2 September 2011

UCL Business PLC (UCLB) and The UCL Survey of English Usage (SEU) have launched an innovative iPhone App (the interactive Grammar of English, “iGE”) which provides a complete interactive course in English grammar, enabling English language students to develop their knowledge and skills more effectively. The SEU/UCLB App is targeted at students studying the English language at secondary school, high school or university, as well as those who are studying English as a second or foreign language. Indeed, it is aimed at anyone who is interested in clear, plain English.

The SEU/UCLB App distinguishes itself from other English grammar learning materials in several ways:

  • The course materials have been developed by UCL researchers who are established leaders in the area of English grammar and have significant experience in developing English Language Training materials for use in schools, colleges and universities.
  • The exercise materials are taken from the SEU’s spoken and written English language databases (corpora), which means that all the examples are authentic. Importantly, in contrast with student textbooks, which often use fixed (i.e. ‘hard-wired’) and artificial examples, the examples used in the App are continually changed, providing users with a dynamic and exciting learning environment.

 Professor Bas Aarts comments “the SEU team have developed the App in response to students and teachers who say that many existing learning tools, whether they are paper-based or interactive, often fail to meet their English language learning needs. Teachers and students are given advice about grammar that is often dated, confusing and, in some cases, highly misleading. This App offers students the opportunity to practise their language skills and study English whenever they want and wherever they are. Further Apps for punctuation and spelling are planned for the near future.”

Dr Steven Schooling from UCLB notes that “the market for English Language learning tools is worth hundreds of millions of pounds per annum, with significant growth in overseas markets such as South-East Asia, driven by mobility and employment trends, and we expect the App to be a valuable resource for both students and teachers across the world.” Dr Schooling adds that “the release of the App demonstrates UCLB’s commitment to knowledge transfer in UCL departments such as English, and will provide a bridgehead for further developments across the Arts and Humanities.”

About the App

Please contact Professor Aarts if you wish to have a review copy of the complete iGE App.

About the SEU
The Survey of English Usage (SEU) is a world-leading English language research unit at UCL founded by Professor The Lord Quirk in 1959. It is widely recognised for its research on present-day English and has produced many publications, including the Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, which is considered a standard reference work in the field. It is also well-known for its pioneering work in the area of corpus linguistics. A linguistic corpus is a specialised, searchable database of written and spoken material, compiled for the purposes of language research. The SEU houses three corpora amounting to over 1.4m words of fully parsed (grammatically analysed) English sentences, which span a wide range of genres and contexts, and include sound recordings. These corpora have been used all over the world for scholarly research, and are state-of-the art resources.

For further information, please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage

About UCLB
UCLB is a leading technology transfer company which supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from the laboratory to the market. UCLB supports UCL’s Grand Challenges by increasing UCL’s positive impact on, and contribution to, Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.

For further information, please visit: www.uclb.com

For more information contact
Professor Bas Aarts, SEU Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 3130 Emailb.aarts@ucl.ac.uk
Dr Steven Schooling, UCLB Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 9793 Emails.schooling@uclb.com