Finding Foreign Pen Pals

Websites Cater to Students Learning Spanish

people chatting online
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There is something exciting about having a pen pal in a foreign country but email certainly has made correspondence something more routine. Finding someone to write to may be less easy than it was before the internet.

Even so, there are some organizations and services that help would-be pen pals get together. Here are some that might be helpful for you or practicing students. Note that fees are involved with some of them:

  • MyLanguageExchange.com is a Canadian-based service that encourages its members to correspond bilingually with each other using one of 115 languages.
  • PenPalParty.com is designed to help people establish nonromantic email friendships with people in foreign countries. Those under 18 can correspond only with those under 18.
  • EPals GlobalCommunity is an online K-12 learning program with students in 200 countries.
  • Student Letter Exchange promotes student communication via snail mail and has been doing so since the mid-1900s.

Of course, if your students have the opportunity to get to know a Spanish-speaking exchange student at their school, they may be able to keep in touch with him or her at one of the popular social networking sites.

Finally, as I'm sure you're aware, your students should be told that even the most highly recommended of the websites should be used with caution. There are those, sadly, who take advantage of the anonymity of the Internet to harass children, or to do worse. Most of the above sites are set up so students don't have to share their personal contact information.