My friend Amy recently brought over some homemade cards her pen pal had sent in the mail. Amy explained that when she was a high school student, her aunt had suggested she find a pen pal online. She and her pen pal are still friends today, even though they left school five years ago. “I love getting things in the mail, especially letters,” says Amy. “We don’t write often, only three or four times a year, but I am always looking for fun things to send or write about. Writing a letter is much more fun than writing an email.”
Letter Writing Skills
Pen pals are a really great way to get your student to learn the art of writing letters. While few people write social letters these days, it’s an invaluable lesson in how to set out a letter and how to write an interesting and engaging note. Letter writing is an integral part of every job and especially of every job application as applicants must submit cover letters with their resumes.
Having pen pals from other countries helps to teach your student cultures that are different from her own. Your student will be able to discuss the social, cultural, culinary and religious differences between their countries and that of their pen pals. It’s a great way to get your student to be well-rounded.
Students can have friends all over the world and can opt to find pen pals who speak a different language to encourage them to practice their language skills.
If you are not interested in mailing letters, there are many sites that offer online pen pal opportunity. As with all your online interactions, make sure that your student doesn’t share too much personal information and discuss with your student what they are going to write in their correspondence. Ensure that your student knows how to interact with others on the internet in a way that doesn’t put them at risk.
Pen Pal Sites
There are a number of ways to get pen pals, but websites probably give you the widest selection and you can choose which country, language and age group your pen pal should be. Here are some helpful sites:
Students of the World
Having a pen pal will mean that your student gets to make international friends, learn more about other countries and practice language and writing skills. Not to mention the fun of getting letters in the mail! Who knows… your student may make a lifelong friend.