Benjamin Hammond (16), creator and developer of “My Word Bank” application.
Benjamin Hammond (16), creator and developer of “My Word Bank” application.

Benjamin Hammond, 16, develops app to help those with language difficulties

By Kristin Engel Time of article published May 7, 2021

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KRISTIN ENGEL

Cape Town - A sixteen-year-old learner from Claremont High School has developed an innovative educational application “My Word Bank” to assist learners that experience language difficulties.

The app was presented to the matric class of Ned Doman High School in Athlone yesterday.

Benjamin Hammond said his app aims to address the barrier between conversational English and proficiency in academia through creating word banks and testing the user’s knowledge.

“We want to target all learners, but more specifically those from disadvantaged communities all over South Africa and enable them to use this educational tool to further assist and develop their languages, both conversationally and academically,” he said.

Inspiration for the app came from a learning support teacher at the school and his mother Wendy, who through years of observing and working with learners, noticed that they struggle when differentiating between conversational English and academic English.

“The app contains knowledge of a variety of different languages so learners are able to create custom word banks to improve and learn additional languages as well,” he said.

“The app is available offline, making it accessible to those that struggle with data or signal, both at home and at school.” he said.

Learning Support Coordinator in District Central, Irma Du Toit said vocabulary was one of the most neglected areas in education and most difficult for learners to succeed in, which is why this app was important for the advancement of education.

Ned Doman High School principal Gwynne Philander said the first challenge in improving vocabulary and learning additional language is taking responsibility.

“‘My Word Bank’ demands that you do something about it and provides you with an opportunity to learn at your fingertips.

“Learners don’t have to carry their 10kg school bags to find the correct word for a particular context, the resource is now right on their phones.” said Philander.

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Cape Argus

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