Upper school Spanish students are building relationships with peers in Argentina using modern technology and old-school pen and paper.
Colegio La Merced in Río Cuarto, Córdoba, is Barstow’s newest partner school. One of the first exchanges between the schools paired up pen pals, who exchanged letters in Spanish and English.
Global education coordinator Ilsy Blachly delivered letters from Barstow students during a recent visit, and brought the responses back to Brandon Pepin’s class.The students shared stories about their family, friends and culture.
“My pen pal’s name is Francisco and I found out that we both watch the same Netflix show,” Grant Stinson, freshman, said.
“I wrote to my pen pal about what life is like in Kansas City, weather and tourist attractions, things like that,” Carly Howard, freshman, said. “We exchanged our social media, too, and now we follow each other.”
Pepin said the exchange of letters is an opportunity to use the Spanish they learn in the classroom in a practical way.
“It’s also pretty fun to connect with kids their own age in what you might consider an antiquated form of communication,” he said.
In other upper school Spanish classes, students connected with their counterparts at Colegio la Merced in a more modern way, via video chat.
Students on both sides of the screen, or on either end of the mail delivery, may get to meet each other in person during the coming year. Students from Barstow have the opportunity to travel to Córdoba in March 2017, and students from Colegio La Merced will visit Kansas City in September.
“The letters and chats give students a greater command of the languages they are studying. It’s exciting that these are the first steps in ongoing communication, interaction and cultural exchanges with each other,” Blachly said.