Students offered an online language app

Public school officials are promoting the use of a computer app for students as a supplement to learn a foreign language.

The app is by Duolingo, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, firm that promises to  provide language instruction for free. The site has 16 language programs, including Irish, Welsh, Russian, Turkish and Esperanto.

The  Ministerio de Educación Pública is promoting the use by students of English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Some 350 teachers in the Central Valley received an introduction to the program Monday, said the ministry.

Duolingo says it is is the free science-based language education platform created by crowdsourcing pioneer Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker. With over 100 million users, Duolingo says it is the most popular way to learn languages online in only two years.

The program is available on the Web and on various mobile devices, such as Android, iOS and Windows Phone, the firm said.

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