Post-Doc - Communication Aid for Non-English Speaking Newcomers - SK-011

Preferred Disciplines: Computer Science (Post-Doc)
Project length: 2-3 years (5 units) 
Desired start date: As soon as possible
Location: Regina, SK
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: None
Company: United Way of Regina  

About Company:

The partner organization will provide assistance with recruitment of participants and help to provide insight into the needs of immigrants and refugees that are new to Canada. The partner organization will also work with the intern to communicate the results of the research project to immigrant communities and other stakeholders.

Project Description:

The intent of the project is to assess the usability of Pictogram Symbols and other visual symbols in an audio-visual strategy to facilitate and enhance the use and learning of English as an additional language for Arabic-speaking Syrian refugees and newcomers, with the potential of generalizing the process for speakers from other linguistic backgrounds.  

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

Develop a pictogram-based communication aid for Arabic-speaking newcomers. The communication aid will allow selection by the user, based on pictogram recognition, of the message to be communicated. Upon selection, the tool will provide recorded audio output of the corresponding word, phrase, or sentence in both Arabic and English.


  • Recruitment – Identification of Potential Participants
  • Recruitment – Securing Participation
  • Interviews:  Needs / Tasks – Information Collection
  • Symbol Identification / Development / Participant Review
  • Building of Content (using PictoPages) / On-going Review / Refinement
  • Validation – with Participants
  • Validation – “Real World” (Researcher Observed / Mediated)
  • Validation – “Real World” (Independent) / Final Interviews and Refinements
  • “Marketing” – Information Dissemination / Encouraging Provision of Access

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • Arabic Natural Langauge Processing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • iOS App Development

For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
  2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or directly to Zsuzsanna Papp.