Television

BBC launches internet soap opera for English learners

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MUMBAI: BBC World Service is launching its first online soap opera aimed at English language learners around the world.

From 1 August, The Flatmates features a multi-cultural cast of young people who not only share a flat but also their everyday adventures studying, working, living and loving in the UK. Every week, visitors to the bbclearningenglish.com/flatmates site can read the latest drama from the flat, as well as listen to the episode online as many times at they like.

The drama enables listeners to learn at their own pace. It is fun, informative and highly interactive, with learners voting to decide what happens next to the flatmates. A language point from the episode is highlighted, so visitors to the site can tell the BBC what aspects of grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation they'd like to learn, and a quiz tests their new knowledge. 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 says, "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."

The Flatmates is the first weekly, online drama produced by BBC Learning English which is a division of BBC World Service. BBC Learning English publishes free internet and radio resources for English language learners and teachers.

BBC Learning English has teams providing dedicated resources to learners in China and the Middle East, and also collaborates with the British Council on a website aimed at teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

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