Busuu University Study Press Release

University study finds measurable improvement of language skills after just 16 hours of learning with Busuu

Study conducted by independent researchers from City University of New York and University of South Carolina shows Busuu is more than 50% more effective than other comparable language learning apps.

LONDON (JUNE 7th, 2016) – An independent university study to measure the effectiveness of the language learning app Busuu found that 100% of people who studied for at least 16 hours significantly improved their language skills. The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Roumen Vesselinov from the City University of New York who has conducted similar studies with apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, stated: “Among all the language learning apps studied so far, the efficacy of Busuu is the best.”

From February to April 2016, the researchers conducted a study to measure the effectiveness of the Busuu platform. One hundred forty-four randomly selected students used only Busuu over the period of eight weeks to learn Spanish. The students’ skills were tested at the beginning and at the end of the study via a standardized placement test frequently used in U.S. universities.

The study found that 84% of users improved their written proficiency and 75% of users improved their oral proficiency. Once they studied a minimum of 16 hours, 100% of the students showed a statistically significant improvement in their language skills.

The study also found that Busuu users would need on average only 22.5 hours to complete the requirements for one entire college semester of Spanish. The same team of researchers has conducted similar studies with other language learning tools like Duolingo (2012) which measured 34 hours and Rosetta Stone (2009) which measured 55 hours as equivalent to a college semester.

The results show that, on average, one hour of study with Busuu leads to progress of 12 points on the test. Duolingo’s comparable score from the previous study measured 8 points improvement per one hour of study. Rosetta Stone measured only 4 points of improvement. On a per hour study basis, Busuu is therefore at least 50% more efficient than other comparable apps.

The official study & graphs can be found here: https://www.busuu.com/research. The research on other apps is available here: http://comparelanguageapps.com/.

This study was conducted by Roumen Vesselinov, Ph.D., Economics department at Queens College, City University of New York, and John Grego, Ph.D., Statistics department at the University of South Carolina. The data collection and the analysis were done independently by the Research Team. The two language tests used in the study that were taken at the beginning and end of the study to measure improvements were designed and developed by two external independent testing companies.

The Research Team state in their final report: “There are only a handful of known studies with direct objective measures of efficacy of language learning apps. Among them the efficacy of Busuu is the best so far. The creators of other language apps should be encouraged to provide efficacy measures so users and investors can make more educated choices.”

Of all test participants, 100% stated that they would continue to use Busuu and 84% would recommend Busuu to a friend or colleague.

Bernhard Niesner, CEO & Co-founder of Busuu stated: “Technology has been an enabler to achieve significant improvements for users within many different industries. This study proves that we are on the right track and we will continue to work hard to further improve the learning outcomes of our students”.

The $60 billion (USD) global language learning industry has been changing rapidly over the past few years with technology entering the space. The effectiveness of those new language learning tools had often been questioned as only a few companies had provided empirical data of their users’ outcomes.

Busuu has been a pioneer in online and mobile language learning since its inception in 2008. More than 60 million users from over 190 countries have joined the leading social network for language learning. The company offers a unique methodology allowing users to access high-quality language courses mixed with practice opportunities with real native speakers of the global community.

Last month, Busuu launched Busuu PRO, which is distributed by McGraw-Hill Education and designed for university and enterprise customers. Busuu PRO enables organizations to either enhance existing offline classes with Busuu’s web/mobile courses or to create a completely new and scalable language learning solution for an unlimited number of users with just a few clicks. With Busuu PRO, students and employees can practice on their own time and on the go even when traveling by using the app in offline mode.

About Busuu

Busuu was founded in 2008 with the goal to empower everyone in the world to learn a new language. The company is committed to revolutionize the language learning process with the use of technology. With over 60 million users and 12 languages to study, Busuu’s digital learning apps are globally leading. The company offers free and paid audio-visual language courses and includes direct interaction with native speakers around the world. Busuu has received several awards such as “Best Education Start-up in Europe” and was named as “Best Google Play App 2015.” The company is named after the language of Busuu in Cameroon, spoken by only eight people. Visit us at www.busuu.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Bernhard Niesner, CEO & Co-Founder of Busuu