Språkkraft – faster integration of immigrants
The challenge to integrate refugees and other immigrants is growing by the day. Traditional methods and solutions don’t seem to work at this scale. Språkkraft is the start of a new era in community empowerment focusing on integration through the Swedish language. Språkkraft holds rights to innovative digital solutions to be rolled out to all Swedish immigrants at no cost for immigrants. Språkkraft’s first app to launch is a gamified Reading Coach with integrated dictionaries to 15 immigrant languages, where users start reading tweets of 10 words, moving to news articles and finally be reading full Novels (donated to Språkkraft by publisher Natur & Kultur).
Språkkraft was founded in the spring of 2015 by concerned social entrepreneurs to gather digital solutions with potential to radically increase the pace of integration of refugees and other immigrants to Sweden. The Chairman Niss Jonas Carlsson has worked with language learning edtech for immigrants since 2004 and is behind the Swedish TV-series Svenska till varje pris (UR/SVT 2013).
Sweden faces its greatest challenges since WWII. These put our open and welcoming society at risk. Today it takes much too long for immigrants to learn the new language and to integrate into our society, to work and in order to benefit the Swedish welfare. According to Swedish National Audit Office it takes between 7 and 10 years to get a job from that you are received in a Swedish municipality. This is not strange since, the number of teachers in Swedish for immigrants equates to 2 200 full-time positions, each having 20-30 h teaching per week distributed among more than 100 000 students. This means that each immigrant gets only 20-30 hours of 1:1 individualized teaching PER YEAR. But the main issue is rather that these students go home from Swedish for immigrants without a chance to practice their Swedish resorting to communication and consuming media in their native tongue. Språkkraft is about to change this.
Språkkraft intends to use the raised funding to build an eco system of solutions from the absolute beginner level, development of reading skills, communication and eventually matchning to work and internships. A first solution is ready to launch.
Text books in Swedish for immigrants have since long used authentic examples of newspaper and novel texts. Yet the threshold is huge and can feel unsurmountable to start reading real newspapers and novels in Swedish. How could you keep the motivation up so that you don’t give up? In Lingoal Reading Coach from Språkkraft you start reading short texts of 10-15 words in the form of tweets. To maximize the motivation these texts are matched against the user’s personal interest and specific knowledge level. In such short texts the user can look up every word, using the integrated dictionary, and understand the general meaning without giving up. When the user has read through the short text he receives a small gratification of Reading Points. Lingoal Reading Coach has today integrated dictionaries to more than fifteen immigrant languages, e.g. Arabic, Kurdish and Farsi. In Lingoal Reading Coach the Swedish basic vocabulary i grouped in six levels according to the European Framwork of Reference of Languages and using colour markings in the text Lingoal Reading Coach helps the user to focus on yellow words to be learned right now. Red words can also be looked up to understand the text, but the user should wait ot learn these later. Green words are the ones the user already learnt. In Lingoal Reading Coach one can explore and monitor the progress by a graphical visualization of the user’s vocabulary.
We need you!
Språkkraft relies on your donations, grants from private and public institutions and sponsors to keep the solutions available for free for the indiviuals and also to develop new and current solutions further together with Språkkraft’s technical partners. These technical partners donate usage rights to Språkkraft.
Use of funds
30-50% of the raised funds will be used to spread the solutions to the maximum number of users, while the rest will be used for development and building organization. An important partner to Språkkraft is Unaccompanied Minors of Sweden (Sveriges Ensamkommandes Förening – SEF). The members of this non-profit are youth (c:a 15-23 years old) who recently came to Sweden as asylum seekers without a caretaker. They have a fast learning curve in using edtech and will use the solutions themselves, but more importantly the funding will be used to empower them to travel around Sweden and spread the digital solutions to asylum centers and SFI units to thousands of potential users in their native languages.
The target for this Crowdfunding is focused on the launch of Lingoal Reading Coach, but if the target is exceeded we have a developed plan to use them as follows:
- 0-300 KSEK – Lingoal Reading Coach (roll-out and upgrades)
- 0.4-0.8 MSEK – Plotagon Animated Language Learning – using the revolutionary text to film technology we will crowd-source learning material from “Hej!” to interview for employment.
- 0.9-3.0 MSEK – Lingoal Chat – The communication extension focusing on written language for use while e.g. playing computer games – also adding Dari or Pashtu to our dictionaries
- 3.1-5.0 MSEK – Lingoal Chat Matching – An extension to the Chat concept where Swede’s and Immigrants are matched together based on personal interest, education background and professional ambitions.
- 5.1-10 MSEK and further – Språkkraft LABS – exploration of new ways of learning languages (VR, speech interface m.m.)