Pen Pal Friendships To Boost Your Language Learning
Improve your language learning skills by making pen pal friendships!
When learning a new language, we look for all the material available to practice it.
From listening to music to attending events and talking with native speakers, they can all help improve our language skills.
And while technology has made it easier to reach people worldwide, there are other fun and exciting ways to make new friends, like pen pals.
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Importance of Building Relationships With Other Language Learners
Knowing all the grammar rules, increasing your vocabulary, and reading the words correctly are important for learning a new language.
But other activities can greatly contribute to developing your language skills, such as making friends who speak the language you’re learning.
When students have language partners, they feel more comfortable, motivated, engaged, and willing to learn more.
By making pen pal friendships that share the language you’re learning, you also can build bonds that will help you move forward in your lessons.
Also, it’ll be harder to tell your friend you no longer want to learn their language because you don’t want to disappoint them.
Learning a new language will be more enjoyable if you have a native-speaking friend by your side.
Apart from learning about their culture and traditions, it will also help you understand the language. You can discuss the most difficult linguistic rules, and they can clear your doubts.
But most of all, learning a new language with a pen pal friendship —whether they are native speakers or not— will force you to practice it more often, and talk without shame and restrictions, even if you’re not fluent yet.
Benefits of Making Friends When Learning a New Language
Here are some reasons why making friends with a native speaker is so important.
When you meet people who speak the language you’re learning, they’ll have a genuine interest in getting to know you. In addition, they’ll be invested in your academic life and general well-being.
It will create a positive environment for learning, you’ll feel more comfortable sharing your thoughts, and you’ll feel like you can speak more freely.
With more positive and supportive friendships willing to help you, you’ll feel motivated to talk to them.
You’ll share your life experiences and perspectives. In turn, they’ll talk more openly about their country and culture.
Having friends with whom you can share how excited you feel about learning a new language will naturally keep you motivated.
Now, imagine if they speak the language you’re learning! You’ll want to talk to them fluently. That’s enough reason to persevere and keep studying.
See also: 10 Creative Ways to Practice Spanish
What Are Pen Pals, and How Do They Help Boost Your Language Skills?
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a pen pal is someone you have never met before but with whom you exchange letters as a hobby.
Outside of such a formal definition, we can say that a pen pal is a person who wants to know about new cultures and new countries.
Having pen pals helps people connect with other people on a deeper level. Pen pals learn about other people’s beliefs, traditions, and values. It also allows people to develop their language skills.
Additionally, it’s a great way to practice your writing skills!
But let’s stick to language learning.
One of the reasons that pen pal is still a thing is because many want to learn a new language and find comfort in someone who’s on the same path as them.
As an American who’s learning Spanish, you can find pen pals in El Salvador, Colombia, or as far as Spain, and your pen pals can help you practice your language skills.
In turn, you can help them with their English.
Though neither are language teachers, they can teach and correct each other’s mistakes.
Also, receiving real correspondence and not just junk mail is exciting!
Here we share some safe pen pal websites to find reliable friends around the world:
How to Build Friendships With Foreign Pen Pals?
Now that you know where to find pen pals, we want to share some tips that can help you take care of your new friend.
Interacting with someone from another country can be a very enriching experience, and it’s even better if both of you are learning a new language.
Think about cultural differences. “Break a leg!” to you is an uplifting message, but it might be a little jarring to people across the world who don’t know the meaning behind this phrase.
So, you can ask your Spanish pen pal how they wish luck to someone and then share your thoughts.
These small gestures of genuine interest will nurture your new friendship.
Keep On Writing
If you’re looking for a pen pal, you must be prepared to write regularly.
Daily life will likely cause both of you to suddenly stop writing, but you can always resume your relationship with them.
Even if two or six months have passed, it’s never too late to respond. You can even tell them what has happened in your life to resume communication.
Don’t forget that you’re both learning a new language and are not experts.
The objective of this language exchange is precisely to help each other and correct each other respectfully.
You could reach a mutual agreement on how to correct each other’s errors and how each would like to get feedback.
Although you have chosen to have a pen pal to practice your language skills, it can also be a fun activity!
Enjoy the writing process, choosing the questions you want to send and the type of paper you’ll write on.
Some people even send small gifts as part of the exchange, like a handmade bracelet made using local materials, a bookmark, stickers, etc.
Remember, pen pals are also friends!
Start Making Friends From All Over the World!
Writing letters may seem outdated, but it can be gratifying and exciting, mainly when you write to people from another country.
People will always do it with the same purpose as you. Hooray for that!
Nevertheless, if you want to learn Spanish with native, authentic Spanish instruction, Homeschool Spanish Academy is the right place for you!
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