Through a dedicated website, enable immigrants to meet up individually with volunteers eager to chat and discover other cultures. The meetups are aimed to increase immigrant integration and to improve the English proficiency of the immigrant.
Our website ConnectENG connects non-native English speakers immigrants with native speaking American volunteers in order for them to meet for informal conversation.
The goal of these one on one meetups is to improve the language skills of the immigrant while giving him an easy opportunity to expand beyond his community of origin. For the volunteer, it is a great opportunity to help immigrants in their community feel more comfortable and successful in their new life in the United States. The platform will positively impact the integration of immigrants into US society and immigrants' career prospects by enhancing their communication fluency and fluidity and allowing them to make new American acquaintances.
Participants of both sides will have to register on the website by creating accounts. Accounts only require the minimum amount of information in order to address privacy and safety concerns. ZIP code is nonetheless required in order to better match users by location proximity. Users are then asked to fill in their general background (country of origin, languages spoken...) and interests on their profile page.
Based on those interests, a machine learning algorithm (potentially using logistic regression models or neural networks) is used to find the most relevant matches in the same area (volunteers are provided match results of non-native English speakers, and vice-versa). This algorithmic process is performed to maximize the probability that people meeting will have common topics to talk about and appreciate their meeting.
The algorithm assigns each user 5 different matches. For each match, the user is given the following information: first name, age, gender, country of origin and major interests (strictly useful information to determine one's interest in the potential meeting). The user then has the choice to contact any of the 5 matches through a chat box. Details about exact location and time of the meeting can be discussed by messaging in the chat box.
No commitment is formally asked from either party beyond the scheduled meeting. Further interactions between the participants are nonetheless hoped for and encouraged.
Joe Pavlisko, Antara Lahira, Kevin Kuate Fodouop, Rachel Kassa, Mingzi Shao.
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