Combining Web Technology and Mobile Phones to Enhance English Literacy in Underserved Communities

Hatem Said Alismail, Aysha Siddique, Malcolm Frederick Dias, Anthony Velazquez, Mary Beatrice Dias , Sarah M. Belousov, Ermine A. Teves, Rotimi Abimbola, Daniel Nuffer, Bradley Hall, M Bernardine Dias, and M Bernardine Dias
First Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (ACM DEV 2010), December, 2010.


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Abstract
Despite the importance of literacy to most aspects of life, underserved communities continue to suffer from low literacy rates; especially for globally prevalent languages such as English. This is particularly problematic since English literacy is an important skill for increased access to income generation and higher education opportunities in these communities. Teaching English in underserved communities can be challenging due to a variety of obstacles. In this paper we report on our work with a primary school in Tanzania, with migrant workers in Doha, and with a school for the deaf in the USA to address some of these challenges using web technology and mobile phones. We developed a web-accessible content authoring tool that teachers can use to create and modify English grammar exercises, and a simple game that students use on a mobile phone to practice the content uploaded from the authoring tool. Our solution is primarily intended to increase the motivation for practicing English grammar among students, and thereby enhance English literacy in underserved communities. Feedback from teachers and students in all of our field studies indicate this solution is affordable and has significant potential to enhance the English classroom and homework experience.

Keywords
Design, Experimentation, Human Factors

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): TechBridgeWorld

Text Reference
Hatem Said Alismail, Aysha Siddique, Malcolm Frederick Dias, Anthony Velazquez, Mary Beatrice Dias , Sarah M. Belousov, Ermine A. Teves, Rotimi Abimbola, Daniel Nuffer, Bradley Hall, M Bernardine Dias, and M Bernardine Dias, "Combining Web Technology and Mobile Phones to Enhance English Literacy in Underserved Communities," First Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (ACM DEV 2010), December, 2010.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Alismail_2010_6726,
   author = "Hatem Said Alismail and Aysha Siddique and Malcolm Frederick Dias and Anthony Velazquez and Mary Beatrice {Dias } and Sarah M Belousov and Ermine A Teves and Rotimi Abimbola and Daniel Nuffer and Bradley Hall and M Bernardine Dias and M Bernardine Dias",
   title = "Combining Web Technology and Mobile Phones to Enhance English Literacy in Underserved Communities",
   booktitle = "First Annual Symposium on Computing for Development (ACM DEV 2010)",
   month = "December",
   year = "2010",
}