International pen pals share language lessons and culture across countries by writing letters.  The activity helps students learn letter writing, and connect with peers from another country and another culture and language.

Soft SkillsAt Edgewater Park Public School in Thunder Bay, students are making friends with students from Toulouse, France.

Five years ago, the international pen pal activity was started by Brooke Robinson, a core French teacher. She says that students learn the language by corresponding with French speaking students, but they also develop a greater sense of global awareness.

“It’s authentic communication in French,” she said. “You can do any kind of writing in class, but to actually have them be able to write a real letter that they are going to send to somebody and that they will get a response back, it’s just a great way of inspiring them to write and they sure love to communicate with their friends.”

The students learn about the interests of their pen pals, their daily lives, families, and their city.

“It’s neat for them to see the difference in the culture and the lifestyles,” Robinson said.

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