Jamiya VocApp: (Empower) Hacking Refugee Language Learning in Amsterdam

ESPMI Network


As well as our core project of working with university to provide online accredited courses in Arabic, Jamiya also has a number of smaller side projects. We spent last weekend in Amsterdam working with great Empower Hack team (thanks Han and Kimi!) for a hackathon on technical language learning support for refugees at European universities. Although there was some heavy lifting done in explaining concepts, directing the work and providing — and at times it felt like chaos — it was definitely worth it: we ended up with a great prototype interface to start testing.

The problem: gaining academic and technical language fluency

The influx of young Syrians to Europe over the last 18 months means potentially thousands will be starting university in Europe in a second language, such as English or German. Prior to the civil war, 25% of Syrians went onto further training or higher education.

Although some will…

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