Figure 2.Front page of "The Flatmates"<
The Flatmates encourages interactivity and audience participation in a number of ways. Each episode features an audience vote (You decide), a Talk About the Flatmates page (where students write to a specific question posed about an episode), and an interactive quiz. The audience vote may have to do with plot, character motivation, or language. Between 3,000 and 4,500 votes are cast each week. The Talk About the Flatmates feature consists of two or three prompt questions, related to the topic of the current episode, to which learners can post comments in reply. The prompt questions are designed to facilitate personalisation and extension of topics raised in each episode as well as comment on the actions and feelings of the characters. For example, the following prompt questions are related to Episode 71 [http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/flatmates/episode71/] in which Alice found out that her boyfriend Paul was separated from his wife and had two children:
Are marriage break-ups common in your country? Why do you think that is? What should Alice do now?
The comments below are typical of the more than one hundred we received in response to these prompts:
TESL-EJ 11.4, March 2008
Chapman & Scott