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Sunday 1:15 - 2:05 PM
Writing to Communicate: Using E-mail Penpals to Cross Borders
Kristin Helland, Seoul National University
Victoria Muehleisen, Waseda University 
Click Here to see a copy of the Handout for this presentation

As the possibilities of modern technology become widely available in classrooms all over the world, an email penpal project offers the potential for educators to make a positive contribution to globalization while improving their students' English. Communicating through email brings a new and exciting element to the old idea of penpals. Although setting up a supervised class-to-class project requires some effort on the part of the teacher, the benefits are many. 

This presentation will describe a cross-national email penpal project first implemented in 1998 by two university teachers in Japan and Korea. They will describe how they initially got the project off the ground, the steps they followed to bring it to fruition, and the benefits their students derived from participating in the project. They will provide guidelines for other teachers who wish to try the same kind of activity in their classes, and will answer questions from the audience. 

Kristin Helland currently teaches at Seoul National University in Korea.  This is her fourth year in Korea.  She received her MA in TESOL from San Francisco State University, and her BA in Cultural Anthropology and MA in Latin Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has worked in various capacities in the field of education including research and administration in migrant education and literacy programs.  Her interests include computer-assisted instruction, multicultural and global education, and curriculum development.

Victoria Muehleisen has been teaching English at the Institute of Language Teaching in Waseda  University , Tokyo since 1994.  While working in Japan, she finished her dissertation on antonymy in English, receiving her Ph.D. in linguistics from Northwestern University (Illinois, USA) in 1997.  Her research interests include semantics, corpus linguistics, computer-assisted language instruction, and the use of video in language teaching.