Mobile Incidental Learning to Support the Inclusion of Recent Immigrants

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Gaved, Mark; Paletta, Lucas; Scanlon, Eileen; Jones, Ann and Brasher, Andrew (2015). Mobile Incidental Learning to Support the Inclusion of Recent Immigrants. Ubiquitous Learning: an international journal, 7(2) pp. 9–21.




Social inclusion of recent immigrants is a challenge in many countries for both immigrants and the host communities. To harness the potential of social, situated and opportunistic mobile interactions for the social inclusion of immigrants in a host country, we have developed an Incidental Learning Framework. This supports the design and evaluation of MApp, a suite of smartphone tools and services for recent immigrants. Developed within the European Union's MASELTOV project (, the MApp delivers language learning activities, image-to-text translation, context-aware and interest-based recommendations, local information, game-based cultural learning and social support to immigrants in cities. Preliminary field trials in Vienna, Madrid and London have highlighted issues of mobile literacy, affordability, ethics and privacy challenges, as well as insights into motivations and possible measures of success. Incidental learning implemented on a smartphone app has implications for the relationship between formal and informal learning; new systems of learner support by other immigrants, mentors and volunteers; the design of learning materials that combine immediate assistance with longer term learner development; and potential conflicts between technological affordances, e.g. context awareness and learner tracking, and user preferences among vulnerable groups such as recent immigrants.

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