Starting this term, our Year 6 native speaking Bahasa students have been given the opportunity to have a penpal. Our penpals are from the Malaysian school next door (some of whom we have already met at our MFL breakfast).
A penpal relationship is very helpful for practising reading and writing in a foreign language. Having a penpal can help children to improve literacy skills, learn more about other countries and lifestyles, and to make new friends. As with any friendship, some people remain penpals for only a short time, while others continue to exchange letters for life.
So far, the Year 6 children have been sending letters to their penpals about themselves and their favourite teacher. They have also received replies from their penpals. They were very excited when they received the letters for the first time, gaining the satisfaction of seeing their name carefully printed on a thick envelope. They will keep all the letters in one folder and take them to the Secondary Campus next year to show their new Bahasa teacher.
We have planned for the children to not only exchange stories about themselves or their favourite teacher but we are also planning to write about our school, school trips and also about our pets. Obviously it's much more fun to practise writing to a peer than writing an essay for the teacher!
This is an excellent opportunity for the students to improve themselves in Bahasa and to make new friends.