As a French teacher I am always attempting to make classes a little more interesting. Despite my best efforts I am unfortunately aware that my sole presence can be somewhat monotonous for students- particularly when completing written and oral tasks!
Bearing this in mind, I began to attempt to source French penpals. This was plus difficile than I imagined. Luckily, I came across a wonderful initiative ran by those at Léargas who seemed to have somehow anticipated my problem. The tremendous eTwinning scheme enables teachers in schools throughout EU countries to establish links with other teachers in countries in order to collaborate on various educational projects.
In order to participate one must create an account and then become involved in forums available on the eTwinning website. As well as providing an excellent opportunity for teachers to find likeminded individuals to establish penfriend links with, more adventurous projects are also available. Some of these include sending a Christmas card to students in another country, sharing students’ opinions on the World War or even sharing handmade Christmas presents.
In the meantime, I’ll be helping my own classes perfect their written skills in order to communicate with their new penpals. In the future (“r” rolling potential dependant, of course…) I hope to be able to organise Skype conversations between my class and their new French correspondants. There is a wonderful project available for teachers of all subjects and I only wish that the scheme had existed when I was a student. I’d highly recommend the scheme and would encourage all like-minded teachers to participate. Now, I just need An Post to reduce the price of stamps….
The aforementioned eTwinning website is located here.