• Alex Buxton

What is the Language Explorer?

What are we trying to achieve?

The Language Explorer is a collaborative endeavour between a technology business, a university and the NHS which aims to create a fun story-telling app that helps identify children who have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). On average, 2 Children in every classroom have DLD so it is important that Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) have the necessary tools to quickly and reliably do their assessments. The Language Explorer project seeks to achieve this by digitalising existing practices used by SLTs, and by using new machine-learning technologies to improve the process of identifying DLD.

How are we going to achieve this?

For our future app to perform effectively we need to understand the language abilities of children across the country. Currently, no normative dataset exists which provides the information we need on Children’s Language. So we are having to collect it ourselves! From today, we are launching the Citizen Science Data collection stage of our project. Citizen Science is the active public involvement in scientific research and this concept applies directly to what we hope to achieve. We need children, between the ages of 4 and 8, from across the United Kingdom to participate in the Language Explorer, so we can understand how different children perform on its three tasks: Story Retell, Comprehension and Repetition.

How to get involved?

There are many different ways you can support the project. This could be from promoting our content on twitter to telling your friends and family about the project. However, the best way to support the project is to participate directly in the research. If you know anyone who falls into the age bracket of 4 to 8, encourage them to download and complete the Language Explorer and help us move one step closer to our goal. You can also participate in our reward scheme, where for every 25 recordings you achieve you get an iPad. To hear more about this scheme, or to get any more info on the project email us at


©2020 by The Language Explorer. 
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR funds, supports and delivers high-quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research. Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future. Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services. Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy. The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.
Award code: NIHR200889