From games that are designed to help with mathematics to learning a new language, the range of apps available can help with nearly any subject that is taught in schools in a creative and fun way. In the realm of learning Arabic, Feed the Monster has been developed by Apps Factory, The Center for Educational Technology (CET), and The International Rescue Committee (IRC) to provide a source of language education for Syrian refugee children living in non-Arabic speaking countries.
With support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EduApp4Syria Competition aims to promote the development of mobile solutions to provide Syrian children with supplementary learning tools. One such outcome of the competition, Feed the Monster, couples years of research from expert researchers and psychologists in order to bring a language game which is proven to help the learning of Arabic. With challenges that include vocabulary, reading and writing, and sounding games, players can learn a range of skills that they would have been able to in a classroom setting. Embodying a simple interface as well as intuitive graphics that involve a friendly monster, Feed the Monster is perfect for children who are looking to learn Arabic in a creative way even when away from an environment where they can get a formal education in the language. By implementing a comprehensive learning tool, children are able to enjoy the dynamics of playing a game with points and monsters while simultaneously learning how to read, write, and speak the language through levels that become progressively more difficult.[sc name=”quote” text=”Feed the Monster is able to provide a source of education in situations where a classroom may not be immediately available.”]
While Feed the Monster is able to provide a source of education in situations where a classroom may not be immediately available, the memory requirements of the app is quiet large at 246MB which can be a straining factor for those who have lower memory capacity on their device. In order to compensate for the large file size, the app is designed to be fully functional without the need for an internet connection or any in-app purchases. With such a wide selection of possible challenges available that can be accessed without an internet connection and for free, players are able to not learn just how to read and write Arabic, but can also learn the pronunciation of words. In this way, the app provides a full learning experience whereas other apps may only focus on one aspect of language building.
With the users in mind, the app has been developed primarily for refugee children who may not have access to learning their native language in a more formal environment. Although issues with war and migration have a negative impact on the accessibility of education to those who are affected, the app aims to mitigate the disruption on the education of children. Even for those who are not directly impacted by the conflict that has displaced millions, the app can be utilized as a learning tool for young children who are just starting to learn the Arabic language.