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Tuncer Can & Irfan Simsek

Dr. Tuncer Can & Dr. Irfan Simsek
Migrants Using Mobile Devices” Istanbul University
“Fostering Foreign Language Acquisition in Young Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants Using Mobile Devices”



Tuncer Can, PhD 2011, from Istanbul University, English Language Teaching Department where he currently lectures. MA completed in 2004 on “Constructivism”. In 2005, being granted a Fulbright Scholarship he spent a year at Syracuse University, NY, USA, where he taught Turkish via Videoconferencing. Besides training pre-service language teachers, he has been teaching English to adults at all levels at Turkish Air Force Academy and has organized teacher training courses at the Language Center of Istanbul University since 2007. His research ranges from Constructivist Approach to using 3D VLEs in the context of foreign language learning and instruction. He has also partnered in many projects like “CAMELOT: (2013-2015), “YouRNI - (2016-2019), TABLIO (2016-2019), and GUINEVERE (2017-2019) funded by European Commission.



Dr. Irfan Simsek is an assistant professor at Computer Education and Instructional Technologies Department, Hasan Ali Yücel Faculty of Education, Istanbul University. He took part in different projects, three of which were supported by the EU, as an executive and researcher. He is also carrying out a Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) project with Harvard University, Sakarya University and Istanbul University. Scientific Study Fields
: Online Measurement & Evaluation, Exert Exam Systems, e-Learning, Distance Education, Mobile Learning, Virtual Worlds, Second Life, Augmented Reality, STEM, Virtual Reality, EdX, MOOCs.






Technology integration into the foreign language learning could extend the opportunities for language contact and better retention in the context of newly arrived refugees to European countries. Research has shown that technology increases the motivation in foreign language learning and also fosters learner autonomy by allowing the learners to personalize the learning and enables them to self-regulate. The use of mobile technologies for language learning is also in accordance with constructivist approach that caters for learner involvement and agency in the learning process not only in classrooms but outside the classroom as well. Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants readily have mobile devices at hand which could also be used in the classrooms where they are learning languages.

The teachers of those refugees should also be able to exploit those devices for the betterment of language skills of the learners. Those reasons have necessitated the YoruRNI project. The Project aims at focusing on the refugees' crisis in Europe, giving particular attention to inclusive schooling of asylum seekers and migrants in vocational schools (age 15+). The research conducted in the YouRNI Project so far has focused on

  1. selecting, evaluating, testing and disseminating language learning apps that have proven to be successful in the language learning classroom;
  2. enhancing the individual learning time of each learner and improving the usage of these apps by creating accompanying materials for learning outside the classroom, e.g. written materials, "explain-it" videos or similar materials;
  3. exchanging best practices of schools giving career guidance to young refugees, e.g. involving schools involving employment agencies, Chambers of Commerce and other stakeholders which show a particular interest in integrating young refugees on the labour market;
  4. relevant career guidance;
  5. starting a network specialised for teachers who work in this special target group of young refugees, asylum seekers or similar groups.

This chapter will cover the initial findings of the project needs analysis and literature review conducted within the partner countries, disseminate best practices on the use of mobile devices and apps to teach languages of the host countries to the refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.


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