BBC Language Lab


A learning object from the BBC that will have possibilities for those interested in the English language and how both the spoken and written word vary (some issues for Safari and Firefox browsers at the moment!). Two simple drop down menus allow is to plot themes on a map of the UK such as ‘how you feel’ or what they wear against concepts that are articulated by different phrases and words to a greater or lesser extent around the UK. Probably you have to take a look to get it:^)

The shame is that after going to all of the trouble to create this interactive learning object, the BBC didn’t go the extra mile and make it a tool that is available for us to use for our own purposes. We can contribute to the database, as well as interrogate it to find patterns and also access background information. How cool it would be that if we could set up our own variables and populate the database ourselves and then build our own maps. For example, ornithologists could use it to plot the prevalence of certain birds at different seasons of the year. Even better if this were open source software, as there would be the potential for it to have international appeal simply by hacking the code that generates the plots on the map.

Hopefully the BBC will start thinking about the re-purposing of the learning objects that they produce.

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