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Mango Works, Here’s the Proof

Mango efficacy study header

At Mango, we have confidence in our methodology. With insights from the latest research in Second Language Acquisition, our courses are designed to effectively teach learners to start (and continue) the conversation in over 70 languages.

Our customer satisfaction tells a similar story — stellar customer reviews and high renewal rates show us that our users think that Mango is helping them learn languages. But why stop there? We know what learners should be learning, and what they think they are learning, but we wanted to know what they are actually learning from Mango. 

So we decided to find out. 

About the study

In 2019, an independent research study conducted by scientists from Queens College in New York and the University of South Carolina examined the efficacy of Mango Conversations, Mango’s flagship language-learning program. 

The learners in this study took two standard language proficiency tests — the WebCAPE college placement test, which assesses reading, vocabulary, and grammar, and the TrueNorth oral proficiency test, which assesses speaking and oral comprehension skills. They then studied exclusively with Mango for two months and took the same tests again. Higher scores on the post tests would show just how much users learned from Mango.

Let’s take a look at what the researchers found.

Do learners actually learn with Mango?

College placement graphic

The answer to this is a resounding yes. With as little as two hours of practice over two months, 82% of learners improved their WebCAPE score and 77% of learners improved their oral proficiency score. Among learners who studied at least one hour per week, 85% of them improved their oral proficiency score.

What does this mean in terms of language proficiency standards, like ACTFL?

The TrueNorth Test can be used to predict language performance according to international language proficiency standards, like the scale established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Based on these predictions, the researchers estimated that 74% of participants increased their ACTFL score by at least one sublevel, and 39% increased their ACTFL score by at least two sublevels. This means that nearly two out of five learners increased their ACTFL score by at least two sublevels after as little as two hours of study, a performance increase that is unmatched in the language app space.

efficacy-graphic-2

What can learners expect to gain for the time they invest in studying with Mango? 

This study found that, on average, novice learners who study with Mango for 15 hours will cover the requirements of the first college semester of a language course. Regarding oral proficiency, the researchers estimated that, on average, learners increased their ACTFL score by one sublevel in just 7.7 hours.

Who learns best with Mango?

Everyone. There were no differences in learning outcomes among learners based on age, gender, education, employment, or native language — Mango Languages works well for people of all backgrounds, ages, and skill sets.

Efficacy study graphic Mango ratings

How did learners rate Mango?

According to the study, the majority of learners said that Mango was easy to use (95%), enjoyable (91%), helpful for learning language (88%), and that they were satisfied with Mango (84%).

Ninety-nine percent of learners said that they would continue using Mango after the study. 

In conclusion...

Overall, this independent study establishes that Mango Languages is a highly effective language learning tool. By using the WebCAPE and the TrueNorth — external and standardized language proficiency tests — the researchers were able to show that Mango can help learners develop a variety of real-life written and oral language skills in an impressively short amount of time. 

Read the full report here.

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Designed to adapt to the learning needs of each and every user, Mango is language learning for the modern world. With over 70 languages, which one will you choose? 

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1The TrueNorth Test maps to internationally recognized language proficiency scales like ACTFL and CEFR.

2 These figures are based on the TrueNorth Test ACTFL estimates. The “American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)” guidelines are the property and/or marks of their respective owners and have no official association with Mango Languages or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. ACTFL has not  in any way endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise agreed to partner or be associated with Mango Languages, and no such partnership or association is intended or implied.

Because oral proficiency tests require more study time in order to provide valid measurements of language ability, only users who studied at least 8 hours over the course of the study (one hour per week) were considered in ACTFL estimations. This also allows for comparability to Vesselinov and Grego’s other studies of language apps.

Kaitlyn Tagarelli

Kaitlyn is a Linguist at Mango Languages and holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University. She loves to swing dance and hike, but is happiest spending time with her family.

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