GLTS English Learners and Arlington High School Spanish Students Practice Languages Through Pen Pal Program
Superintendent John Lavoie
57 River Rd, Andover,
For Immediate Release
Friday, June 15, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
GLTS English Leaners and Arlington High School Spanish Students Practice Languages Through Pen Pal Program
To practice their English and Spanish language skills, students from Greater Lawrence Technical School and Arlington High School participated in a pen pal program, writing letters to one another throughout the year.
On June 4, Arlington students arrived at GLTS to celebrate the success of the project, and participated in a morning of activities with their pen pals. This included a tour of the school, a salsa dancing lesson and an authentic cultural lunch prepared and served by GLTS students in the culinary arts department.
“I was happy to meet my pen pal! It was fun to learn from him,” said GLTS sophomore Monika Mercado, of Lawrence. “I really enjoyed spending time with him today and showing him around the school.”
Launched this year, the program is designed to not only assist students with their language skills, but to expose them to another culture and foster friendships with peers they may not have met otherwise.
“The pen pal program is a fun way for students to put what they’re learning in the classroom into practice,” Superintendent John Lavoie said. “Instead of a typical written homework assignment, students at GLTS and Arlington were able to have fun and meaningful conversations with their peers, some of whom developed real friendships.”
Throughout the school year, GLTS students who wanted to refine their English acquisition skills would write to Arlington students enrolled in Spanish on topics like culture, holidays and their schools.
Each letter focused on specific content and skills, so that students could practice their vocabulary and grammar and ensure that they grew in their abilities.
“My pen pal and I have a lot in common,” said Arlington junior Isabella Dray. “We both love art and music, so it was really fun! It felt really natural. We didn’t feel nervous or awkward because we’ve been writing letters all year so we really got to know each other.”