It is argued that language learning ought to be interactive. The traditional language classroom provides a favourable interactive situation for language learners. By contrast, the distance education mode is limited in some ways regarding language learning. Necessarily, distance education involves, primarily, self-learning. Face-to-face learning opportunities are scant compared with traditional classroom-based learning. It is, therefore, a challenge for language professionals to explore new ways of teaching language, the speaking skills in particular, within the constraints of the distance education mode. Being able to master English--an increasingly important international language--provides a key to information and learning societies in the 21 st century. In this paper, I will suggest some ways of maximizing the amount of interactive activities in English language distance learning, based on my work-based experience as a course developer of a new English enhancement course offered by the Open University of Hong Kong. I will focus on the development of listening and speaking skills, which are in fact the most problematic areas--the speaking skill, in particular, involves two-way communication. I will consider the issue from the perspectives of learners' motivation, peer support and technological support. Finally, I will present findings of a survey on the learners and tutors' feedback on the teaching materials of this new English language enhancement course.
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