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International Friendship - Just a Click Away

The Pontonnier International High School in Strasbourg, France, where students have become e-pals with CHS students.

You have probably heard of pen pals – but have you heard of e-pals? English II Honors sophomore students in Ms. Rayan Tigani’s classes have become e-pals with students in Strasbourg, France. Each student was given the email of a French student to contact who attends Pontonnier International High School in Strasbourg using a website called The Write Pen Pals. Many students have already heard from their e-pals. Dean Melchionda commented, “We talk about pretty much everything; where we live, what we want to do when we’re older, what our schools are like. Their grades are different from ours. It’s been very informational and inspiring to learn about the different culture.”

Mallory Williamson said her e-pal has asked her lots of questions. “She is curious about my hobbies and classes,” she remarked. Alexa White added, “My e-pal told me all about his school and he even told me how to get to his Facebook so I have been able to see pictures of him. It was pretty cool to meet someone from another country.”

Ms. Tigani got the idea for the class activity from one of her former professors who connected her to a high school teacher in France, Ms. Robyn Cnockaert, who was looking for American pen pals for her classes to communicate with and learn from. “It turns out she went to the same college I went to,” commented Ms. Tigani. “The students are really excited about getting to learn about our different cultures. We plan to teach some of the same material such as the novel Les Miserables. We hope the French students can give us some cultural background on that and later we will share our literature backgrounds with them.”

The classes hope to Skype to get to actually see each other and communicate face to face, even though there is a six hour time difference. Ms. Tigani and Ms. Cnockaert have started a blog where students can post their correspondence about their school and their cultures. You may read their entries at http://thewritepenpals.wordpress.com/

Written by: Ms. Paula White
Posted: Nov 08, 2010 by Ms. Paula White

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