Interaction between educator and learners is widely considered crucial for effective instruction. The TeleTuks Schools community project involved several hundred learners watching daily broadcasts that aimed to offer academic support to matriculants via interactive television (ITV). While technology permitted bi-directional audio contact with the presenter in the studio, Grade 12 viewers seldom phoned in to ask questions or make comments about the content being presented on screen. These infrequent responses were unexpected and called for explanation. An initial proposition suggested that learners lacked sufficient proficiency in the medium of instruction - English - and thus refrained from participating. Methods used for data gathering included analyses of telelessons, learner and adult interviews and open-ended survey questions.Findings revealed that limited English was not the primary cause of low responsiveness but rather a combination of presenter-related factors. This paper focuses specifically on presenters- speech personality, speed of delivery, immediacy behaviours and questioning styles. These constructs have contributed to the formulation of an instructional dissonance theory and recommendations are deemed applicable to any face-to-face instructional contexts as well as blended learning environments where verbal interaction is prevalent.