Ilocalapp - Incidentally Learning Other Cultures And Languages Through An App

Scientific manager: Prof. Andrea Ceccherelli




Sector: Higher Education

Unibo structures involved:

  • Scuola di Lingue e Letterature, Traduzione e Interpretazione
  • Dipartimento di Informatica - Scienza e Ingegneria (DISI)

Unibo Team:

  • Methodology Task Force: Dott.ssa Cristiana Cervini, Prof.ssa Elisabetta Magni
  • Project Advisors: Dott. Francesco Girotti, Dott.ssa Alessia Marchi
  • Polish Task Force: Dott.ssa Malgorzata Jakobsze
  • Finnish Task Force: Dott.ssa Sanna Maria Martin
  • Portuguese Task Force: Dott.ssa Filipa Matos, Dott. Roberto Mulinacci
  • ICT Task Force: Dott.ssa Catia Prandi, Dott.ssa Silvia Mirri, Prof. Marco Roccetti, Prof.ssa Paola Salomoni
  • Project Manager: Dott.ssa Antonella Valva


Project Duration in months: 35
Start Date: 01/10/2015
End Date: 31/08/2018 

Budget: 437.367 euro      
Unibo Budget: 207.371 euro


  • Coordinator: Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (Italia)
  • Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza (Polonia)
  • Lapin Yliopisto (Finlandia)
  • Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade de Coimbra (Portogallo)

The ILOCALAPP project (Incidentally Learning Other Cultures And Languages through an APP) aims to facilitate student mobility by means of a smart tool specially designed for mobile devices. The popularity of mobility programmes like Erasmus is growing more and more among youth, but this quantitative trend does not necessarily correspond to the high quality of the experience in terms of growth of proficiency in the language of the country of destination, and consequently in terms of intercultural comprehension and integration in the new environment as well. The ILOCALAPP  project will face this challenge by developing an app for the incidental learning of 4 cultures and languages: Finnish, Italian, Polish and Portuguese. Following the principles of incidental learning, the acquisition of language and culture will rely on the learners’ participation in the process of knowledge creation, and will happen in a informal setting. ILOCALAPP will offer to mobility students the possibility to get acquainted with local language and cultural in a smart way, thus enabling them to integrate in and interact with the country hosting them. The objectives of the ILOCALAPP project are in fact: 1) to promote the integration of students in the new reality by providing them with a tool easy to be used; 2) to boost communication thanks to contents and situational experiences useful for everyday life; 3) to develop a tool aimed at the removal of cultural barriers thus improving social and behavioural competences and fostering integration and intercultural dialogue.

ILOCALAPP will be carried out by a transnational consortium composed of 4 partners: the University of Bologna (from Bologna, Italy), the Adam Mickiewicz University (from Poznan, Poland), the University of Lapland (from Rovaniemi, Finland) and the Centre for Social Studies (from Coimbra, Portugal).

After a preparation phase, the project is articulated in 3 macro-phases: 1) a methodological phase which includes the methodological discussion, the final users’ consultation and the production of a framework of situational experiences to be recreated in the app; 2) a production phase which includes both the content development as well as its technological implementation; 3) a testing and revision phase which includes the preparation of pilot users, their testing of the app, the collection and analysis of their feedback, the revision of both learning materials and technical aspects, and which will lead to the delivery of the final product.

The project addresses the needs of mobility students who are the main target users. They will be involved  in the activities at various stages throughout the project, starting from the initial months when a wide consultations on their expectations will be conducted. The culmination of the students’ involvement will be represented by the piloting phase of the app. Their feedback will be crucial as an indicator of achievement and will guide towards the finalised app. The results of the ILOCALAPP are thought to be exploited at all possible levels, from the local one to the international one. The app is based on the local contextualisation of the learning materials and it can thus be used in one of the four University cities of the project. But the final users are mobility students, i.e. students arriving there to spend a learning and/or training experience. They can come from all over Europe and even from the rest of the world. Moreover, the methodology which will be developed can be applied at higher levels than the local ones: it will represent a document for further exploitation related to other languages and cultures too. If the short-term impact is mainly linked to project participants, the main actors engaged in the long-term impact of the project results will be International Offices and Erasmus Offices of the participating institutions and of all institutions reached by dissemination activities, which will have the opportunity to propose the app to incoming and outgoing students also in the long term, after the end of the project.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union