One of the best ways to learn English, or any other language, is by practicing regularly. But what are some ways to practice if you don’t usually talk to native speakers? Writing to a pen pal is one great option for exercising your language skills, and getting started is easy.
What Exactly Is a Pen Pal?
Pen pals are friends who you communicate with who don’t usually live close to you. They may live across town, across the country, or on even on the other side of the world. Traditionally, pen pals communicate with one another using letters through the mail. The extra time, care, and attention given to writing a letter by hand can be the foundation for a blooming friendship. Today, though, people are connecting all over the world through email, instant messaging, social media, and video chatting online, which is completely acceptable as well. This means that these days, students learning a new language have many opportunities for practice outside of the classroom.
What Can You Learn From a Pen Pal?
Apart from the joy of making a new friend, having a pen pal comes with several language-learning benefits. If you and your pen pal are both trying to learn English, communicating with them gives both of you an easy way to practice and learn from each other. Since you are both still learning, this can be a less scary way to work on your language skills. There will be less pressure about making grammatical errors or vocabulary mistakes, and after some time, you’ll likely come to know your pal’s strengths and weaknesses and can be better equipped to make recommendations for improving their writing. You may even one day decide to visit your pen pal and get the chance to practice your language skills in person!
ALCC American Language offers students a number of courses, information, and services as they learn English. Our staff is happy to help students with finding pen pals and other ways to practice English, as well as with other issues students face during their time studying with us.