On Monday, June 20th - World Refugee Day - Hasselt University launched its online language module Arabic-Dutch. With this interactive package, refugees can, completely for free, learn a considerable amount of Dutch in a short time. The module was developed by the research group Centre for for Applied Linguistics at Hasselt University (Centrum voor Toegepaste Linguïstiek (CTL)) and its spin-off CommArt International.
The idea for the language module Arabic-Dutch came at the height of the refugee crisis in the autumn of 2015. "Learning the language of the country in which you find yourself, is extremely important for integration, also for people staying temporarily in the country, like refugees. Therefore, we launched an appeal to the Arabic speaking students within the University of Hasselt to throw their weight behind this project" says prof. Dr. Willy Clijsters, from the Centre for Applied Linguistics (CTL) and CommArt International.
Over the past months, students from Syria, Morocco, Iraq and Palestine worked - on a voluntary basis - intensively on the development of the self-study package. They made translations and reformulations into Arabic. "I thought it was a good initiative and therefore helped with pleasure," says Master's student Management Wael Ghazalah (himself from hard-hit Homs). "The module is an efficient way in which to acquire a basic knowledge of the Dutch language in a short time."
Narjes Madhloum (Baghdad) considered cooperating the "most natural thing in the world." "I could help thousands of people. Finally." said the Iraqi doctoral student of Biomedical Sciences.
To the shop
The multimedia language and cultural package contains sound clips, illustrations and photos, and also includes dialogues, explanations about words and grammar, a specific dictionary with a pronunciation tool, exercises and information about our culture
Professor Clijsters: "The great thing is that in a short time - about 100 hours – you can build up a substantial knowledge of Dutch. The module contains a wide range of topics: shopping, eating and drinking, going to the pub, meeting people, the weather ... Enough to get by in everyday situations. And that at your own pace, wherever you want. An internet connection is all you need to use the cloud package. "
CTL researchers launched the online module Arabic-Dutch on June 20 on the Hasselt campus. Some refugees tested the module immediately.
The research group CTL and its spin-off CommArt International have built a solid reputation in recent years with the development of language learning packages for different target groups - from beginners to company executives. There are e-modules for, for example Dutch-French, Dutch-German, English-Dutch, Turkish-Dutch, Romanian-Dutch and Slovak-Dutch.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the module