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Open AccessArticle

Language Learning Tool for Refugees: Identifying the Language Learning Needs of Syrian Refugees Through Participatory Design

1
Department of Social Informatics, Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
2
Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
3
Department of Computer Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Languages 2019, 4(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4030071
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigrant and Refugee Languages)
A large number of refugees need to learn a new language in order to transition to, or settle in, a new country. Most refugees have access to smartphones with which they can access mobile language learning tools. However, refugees in different stages of their journeys have different language learning needs. Identifying the unique needs of refugees is essential to design language learning tools that support their language learning activities. Through a two-part participatory design study, we identify and compare the tacit and latent language learning needs of two different groups of Syrian refugees: a group in transition in Lebanon, and a group settling in Germany. The Syrian refugees we worked with in Lebanon are studying English to transition to another country with better living conditions. On the other hand, the Syrian refugees we worked with in Germany are trying to learn German to better integrate into German society. Our results show overlapping needs and specific needs for the two groups of refugees. We present our findings and discuss the opportunities and challenges for designing language learning tools to support the language learning activities of refugees. View Full-Text
Keywords: participatory design; refugees; language learning; mobile technologies; tacit and latent needs participatory design; refugees; language learning; mobile technologies; tacit and latent needs
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Abou-Khalil, V.; Helou, S.; Flanagan, B.; Pinkwart, N.; Ogata, H. Language Learning Tool for Refugees: Identifying the Language Learning Needs of Syrian Refugees Through Participatory Design. Languages 2019, 4, 71.

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