztyn et al., 2020). Duolingo makes language learning more effective and enjoyable by encouraging student efforts through features like XP, streaks, and achievements. As educators and learners continue to embrace technology in education, tools like Duolingo could offer the benefit of using learning data to set goals and monitor learning achievement more easily.


Bursztyn, L., Fujiwara, T., & Pallais, A. (2020). Using goals to motivate college students: Theory and evidence from field experiments. Review of Economics and Statistics, 102(4), 648–661.

Miller, T. (2021, November 29). 6 easy ways to incorporate Duolingo into your classroom. Duolingo Blog. https://blog.duolingo.com/using-duolingo-in-the-classroom/

U.S. Department of Education. (2018). Student Goal Setting: An Evidence-Based Practice. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED589978.pdf

Victoriana Savas. (2023, April 24). Strategies for Supporting Student Goal-Setting. Edutopia. Supporting Student Goal-Setting | Edutopia

1 thought on “Empowering Students with Goal-Setting and Progress Tracking using Duolingo

    • Author gravatar

      I love that Duolingo has these features that students and teachers can use. It is so important that students can see their progress and growth in real-time. I know that my own daughter loves seeing her progress in Duolingo. Thank you for sharing!

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