BBC launches online word game for Chinese English language learners

MUMBAI: Chinese English language learners across the world can now start playing the newly launched BBC word game -- BBC Word Master. Launched by the BBC Learning English China Team, the fun game - built with flash technology - can be played at

Inspiration for BBC Word Master, which launches with three other learning activities, came when the BBC Learning English China team toured 30 universities in China earlier this year.

BBC Learning English China Team editor Alison Konieczny explains, "The university tour really gave us the opportunity to connect with our audience. We met and spoke with about 6,000 students who shared valuable information and ideas about how they learn English. Chinese learners tell us that online is by far the best way to learn English so we created learning activities that not only do the job but also look good and are lots of fun."

"The most important aspect of BBC Word Master and the learning activities launching with it, is that they all use authentic, contemporary language, giving learners in China a real insight into how the English language is really spoken and how people really live in the UK. What is also ideal for Chinese learners, most of whom have very limited time, is that everything online at can be downloaded either on to a desktop or into an MP3 and be completed or listened to at their own convenience," Konieczny adds.

The game BBC Word Master was designed and built in house by the BBC World Service New Media team. It challenges the English learner to spell a missing word in a sentence against the clock. A score is given for each correctly spelt word and, with 10 words to spell per game, the aim is to improve on the score with each new game.

It has three levels of difficulty, up to 3,000 items of vocabulary and the option to hear the sentence in English or, for struggling learners, see it written in Chinese. The other learning activities of BBC Word Master, which make learning fun are:

Take Away English: English learners are presented with a topical article that could be found in any UK lifestyle magazine. Using everyday contemporary language, subjects range from London winning the 2012 Olympics to the history of the Notting Hill Carnival. The articles can be read online or saved as a PDF. After reading the article, English learners can read, listen to or download into their MP3 a glossary of key words and phrases highlighted.

Real English: This is a two minute online audio of the radio programme of the same name which teaches English learners a new contemporary word everyday. The history of the word is explained in both English and Chinese and is also heard being used in natural conversation

BBC Learning English publishes free internet and radio resources for English language learners and teachers. Its teams provide dedicated resources to learners in China and the Middle East, and also collaborate with the British Council providing online resources for teachers of English as Foreign Language (EFL). BBC Chinese can be heard in Mandarin on FM in more than 20 cities in China and on short wave across the Asia Pacific for six hours each day.

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