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.