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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July, 2005, 08:02 GMT 09:02 UK
BBC plans soap to teach English
The Flatmates
Fans will decide what happens to the characters through online votes
The BBC World Service is to launch its first online soap opera to help listeners learn English.

The Flatmates, a drama about a group of multi-cultural young people in Britain, will launch on the net on 1 August.

Visitors to bbclearningenglish.com will be able to hear and read a new episode every week, in a bid to teach the language "as it is lived and spoken".

Fans will also be able to decide what happens to the characters through online votes.

'Engages learners'

Writer and producer Nuala O'Sullivan said people could learn "at their own pace and interact with the web in a way they want to, at a time that suits them".

"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 episodes will be accompanied by language lessons and quizzes to aid learning.

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