An association of 12 European and Egyptian universities has developed a multilingual mobile application (app) for migrants and refugees, the University of Coimbra, part of the consortium, announced this Friday.
Completely free, the app – called 7Ling -, which is now available for Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.xceling&gl=ES) and iOS (https: // apps.apple.com/us/app/7ling/id1502534452?l=es&ls), was created under the XCELING project (Towards Excellence in Applied Linguistics. Innovative Second Language Education in Egipt), says the University of Coimbra (UC), in a note sent this Friday to the agency Lusa.
The XCELING project has as “objectives the training of Egypt in the area of foreign language teaching through innovation in the scope of teaching methodologies, the development of research in linguistics applied to the teaching of non-native languages and the transfer of knowledge to groups with needs through the creation of freely accessible linguistic resources ”.
Financed by the European Erasmus + program and XCELING “is based on three main dimensions”: 'teaching' (training of trainers), 'learning' (pre-doctoral education) and 'extension to the community' (creation of freely accessible teaching materials) .
It is precisely in this last dimension that this free ‘app’ to support the learning of foreign languages by people in a socially disadvantaged situation falls ”, explains Cristina Martins, professor at the Faculty of Arts of UC and coordinator of the Portuguese team in the project.
7Ling aims mainly at “offering migrants and refugees, among others, the possibility of learning German, Spanish, French, English, Italian and Portuguese”, adds Cristina Martins. The application "also includes translations in Arabic, to meet the needs of users who know this language", he stresses.
It is “an application that presents itself as a tool at the service of language learning, at a time when, with the health crisis, support for virtual education becomes particularly relevant”, adds, quoted by UC, the researcher of the Center for the Study of General and Applied Linguistics at the University of Coimbra.
Essentially designed to satisfy the basic needs of users, the application is divided into thematic sections: “newcomer, in the city, shopping, looking for accommodation, looking for a job, at the doctor”, notes the UC.
In addition, it contains training activities and several features focused on adapting to the environment: "numbers and letters, vocabulary, documents and administrative procedures and socio-cultural information about host countries".
It is also a useful tool to “support teachers who are working with this type of students, because it allows them to consolidate linguistic structures and vocabulary independently”, highlights Cristina Martins.
Although it was designed for migrants and refugees, in reality this ‘app’ can be used by anyone, concludes the researcher.
In addition to the UC, the consortium includes the universities of Salamanca, Bologna, Heidelberg, Poitiers, Alexandria, Cairo, Helwan, Pharos, Minia, Luxor and Trinity College in Dublin.