Case study

A Breakthrough in English Grammar Learning

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During the summer of 2011 Dr Steven Schooling, Director of Physical Sciences, engineering, built environment and social sciences at UCLB, working in conjunction with Professor Bas Aarts and Mr Sean Wallis, UCL’s Survey of English Usage, launched an innovative iPhone app: the Interactive Grammar of English (iGE). It provides a complete interactive course in English grammar, enabling English language students to develop their knowledge and skills more effectively, and was 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.


The app was developed in response to students and teachers who said that many existing learning tools, whether 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. The app offers students the opportunity to practise their language skills and study English whenever they want and wherever they are, with further apps for punctuation and spelling planned for the near future.


The app distinguished itself from other English grammar learning materials in that the exercises within the app arise from excerpts of actual spoken and written English and are presented in a manner that provides users with a dynamic and exciting learning environment in comparison to student textbooks, which typically use fixed (i.e. ‘hard-wired’) and artificial examples.


With the market for English language learning tools being 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, UCLB expect the app to be a valuable resource for both students and teachers across the world. It also demonstrates UCLB’s commitment to knowledge transfer in areas such as Arts and Humanities, and provides a bridgehead for further app-related developments across UCL.


To purchase this App, please click this link to the Apple store:


To find out more information about this App, please visit the UCL Survey of English Usage webpage:

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