A project run by the BBC aims to teach people English – through the medium of television.

BBC World Service Trust’s English in Action project is an initiative in Bangladesh to raise the English language skills of 25 million people by 2017. The project has created TV shows that children and adults can watch and learn from together.

One of the shows is called Bishaash, and is described as a “supernatural detective series”. It will be accompanied by a linked English-language learning show BBC Janala: Mojay Mojay Shekha (Learning is Fun). The characters in Bishaash mainly speak in Bangla, but useful English lines are woven into the script, with Janala building on the language used.

It seems the project has language benefits for the television production crew as well, with the producer commenting:

The local crew runs the studio floor in Bangla, English or both and their confidence is palpable.

This is most evident with the integration of language and humour, where the local crew has embraced irony. Much to the amusement of the crew, I’ve been taught how to say ‘marvellous’ in Bangla in three very different ways – along with ‘It’s not possible’. (Source: BBC World Service)

The programmes are supported by lessons and quizzes that can be accessed online and by phone, as well as in a national newspaper. I wonder how successful this project will be?