The promotion lasts til the end of the school year.

By Alison Fox
March 26, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Babbel

Subscription-based language learning app Babbel is offering free programs to students while they’re out of school amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The app, which features 14 languages, will be given for free to all from kindergarten to college-aged students until the end of the school term, or mid-June, the company told Travel + Leisure. This follows a pilot program that launched March 11 in which Babbel was offered gratuito to people in Italy affected by COVID-19 there (12,800 Italians signed up so far).

“The number of students being affected by high school and college closures across the U.S. is increasing daily, and the education system is anticipated to be further disrupted in the coming weeks,” Julie Hansen, Babbel’s CEO, told T+L. “As students are being forced to stay at home, Babbel is in a position to help right now and that is exactly what we want to do. At this time of global concern, we are reminded of the similarities we have with other people around the world, rather than that which divides us. We believe that language connects us all, and we are proud to share this philosophy with American students and provide support to them at this difficult time.”

And while travel may be off the table for the moment, learning a language is a great way to prepare for a big trip — and it’s never too early to start planning.

Babbel’s subscription-based lessons take about 10 to 15 minutes each with a focus on spelling and matching phrases. Learners repeat basic phrases and use the fill-in-the-blank method. Typically a three-month subscription would cost $29.99, according to the company.

To access the free program, students (or their parents) have to sign up on Babbel’s site with a valid school email address. They will then receive a code that is valid for three months.

The app isn’t alone in offering a free way to learn a language as coronavirus continues to sweep across the world; K-Pop group BTS launched a 30-episode web series to help people learn Korean while stuck at home.