Dear friends - Letter exchange as an intercultural and multilingual tool
The letter exchange is a technique useful for different contexts: it can be used in a multilingual way, with a technological support, involving local and foreign children, youngsters, adults.
The aims are different, according to the different contexts. In general, the main aims are:
- to create and keep relationships with people from different Countries;
- to overcome the geographical and cultural isolation;
- to get know and deep the intercultural awareness;
- to stimulate the global and international identity.
The adopted methodology is inspired by the cooperative and non formal education, with a multilingual and intercultural approach.
The letter exchange is a technique used since different centuries to build, keep and take care of relationships around the world. In our time, social media and networks are characterized by fast messages and immediate answers. In this context, the letter exchange can be converted into different ways, as a multilingual and intercultural creative tool. In this way, it is not opposite, but complementary to the new technologies.
1) To look for people or groups, to start a letter exchange;
2) To meet the partners, to decide how to manage the letter exchange (duration, regularity, materials);
3) Letter exchange (or postcards, pictures), using different techniques (web postcards, caviardage, calligraphy, font design);
4) Final meeting (on-site or by skype).
The choice of materials depens on the target group and the contexts. The basic materials are: paper sheets, folders, pens or pencils. They can also be used: postcards, different kinds of paper, glue, scissors, printed words or sentences, pictures, photocamera, videocamera, pc, projector.
The final outcomes change according to the different target groups, the different contexts and learning objectives. They can be linked to the linguistic competences (mother tongue, second or foreign language); to the awareness towards the achieved competences; to the self-expression; to the team building.
The evaluation can present quantitative parametres (e.g. exchange regularity, number of involved participants/Countries, linguistic level of a written text) or qualitative ones (e.g. positive relationships, capacity of self-expression, team cooperation, context improvement).
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