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Many times teachers will be looking for class partners, but there are also homeschooling families, and individual students searching for pen-pals. There is a program for teachers in the US to be matched with a PCV through the “Wordwise Schools” program.
When I was teaching Spanish, we had a volunteer based in Bolivia, who would share incredible stories with us in English and Spanish.
There are a lot of web sites that over pen-pal “matchmaking” services.
I personally am a little nervous about individuals who post here, because there is no background check or identify verification.
When you go to mail the first letter, buy several stamps of the correct amount, so that you are ready when the next letter comes.
Have your kids draw some pictures, send a photo, ask questions- have fun with this intercultural exchange!
Never post your personal information on the internet for all to see, and I would prohibit my kids from visiting chat rooms, where identities are unknown.
However, when it is a teacher, at a school, and you can see the school’s web site, it is more secure.
With a #2 pencil, I bubbled in my name, my interests, and the top countries I was interested in: Yugoslavia (as it was called! In a couple of weeks I was matched with “Liliana from Yugoslavia”- we ended up writing for more than 10 years before we lost touch!They might know an expat abroad, someone in the military based in another country, someone who is studying abroad, working as a missionary, a volunteer, or even have relatives who live in their home country.Make the connection with them and decide together if the pen-pals and your children would like to communicate via email, or if everyone is comfortable to dust off their stationary and mail letters through the post. Via email, your kids get almost instant gratification.A man on a burro came to pick up the mail every month from her high Andean village, and we exchanged letters once every couple of months.Not only did it give my students a chance to practice Spanish, it also gave us a glimpse of part of the world we probably won’t ever get a chance to visit.
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