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Emerging Communities at BBC Learning English - page 9 / 11





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their product with the emergent Grammar Challenge community. Limited resources and the decision to provide individualised feedback for published comments means that it is possible to publish only five comments with feedback for each episode. However this does not seem to deter users from posting comments: for the first programme, 120 comments were received, rising to over 400 for the fourth programme. This high participation rate (higher than any other comments board on BBC Learning English) is interesting: Elsewhere on the site, almost all comments are published as a matter of routine. It may be that students see the fact that only five comments are published as something of a challenge. Alternatively they may be keen to get feedback for their productive output; or it may be because many of them are regular contributors to other areas of the BBC Learning English website. Two examples of student comments and teacher feedback (in response to the question tags prompts above) are presented here:

1. Gabriella, Switzerland:

John: Yes, I'm really lucky after searching for such a long time, aren't I?

Mary: What about the girl living above my flat, who works in your office too? She certainly would help you if you face some problems, wouldn't she?

John: Yes, for sure. She's really nice isn't she? Well, let's talk about your holiday plans for this year, shall we? (shan't we?)

Catherine says:

Thanks for your dialogue, Gabriella, it's lovely! The question tag for let's is shall we? so you can delete (shan't we) - your first attempt was correct! Well done Gabriella!


2. Jorge, Chile: John: Yes I have a new one; at last I have found what I have been expecting for so long. Mary: Good, now you feel very happy, dont' you? John: Of course I do. I'd like you to come to know my new work place. I'm sure you would love to come, wouldn't you? Mary: Yeah, but surely you're not allowed to receive guests, are you? John: don't worry, my boss is a nice guy, isn't he? Mary: I guess

Catherine says: Thanks for your dialogue, Jorge! All your question tags are grammatically correct, but we need to check apostrophe position in this one:

Mary: Good, now you feel very happy, dont' you?

An apostrophe is used to show a missing letter. 'don't' means 'do not' - but the 2 words are put together - donot - and the 'o' of 'not' is replaced with an

TESL-EJ 11.4, March 2008

Chapman & Scott


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