Global connections are a great way to practice a new language. Whether connecting with native speakers or other language learners, global connections allow students to practice authentic communication.
For native speakers, connecting with language learners allows students to examine communication skills in a new way. Students often take their time to craft well structured paragraphs and sentences and pay closer attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation so that language learners can understand their ideas.
This week’s PenPal Star demonstrated excellent writing skills when she participated in Comunidades del Mundo. Meet PenPal Star Mar from Spain! Mar had the opportunity to learn more about world cultures and practice her language and communication skills with Spanish learners.
As she explored daily life, food, and pop culture with PenPals from around the world, Mar did a great job writing detailed paragraphs to share about life in Spain with her peers. She also demonstrated excellent digital citizenship and social & emotional skills by asking questions to learn more from her PenPals and encourage further discussion.
Mar told us that she “felt really happy and proud of myself” when she found out she was a PenPal Star! Read some of her rockstar responses below to see excellent writing examples:
Hola soy Mar, Vivo en Segovia en el centro de España Esto es lo que se come en España: En verano se suelen comer ensaladas, pasta y a veces paella, que es arroz con todo tipo de cosas, como pollo, verduras y gambas. En invierno: se suelen comer cosas calientes como el cochinillo que es un cerdo pequeño asado. También se come cocido que es una sopa con carne, patatas y verduras. Cuales son las comidas tradicionales que comes tu ?
Hello I am Mar, I live in Segovia in the center of Spain This is what you eat in Spain: In summer you usually eat salads, pasta and sometimes paella, which is rice with all kinds of things, like chicken, vegetables and prawns. In winter: you usually eat hot things like suckling pig which is a small roast pig. It is also eaten cooked which is a soup with meat, potatoes and vegetables. What are the traditional foods you eat?
Todos los países hispano hablantes son muy diferentes pero también muy parecidos. Lo más importante es la familia y cuando se dice "familia" se incluye a los abuelos, tíos, sobrinos, amigos y hasta mascotas. En los países hispano hablantes las horas de estudio son muy largas. Pueden tener hasta 10 asignaturas por día. El descanso del almuerzo puede ser muy largo y durar hasta 3 horas. Antes de entrar a la universidad tienen que saber cual va a ser su profesión.Cuando no están estudiando suelen ir al cine, practicar algún deporte etcétera. He aprendido que en otros países tienen mucho más descanso y a la vez mas asignaturas. Me llama la atención que tengan tanto descanso porque entonces no les da la vida estudiar.
All the Spanish speaking countries are very different but also very similar. The most important thing is the family and when you say "family" you include grandparents, uncles, nephews, friends and even pets. In the Spanish-speaking countries the hours of study are very long. They can have up to 10 subjects per day. The lunch break can be very long and last up to 3 hours. Before entering the university they have to know what their profession is going to be. When they are not studying they usually go to the movies, practice some sport and so on. I have learned that in other countries they have much more rest and at the same time more subjects. It strikes me that they have so much rest because then life does not give them study.
Me ha gustado mucho poder hablar con otra gente del mundo y conocer las diferentes culturas del mundo. Y porque es una forma muy buena para entrar. Y me ha encantado ser alumna de la semana, estoy muy contenta con este proyecto
I really liked being able to talk with other people in the world and to know the different cultures of the world. And because it is a very good way to enter. And I loved being a student of the week, I'm very happy with this project
Mar is 10 years old, loves science class, and hopes to travel to Italy one day! When she’s not learning with PenPals, Mar loves to play outdoors and enjoy the countryside. We recently caught up with Mar to learn more about her experience exploring Comunidades del Mundo.
PenPal Schools: What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
Mar: Knowing other people´s interests. [I like learning] about the daily life and knowing about different costumes, customs and other curiosities.
How has your project changed the way you think about the world?
I think there are so much variety of ways of living that is surprising for me.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
Doing your best always in everything you do.
Congratulations, Mar, and thanks again for being such a great PenPal!
Your students can connect with PenPals like Mar by exploring topics in English, Spanish, French, or Mandarin Chinese!