In Spanish II, III and IV, students have been working on pen pal letters for a pen pal exchange program with Argenta-Oreana students who also take Spanish. Both Spanish teachers from Meridian and Argenta-Oreana have the same number of students in their class, therefore, everyone would have someone to write to. The pen pals started to exchange letters in February.
“It’s good because Spanish II, III, and IV generally know the common introductions and the greetings,” said Bess Dotterweich, Meridian’s Spanish teacher.
The students use the vocab they learn over the course and use that to describe their families and school life. Students from both schools have learned the same Spanish, so they use the language to communicate back and forth.
“I got to pick my pen pal, we’ve sent almost four letters so far,” said Hannah Gillespie, a Spanish II student.
At Argenta-Oreana, the students are required to write at least three questions to ask in Spanish. The Meridian students are to write a rough draft with fifteen sentences in Spanish and get it checked by Dotterweich.
“I think it’s a good idea the teachers wanted to do pen pals because it gives students a way to genuinely get to know someone and not do it over the phone,” said Karrigan True, a Spanish II student.
The most recent letter that was sent was all about their summer plans or what they will do after school. The pen pal exchange allows students to practice with someone outside of school. Both teachers hope the students get to meet each other one day.
“I think it’s good for the students to write to someone that [is] their same age, learning the same foreign language,” said Dotterwiech.
The students make a rough draft, a final draft and then get to make it look creative with construction paper and other materials.
“My favorite part of the exchange was making memes for them,” said Hannah Gillespie, Meridian student.