International email exchange in a writing class


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International email exchange is organized email correspondence between learners of English in two classes in different countries. This presentation defines what an email exchange project is and the rationale for using it as part of a writing class. It also explains how to set up an email exchange project.

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International email exchange in a writing class

  1. 1. International Email Exchange in a Writing Class Andrew Imrie Rikkyo University
  2. 2. Outline• What is international email exchange?• Email exchange in a writing class• How to find a partner class• Keys to success• Planning & Syllabus• Final thoughts
  3. 3. What is International email exchange?• Organised email correspondence between two classes in different countries• ePals, net pals, keypals• Students in one class are paired up with students in another class• Native or non-native speakers of English• Weekly, biweekly, or monthly• Topics: culture and information exchange
  4. 4. Email exchange in a writing class• “Students should be assigned some writing to do every week…”• More rewarding/authentic alternative to journals, secret pen pals, etc• Broadening the curriculum• Opportunity to reinforce selected writing skills
  5. 5. Writing skills• Forces students to think about an audience• See examples of other students’ writing• Writing as a process• Writing in paragraphs• Topic sentences• Email exchange leads to a comparison/contrast paragraph or essay e.g. Education in Germany and Japan
  6. 6. My experience• Gustav Stresemann Business School• Vocational training college 16-20 year old• Maintz, Germany
  7. 7. How to find a partner class• Ask someone you know• Find a partner online• Advertise and search• Many websites where you can find another class
  8. 8.•• Create an account• Create a profile• Search the other profiles• Find an appropriate class and contact
  9. 9. Profile• Be specific• What kind of email exchange? How long?• Topic of emails?• Approach? Credit? Evaluation?
  10. 10. ePals: My profile• My profile
  11. 11. ePals: Searching profiles
  12. 12. Key to success #1: Finding a reliable partner• Find a teacher who you can work well with• Make your aims and objectives clear• Understand your partner’s wants• Be flexible
  13. 13. Key to success #2: Planning• “Lack of foresight and preparation was our biggest downfall. We were doing this by the seat of our pants and it showed.” (Campbell, 2006)• “*Next time+ I would like to prepare in advance and have activities 100% decided as well as dates for assigning and submitting assignments predetermined”. (Campbell, 2006)
  14. 14. Planning• Agree schedule• Negotiate content• Weekly topic assignments• Date for email correspondence• Syllabus• Project needs a goal or purpose• For example: an essay or a presentation• Credit
  15. 15. SyllabusWEEK TOPIC 1 Self Introduction 2 Holidays & Celebrations 3 Education 4 Dating & Marriage 5 Job Hunting & Work 6 Business Choose topic for paragraph or essay 7 Final Email Write comparison paragraph or essay
  16. 16. Key to success #3: Prepare students• Students need to do pre-email work before writing each email• Students should do preview questions to generate content for each topic• Give students a list of useful vocabulary• Teacher should check first draft of emails• Paragraphs, topic sentences, highlighter pens
  17. 17. Key to Success #4: Weekly CreditName Email 1: Email 2: Email 3: Email 4: Email 5: Self-Intro Holidays & A Day in Business Job Hunting Celebrations my LifeKen Suzuki 3 2 0 3 3Miyuki Ono 3 3 3 4 3--------------- ------ ------- ------ ------- -------Yoko Ishii 3 3 3 3 2
  18. 18. Key to success #5: Active teacher role• Keep in regular touch with the other teacher: Skype, email, Facebook• Make sure your students send their emails on time (‘The Golden Rule’)• Support students with preview questions & word lists• At the beginning, make students write a first draft of each email and check it• Highlight particular writing skills• Make students send you a copy of each email• Publish the weekly credit sheet
  19. 19. Key to success #6: Recycle the information in the paragraph/essay• Remember the goal is to gather information to help write a comparison/contrast piece of writing• Students should choose their topic from topics covered in the email exchange e.g. Education or Job Hunting & Work• Use final email to gather more information• Get the students to share emails with each other
  20. 20. Developing intercultural awareness• International email gives Japanese students a window on another country and culture• “The ability of the students to build up a personal relationship with their partners via email…their capacity to produce engaging, in- depth correspondence were found to be key aspects of the email.” (O’Dowd 2003)
  21. 21. Culture Box
  22. 22. Facebook
  23. 23. Conclusion• Decide your goals & objectives• Find a partner class and reliable teacher• Create a detailed syllabus with dates• Start work before the email exchange begins• Begin in the computer room & continue for homework• Keep on top of any little problems• Students recycle information for final assignment