40 Access students from Hincesti and Edinet interact with 20 Pen pals from Turnu Severin, Romania

December, 14 2015

Once upon a time, in an autumn evening, the Access students from Edinets dedicated their English class and the entire evening to write letters to their peer Access from Turnu-Severin Romania. They did not know the names of the students. They were equipped just with pens and pieces of paper and a desire to share a little bit of their life by writing real letters, putting their kindness in the letters and words that came out from their hearts and through pens.

This wonderful idea came from Nadina Nicolici - Romanian Access teacher and was followed by Moldovan Access teacher Emma Matreniuc. That was a challenge and an entire procedure to fulfill: to make a pre-writing and informative introduction to this activity, to write the letters and then to collect them, to scan and to send to another country through e-mail and then......to anticipate and wait, hearing every day the phrase: "Have you already received the answers? When will we be able to have one more possibility to write and to answer?" And the time passed, and we all were busy with different activities, work and travels. But finally, our dear Nadina Nicolici sent us the answers from the kids-written by their hand, on pieces of paper, scanned and already personalized !!!! That was an incredible event !!!! You should see those happy faces and their walking through the room asking each other: "Who is your pall? Is it a boy or a girl?....Oh, he/she also likes this movie !!! Oh, I also listen to this band!!!!" We lived this emotions together . And they tried to share the social network accounts and e-mail addresses . That was nice. Look what they say. "When our teacher first told us about this possibility, we all reacted simply or some even indifferently, asking ourselves: why? It is so easy to write several words through a social network and share. But after a while we realized, that writing with your hand about yourself, your life, your hobbies or friends or even everyday activity - might be so very unusual and useful for your language development. " -Irina Babuci from Edinet said. "It is so unusual to read about somebody's life, the way he/she writes about it, retells and shares the details....A very unusual feeling,"-Natasha Vyshneakova said. "I find this writing so very emotional. I did not expect I would like it...And I want to continue this experience and become friends with those students I received the answers from. It is so sweet and kind to see how another person, somewhere far from you, lives and thinks,"-Roxana Radu from Edinets added.

However, we have to admit, that one of the issues was that before that all started, we had done discussions, that were connected with learning. We covered just the same topic, that our pan palls from Romania studied: writing formal and informal letters. We also discussed proper words and vocabulary in terms of politeness, ways of greeting and English language way of addressing people and sharing things in written form. And nobody excluded the Grammar issue of course.
There was also another path for this activity. A great example is worth following. Together with another Access teacher colleague from Hincesti, Daria Prozorovschi, we continued this wonderful idea and inspired our students to write letters to each other. "As a teacher, -- Daria sais,-- I had the opportunity to follow the entire process my students took part in: reading the letters, sharing the information they discovered in the letters and writing the response. They discovered the pleasure of establishing a social contact with an unknown person and used English as the main tool. Though, in the beginning they were a little confused and didn't know what they should write in their responses, some of them managed to continue their friendship through Facebook and other social networking sites." Some of the students also commented on this activity: "It was a pleasure for me to receive a letter from an unknown person, because in this way we can make new friends even if they are just too far away from us. It was an interesting experience especially because I communicate with my friend through simple messages, and not through letter," Arina Colsatchi from Hincesti said. While another student,Vlada Gurduza mentioned: "The letter I received was a very positive one. It was interesting to read about how he (my pen friend) feel and this impressed me a lot. I thing we can become good friends and we can understand each other because I'm an optimist person too."

We gave the opportunity to many nice young people to share their ideas and thoughts and hobbies with each other. In our modern world of so many technology and little spare of time, we found this activity so very deep and authentic and even noble. We followed their emotions, the way they wrote letters and how they read the handwritten messages from other students from another part of the country or the world. This is amazing and useful to encourage and promote human values, good manners and language development. We also showed students the group pictures from their Access colleagues to make the process even more challenging. So, let this event and activity be that one to bring peace and serenity in everybody's soul, both for teachers and the students.

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