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29/07/2005

BBC launches 'soap' to help teach English

BBC World Service is to launch an online soap opera aimed at English language learners around the world.
‘The Flatmates’, which begins on August 1, features a multi-cultural cast of young people who share a flat and live, work and study in the UK.
Visitors to the website - www.bbclearningenglish.com/flatmates - will be able to read and listen to the latest episode as many times as they like.
The soap will enable listeners to learn at their own pace as well as participate in a vote to decide what happens next to the flatmates.
A language point from the episode is also highlighted, so visitors can tell the BBC what aspects of vocabulary, grammar or pronunciation they would like to learn and they will also be able to test their knowledge with a quiz.
The writer and producer of the series, Nuala O’Sullivan, created the new interactive drama to appeal to active learners who want to be in charge of their own learning. She said: “Online is a fantastic way of learning English because people can go at their own pace and interact with the web in a way they want to, at a time that suits them.
“We also know from experience that participation in learning helps make it fun and the more people participate, the more effective the learning.
“The Flatmates appeals to people who also want to learn English as it is lived and spoken, rather than as it is sometimes taught in more traditional text-books. It engages learners, enabling them to interact directly with the characters and to help shape the everyday life storylines through an online vote.”
(KMcA/SP)
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