More than a million refugees arrived in Germany in 2015. While language is the most important thing for successful integration, some have to wait for three months or more for a German course.
To help them to learn German we use the item they have with them anyway: Their smartphone. So we developed: WhatsGerman. Learning German on WhatsApp.
WhatsGerman is not a separate app that you first have to install and use on its own. It’s based on WhatsApp, the platform that is already used a lot by refugees to stay in touch with their families. Upon registration with your smartphone at www.whatsgerman.de, you receive a lesson each day consisting of text, explanatory emojis and videos for pronunciation. Three courses that build upon each other are available to choose from:
Course 1 – The Alphabet,
Course 2 – Daily Life,
Course 3 – Basic Grammar.
These courses were developed for WhatsApp together with language teachers. They are available in English, Arabic and soon other languages. WhatsGerman is promoted using flyers and posters in refugee homes, social media and reporting/PR.
80.000 people registered in the first 6 weeks. That are 17% of Arab-speaking refugees – and every day there are a thousand more. But the biggest confirmation is the huge positive feedback from people using the course.