this first letter, the students are going to introduce themselves. Point
out to them that a letter should never be an enumeration of facts. Just
answering questions asked by their partners or from the questionnaires
will not produce an interesting letter.
As this is the first letter they
are going to write, you might want to point out the necessity of conventions,
paragraphs, etc. If you just want to use the e-mail conventions, it might
be a good idea to point out the difference between e-mail and ordinary
letters. In this way, you will prevent misunderstandings when, during English
lessons, the students will have to write a "normal" English letter.
Try to make it clear to the
students that a letter should be an exchange of ideas. The idea behind the project
is that students, by exchanging letters and making
use of some of the Internet facilities, such as
building Webpages, participating in chats or forums, exchanging materials
like photos and videos, will build up an image of children
from other cultures in other countries.
In this first letter, the
students will be given a large number of possible sentences into which they can put
their own data.
This letter is only meant to be
a short introduction. Students will have to give: name, sex, age, family,
background, character, interests, appearance, likes,
Several of these subjects will be
touched on later in the series, so an extensive description is not necessary.
On the whole, it is always a good
idea to have the students write a rough draft on paper first. This assignment
could be given as homework. Some
students that may have access to a computer at home can make their first draft
on their word processor and save it on a floppy disk.
you have advised the students and made suggestions for corrections,
they can either type
it in or make the corrections directly in the text, if they have used a word
processor from the beginning. The product can be
saved either on their own floppy disks (or on the Intranet-server).
course, the procedure you choose will depend
on the level of English at which the students work and the
number of computers accessible both at school and at home. They can use the computer
immediately and correct their work afterwards using the word
Always read your
students' letters. Students can sometimes get carried away and use embarrassing language which
might ruin your partnership.
sure that there is access to dictionaries (books or electronic) during
the periods the students are writing their letters.
Along with the letters
students can send attachments of photos or drawings (self-portraits) of themselves. For this purpose they can use either a scanner or a digital
camera, depending on the equipment available at school.
a video camera or digital video camera students can produce a video of the class in which
each one of them will shortly introduce himself/herself just by saying the name, age
and a word that describes his/her personality. This video can be sent along with
the letters or published in the school website, or sent via snail-mail.
can also organise videoconference to introduce themselves directly in
real time a the involved schools which have this possibility.
above exchanges can function as a way of bringing students closer to each other. They will have a more concrete idea of who their partners are and this
can hopefully lead to a deeper engagement in the development of the project and
in the establishment of stronger ties between the students involved.
that beforehand you have to discuss these ideas with your partners and decide if
you want to develop all the activities or just some
of them. It will greatly depend on the technical possibilities you
have at school and on your
skills to use them for the project purposes and of course on the
willingness of your students to communicate this way as well.