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ERIC Number: EJ1152387
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0192-401X
E-Pal Exchanges: A Way to Connect Preservice Teachers and English Language Learners
Patton, Anne; Hirano, Eliana; Garrett, Anna Rose
ORTESOL Journal, v34 p48-52 2017
Pen pal exchanges have been used for years to promote cross-cultural communication. In educational settings, pen pal projects have served additional purposes. One is providing English language learners (ELLs) with a safe but realistic context in which language skills can be practiced and learner motivation increased. This study investigates the benefits of a pen pal project between preservice teachers in the US and English as a foreign language (EFL) students. The overarching question for this study is: What do American preservice teachers learn through e-pal exchanges with Brazilian EFL students? Every semester, Education majors in an Introduction to Applied Linguistics class taught by the second author at a liberal arts college have the option of participating in an e-pal project with intermediate level EFL students in Brazil. The main goals for this assignment include providing firsthand experience on language issues covered in the course readings and lectures and getting to know a non-native speaker of English. The college professor pairs the students in collaboration with the language school coordinator in Brazil. The e-pal pairs exchange emails throughout the semester and the college students then write a reflection on their experience. For this study, the first and third authors, who have both taken this course in the past, independently analyzed 18 reflections qualitatively searching for recurring themes (Taylor & Bogdan, 1998). They then met, discussed their findings, and agreed on the three major themes presented herein.
Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. PO Box 15148, Portland, OR 97293. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia; Brazil
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A