Setting up keypal exchanges between your students and students in other countries is probably one of the best ways in which information technology can be used in the EFL classroom. A good place to find keypals is:
Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Contacts (IECC) at St.Olaf College (they have different lists for K-12 schools and higher education)
Although many of my students have had lots of interesting contacts, I still feel that I have not been able to find the optimal way of organizing these exchanges. Some problems I'm pondering are:
- do you grade students' email, and if so, how? Do you read students' email, and if so, all of it?
- what should be the balance between individual, student-to-student contact and class-to-class contact? I plan to combine keypal exchanges with class web sites but have hardly had the time to explore that yet.
- what do you when students cannot find keypals with matching interests, or when students lose interest in their keypals after one or two exchanges?
- how do you deal with differences in school calendars (course lengths, vacations, terms, etc.) and lack of access to computer rooms?
Feel free to email me if you have good ideas about any of the above!