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Chat yourself into the society : The development of an audio-visual online environment for the newly arrived

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Author list: Mozelius, Peter
Place: Valencia
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1

Abstract

Large groups of refugees have arrived in Sweden during the last years with a peak in 2015 when there were around 1.3 million asylum applications. Many of the newly arrived are still not yet integrated into the Swedish society and language skills is a key factor for a successful inclusion and integration process. There is a need for new digital language learning tools, not least for informal self-learning. The aim of the study is to describe and discuss the development and evaluation of an audio-visual online tool for informal language learning as a complement to formal language training.

The overall research strategy has been action research with a qualitative investigation where data were gathered in a mix of usability tests, observations and interviews. Main informants were 12 students from three separate courses on Swedish for newly arrived. Since the group of informants constitute an exposed group, personal details have been kept as anonymous as possible.

Findings indicate that several design concepts were useful and appreciated by the test group, but several users wanted an alternative to the Facebook based login. Gamification seemed to be a promising way to increase motivation, and many participants perceived that a feature with direct translation of messages would be a good way to improve the language learning. Furthermore, there were requests for tool mechanisms to filter conversation partners by gender and by interests.


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