Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 2794-2804
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
In countries where VET systems have a long tradition, they enjoy the reputation of effectively reducing youth unemployment by improving school-to-work transitions –in particular, for students who are not on the track toward university. Compared to native-born people, only one-half of migrants started a VET in Germany in 2010. Furthermore, Beicht and Ulrich [1] find that having a migrant background significantly increases the risk of drop-out from vocational training. It has been argued that a dearth of knowledge about the host country language could hamper young migrants’ access to vocational training or endanger their graduation [2]. Since there is no support for such groups of persons, we have developed a special interactive learning application to support these learners during their VET. The aim of this mobile application is to support migrant learners with little or no knowledge of German and few literacy skills to learn vocation-based words. The content is supported by photos; the app provides pronunciation as well as various means to test the learner's knowledge. The mobile application supports two user roles: The content providing language teachers (words, photos and sounds), and the end user who uses the app to improve job-specific language skills.

Apart from this, the mobile learning application provides some self-service functionality, which naturally comes to mind in the area of smartphones. For example, application users (learners) can add new, unknown words by taking a picture of an object (via the smartphone camera), entering a written translation in the mother or foreign language, and recording the spoken word (via the smartphone microphone). The word search function (e.g., free search and category-based search), adding words to a list of personal favorites, and delete function (only for self-created words) are further uses of the mobile application.

In this paper, we identify and describe the special requirements of the designated target group of migrant learners, develop an appropriate domain model to describe used data and behavior of the mobile learning application, and outline the development process.

To demonstrate the applicability of the mobile learning application, we demonstrate the usage lifecycle beginning from the creation of content (teacher’s role) and the consumption and modification of content (learner’s role).

In order to indicate the usefulness of the mobile learning application developed, we conducted a lab experiment with authentic learners, followed by a qualitative survey. We will report the results and present the participants’ views and opinions.

[1] Beicht, Ursula, and Joachim Gerd Ulrich. "Welche Jugendlichen bleiben ohne Berufsausbildung." Analyse von wichtigen Einflussfaktoren unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Bildungsbiografie, BIBB REPORT 6 (2008): 2008.
[2] Jobs for Immigrants (Vol. 1): Labour market integration in Australia, Denmark, Germany and Sweden, OECD Publishing: 2007
Mobile learning application, e-learning, Vocational Education and Training, migrant learners.