How To Communicate With International Email Friends
So you have been penpaling for sometime and want to have friends across the globe whose language you do not know. The chances still are they know a bit of your language, for instance English. A ray of hope here is that you and your penpal got a common ground, one language. Penpaling has been accredited as an effective method of cross-cultural exchange especially for language learning. Your purpose of having a language penpal could be to learn a foreign language, improve your foreign language abilities, study foreign culture or simply have a penpal across the globe. The essential ingredient to all the above motives is to have foreign language penpal and lots of patience.
Whatever is your purpose, the crucial fact here is that you are not dealing with a friend who is well versed in your language and vice versa. So it has to be a mutual effort to understand and educate. The manner in which you communicate with your penpal can be decided at the very outset, if the purpose is language exchange. Or the two of you may develop ways to write (e-mail) which results in workable communication. Essentially these exchanges can be of the following forms.
You could both communicate in each other’s language in an alternating manner. Or you could communicate in predominantly one language. Or the two can communicate in the language either is learning for the benefit of that penpal. You may at times also come across a situation when a native is well versed in English that then is your golden chance to pick up that foreign language. When penpalling with a friend of different language, start with the basics that is try simple conversations. Simple conversations would imply comprehending what is being said rather than focusing on grammar or seeking cultural information. It could simply be saying-“Hello, I am fine how are you? Or what do you do? Or what does your day typical look like?” Since your exchange is through e-mails, take your time and formulate short simple mails. May be you could choose to focus on one topic of discussion say-family, interest, hobbies. This would enable you to enhance your vocabulary, local expressions and lingo for that subject. Don’t get disgruntled with the pace and change your pal, remember it takes time to make friends! Make efforts to teach your pal, encourage new exchanges and questioning.
Do not hesitate to question an exchange you might not have understood. More or less the two of you are going to be at the same level of the other’s foreign language, so this challenge is going to be enjoyable. If the purpose is to learn the language, involve friends with a varied group - different age, profession, backgrounds. www.mailfriends.nu is a penpals’ website where you would find friends from across the world, from different cultures, communicating in various language. Now that language is no more your barrier make new friends worldwide.
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