Students drafting bonds, skills with French pen pals

Students in French IV began second semester with contact from fellow students in Lyon, France, as students in both Lyon and Cedar Falls were asked to communicate weekly through email.

Through penpals, students are able to practice writing and communicating while learning more about French culture.

Senior Megan Lumetta said, “It’s helping me learn French by being exposed to the culture while also working on my grammar and writing French.”

Senior Madi Dempster agreed. “It’s a great way to practice your French. It gives you more confidence in what you have learned because they actually understand you.”

Not only do students gain practice and demonstrate skills, penpals offer an outlet for students to use French outside the classroom.

French teacher Brittan Engels said, “Students can practice their French with a real audience. This makes the writing they are doing much more meaningful than if it was an assignment they were writing for class.”

Through penpals, students are able to dive deeper into modern French culture.

Lumetta said, “It makes me more interested because it shows another side of the French culture and language that we aren’t usually exposed to.”

Aside from learning about modern day French culture and practicing skills, students are able to communicate and learn from students their age.

Engels said, “Students get the chance to learn about a culture from someone their age who probably has similar interests to them. They get to practice reading from real French teens. This is a great way to see what the current lingo is and how a native French speaker would express his or her ideas on certain topics.”

Though penpal writing is done outside of class, the practice they gain will help with grammar comprehension and writing inside the classroom along with the possibility of making an international friend.

Engels said, “At the very least, they will gain these academic benefits. At most, they could gain a great friend that they are able to communicate with for a long time.”

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