Cultural Pen Pal

This page is designed to help students complete the pen pal assignment.


Students will  communicate with other students in another country. The assignment consists of  writing e-mail letters to students from other cultures and languages. The use of technology (i.e., e-mail)  to access students of different cultures helps to make the world a smaller place.


1)   Students will complete a minimum of four emails. Each email will have a specific focus.  The topics for the four emails are outlined in greater detail below.  When you send your email you will respond to the question, as well as request that your pen pal respond to the same question.

2)    Students will use correct grammar and spelling in the email exchanges.

3)    Students will print out and hand in the email exchanges.


First Email Exchange:  “Who Am I?”  Describe who you are to your pen pal.  Include personal traits, interests, hobbies, etc…

Second Email Exchange:  “My Country” – In this step you will write about what it is like to live in the United States. Write about population, weather, government, religion, attractions, entertainment, activities, sports, etc. – anything that might be of interest to your pen pal. You may also share some typical/national songs, food, clothes, etc.

Third Email Exchange:   “Studying in My Country” – At this stage you should write about your school life. This includes: school, teacher(s), classes, favorite or least favorite subjects, school hours, academic year, educational system and so on.

Fourth Email Exchange:  Race/Ethnic Relations- In this section you will discuss the role race, ethnicity, and diversity  play in our society and describe one current issue related to the topics in the class.


  • Be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand something.
  • Spelling is very important. Please read through your letter carefully before it is sent.
  • Don’t use computer shorthand (e.g., lol).
  • Try not to use sarcasm. It could be offensive.
  • Keep writing conversational in tone, but use minimal slang.
  • Do not send attachments as you don’t know if your pen pal has the ability to open them.  Either type your message directly into the textbox, or copy and paste it into the textbox.

Remember that your audience may still be learning the English language and culture.

Below are a list of pen pal sites that you may use:

  3. Hands Across the World
  5. Pen Pal International
  7. Students of the World
  8. The Penpals Network
  9. International Penpal
  10. epals: individual or by class



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