SERLO – Open language learning platform

Serlo is a German non-profit organisation that makes education freely available with an online platform of learning resources. Today, we are very happy to present the first glimpses into their “Serlo ABC” project, which is funded by CHEST as a Call 3 winner.

Communicative competence and literacy skills are necessary requirements for participating and integrating into society – that is clear to any of us – and especially now, the successful integration of migrants presents one of the main challenges facing our society. In November 2015, Serlo launched our new team for “German as a foreign language” because a central concern of our endeavours was to respond to and fulfil the actual needs of migrants looking to acquire literacy and language skills.

“Serlo ABC” is an application that migrants can use intuitively and autonomously to learn the Roman alphabet and to develop their language skills at the same time. Serlo ABC was developed primarily to be used on smartphones, where use is widespread even among those who are considered illiterate. Serlo ABC was designed on the one hand to enable migrants to learn autonomously at their own pace, and, on the other hand, to be used as a supplimentary tool in traditional classes and lessons. “Serlo ABC” will offer an easy and playful way to learn the Latin alphabet and basic vocabulary via web based training. With this, Serlo will address the 15-20% of refugees in Germany who have had no experience of English (or other language with Latin-script) in school.

So far, Serlo have defined and implemented the database for the application, developed a collection of different exercise types, implemented exercise examples, defined and implemented global User Interface and User Experience standards, developed and implemented curricula for the first characters and completed first learning scenarios in the prototype. In the next months, our goal is to finish a prototype that offers users and potential supporters a first realistic look and feel of our future learning platform. We are already able to illustrate our progress by demonstrating five different exercise types for literacy training. The first prototype of Serlo ABC will be launched within the next three months. The image below shows a mock-up of the prototype.