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Duffy Students Corresponding with South Korean Penpals

Students on both sides of the world are honing their letter writing skills and establishing a true global connection.

Over a hundred students at West Hartford's Duffy Elementary are now connecting with pen pals in Seoul, South Korea.

John Weeke, a Duffy graduate from 1998, is teaching English in Seoul and contacted Duffy 5th grade teachers this fall to see if the students could build a global connection.

The Duffy and Korean students are busy writing their letters and will mail them this week. The students are anxiously awaiting the letters and getting matched to their pen pal.

Katie Simpson a Duffy 5th grader said, “I really like the idea of meeting new people in different countries. I hope I keep my pen pal for a long time.”

The Korean students have had some English lessons since Kindergarten and their language proficiency ranges from basic to fluent. Lessons are being taught in letter writing format and Duffy students are defining slang and difficult vocabulary.

“We want to teach formal letter writing to the students and hold on to this dying art,” said Clare Taylor a Duffy 5th grade teacher.

The school year in South Korea ends in February so the students will have four months to exchange letters. “After February we don’t know who will continue; some of the students’ parents have kept a pen pal for 20 or 30 years,” shared Ms. Taylor.

Fifth grade student Emily, Eunseok Elementary School, in Seoul, South Korea wrote in her letter, “Do you know a song named "강남스타일" (Gangnam Style)? It's very popular song. PSY made it. My favorite singer is him. Do you want to see him? If I can I'll send you a picture.”

In the next two weeks over 200 students will have a global connection and start learning about one another.

For more information contact Clare Taylor at Duffy Elementary 860-521-0110.

Submitted by Duffy Elementary School

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