Spanish language immersion with pen pals is a project connecting Winona State University and Madison Elementary School.
Assistant Professor of Spanish Mary Hudgens Henderson reached out to second grade Spanish immersion teacher Amanda Indra to start the pen pal activity between the college students and the kids. She believes that students often write for their teachers, and not in the way they would communicate like real people.
“It’s an authentic way for both groups to practice Spanish language arts in a real communication,” she said.
“It definitely gives a purpose to their writing,” Indra said. “It gives it more meaning.”
The students are forming bonds with each other, and writing in Spanish about common interests, such as dogs, games, and what they want to do when they are adults.
“I like the idea of writing to someone who’s trying to learn the language,” said senior Jesús Cazares. “We’ve been writing about our favorite hobbies, if we have pets, what we do on the weekends. It’s cool to find out what similarities we share in things like family and culture. I always look forward to receiving their letters.”