SPINAR – A language for integration and work
Over the years we have worked with many new arrivals and seen that the gap between them and the labor market is large. Many within this target group and also other foreign-born people lack sufficient good knowledge of functional Swedish to get a job, but also lack of information and knowledge about how things work in Sweden. These two in combination result in great difficulties. We have worked with many who have had difficulty in acquiring ordinary Swedish education due to concentration difficulties, hearing loss or the like.
SPINAR is a digital language tool that we at Urkraft develop where the participant can work on learning Swedish through a material at their own pace. It consists of words and sentences, the text is read with a real voice with a northern dialect and there are pictures that will clarify the meaning of the text. At present, it is a prototype that will eventually become an app or web platform with many different modules. Among other things, we want to develop more modules with community information and industry-specific modules for specific workplaces so that more people from non-european origin can enter the labor market and employers can more easily employ these individuals.
The participant sits at a computer with headphones and clicks through the material, every time they click something new comes up. This is so that there will not be too much information at once. You can go back and listen several times as well as practice pronunciation and write up new words. A tutor is available if the participant needs help or further explanation of any word. When a module is completed, the participant is asked to fill out a questionnaire about the content, the degree of difficulty and the method so that we can develop the material. We also work to collect commonly occurring words that the target group finds difficult to understand and highlight these words with clear explanations.
At present, there are two levels of difficulty; a module with basic words and information such as the alphabet, pronunciations, numbers, colors, weekdays and months. The harder one contains words and information that you need to know when looking for work. This module is not only a language tool for learning Swedish, but also has work coaching elements.
The idea for this language tool started in the fall of 2018 and has been tested on participants with varying knowledge of Swedish. The language tool has proven to be a very good complement to other teaching in Swedish, especially for the target group who have difficulties concentrating in a larger class. The advantage lies in that the participant can sit individually and that they can work at their own pace with access to a tutor. We want to contribute to meaningful learning as well as greater inclusion and establishment through increased knowledge of Swedish and Swedish culture.
Between April – December 2019, Urkraft, together with the Meeting Place in Boliden, has a TIA project (early efforts for asylum seekers) funded by the County Administrative Board, where we continue to test and develop this language tool. The Västerbotten Region has also helped to provide us with a larger test group – thanks to the inland municipalities Sorsele, Storuman, Vilhelmina, Åsele and Dorotea using SPINAR in their teaching. This is in the project SIKT, which is funded by the ESF and which will help newcomers to employment.
If you have questions about SPINAR, please feel free to contact:
+46 910 – 579 00 (växel)