Various uses of a spelling checker project: Practical experiences, teaching, and learning

Menno van Zaanen, GB van Huyssteen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we give an overview of various aspects of a project developing a spelling checker for Afrikaans. We discuss two of the main aims of the project, viz. for researchers to obtain practical experience, and to enhance learning of both researchers and students. This article, therefore, consists of two relatively independent parts that each describes aspects related to these two aims. The first part describes the actual spelling checker. The existing spelling checker is evaluated and, based on the results, improvements are introduced and implemented. Remaining problems are discussed and possible solutions are proposed. We illustrate how practical experience was obtained during the evolution of the project. The second part discusses the underlying teaching and learning benefits of the project. This includes improving our knowledge of computational linguistics applied to Afrikaans, improving programming skills for linguists, and communication between experts in different fields. We also give an overview of how the project is used for problem-oriented and project-organised educational purposes, and how it solves certain problems related to a shortage of computational linguistic tools and resources for Afrikaans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages14
JournalSouthern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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