I don't find many cultural differences in our communication.
What i only found has mentioned above--American students don't study
too hard--actually that's not difference, because the students in Taiwan
do not study hard, either! :)
But I found some things that in this email penpaling,if you show your sincerity
and concerns first, then the other side would react in the same way;
that's where the friendship starts. i remember that when I told Cynthia
my college life in Taiwan, she also replied to me in detail about her life.
Most importantly, teacher may need to watch an
on the student to email every week, or student would be lazy(so
did I :) )! But sometimes there are things we can't control
or expect. For
example, some students never know how to email until this
Also, teachers can suggest some topics which can arise the
curiosity either the American side or Taiwanese side so that we can
the first month with the computer problems
I think I am really enjoying in this activity. Rebecca is an active
person who is easy to get along with and talking to her is a happy thing.
We will still keep in touch even after this activity. In these
letters, we have exchanged some opinions and experiences. She has
also sometimes correct my English. I think this activity really do
some help to me.
Four of our letters are about my research paper, but I haven't let Kim
read my whole research paper. In my nineth letter, I will attach
my rp to Kim.
Besides, we always write long letters. Kim really helps me a lot
by teaching me how to write.
(switched to writing journals)
. . . By the way, my correspondence pal--Karen just
replied my last message... Her problem is right on her computer since she
can only reply mails but not send them.....She would like to keep in touch
with me whether this requirement is fulfilled or not....
I got pleasure from e-mailing to my American tutor.
Knowing someone far away from me is quite an interesting thing for me.
Though we only had emailed once a week, I learned something from my tutor.
In the beginning, I wanted to learn how to write a good paper and I did
ask my tutor about the difference between description and narration paper,
and how to write a good research paper. She only replied the former
one. Maybe the latter one is too hard to tell in the simple words.
Actually, she prefers to tell me something about the cultural background
of United States.
Besides, she is much more interested in my personal life and viewpoints.
She asked me a lot of questions and I did my best to reply them.
The only weakness of this is the tutor may not correct our mistakes
of the emails.
I really enjoy the writing with Maggie. From her writing it's a good
chance to learn phrases or vocabulary. Most of time, it's like a
sharing of value and our life experience.
Sometimes I feel that we can not go deeper into the issue we wrote, maybe
it's because that we are not familiar with each other.
Besides, I found that the purposes are different. I originally think
that she would help me on my writing, so I wrote about my composition more.
In her letters she often wrote some cultural issue. In the beginning of
April I sent her my reasearch paper since she said I can feel free to do
this. However, after that she didn't write to me as much as brefore.
Even though I wrote her that it's not necessary for her to give comment
to me. She havn't written to me yet. I really
mind if my research paper troubles her.
Once she wrote the story of Jesus that I am not very interested in because
I already read it in my freshman year. In the situation like this,
I tried to start a new topic. Sometimes, the question I asked she
didn't reply, too.
I don't know if it is good for us to talk about our boy friends in the
activity; but we DID! By the way, I've also learned one thing from
it, about the cultural difference. The reason we started to talk
about our boys was because Sarah told me that she was engaged and was going
to marry next summer. I felt so shocked why she was so "brave" to
tell me that. As a Chinese, it's hard to start the kind of conversation,
especially to a new acquaintance. However, Sarah informed me in the
first mail of introduction. Since she felt so easy to tell me that,
why couldn't I?
In the mails, I asked Sarah to correct my mistakes. She told me that
she was very surprised that a ESL could use her
mother tongue so fluently. And she told me that those mistakes
were not such a big deal. I found the mistakes she corrected
were those I thought "It could be all right IN ORAL."
I think the benefits of the experience is that we could just put
our knowledge into practice directly. We learn in the English
Dept. and contact with it everyday. Although we are asked to
speak English in school, it is not enough for us to get used to the
language. I think it has to do with our ESL environment in Taiwan.
Our e-mailing sounded more like doing homework than interchanging our friendship.
I did not say this before, because we were interested in the thinking of
Now that she has accomplished her requirements, she stops
sending more letters to me. I would not blame her, maybe this
is the American way, "time is money". There are other reasons for
her to stop e-mailing me, she is graduating and soon getting marry.
She is careful when she wanted to ask about my belief. This
the way she asked me about it, "What kind of temple will you be going
to for prayer? I hope you are not uncomfortable with talking about
I gave to her my Po-box address, I hope she would write to me.
Although I noticed that it might be difficult to keep a friend through
line, especially if you have not seen the person.
I like this project very much. It is much more interesting and helpful
than writing journals, and I have learned a lot from my partner and his
First, from this project I get more chances to expose to the real and native
My partner gives me a lot of suggestions about my problems I mentioned
in letters, which helps me very much.
However, inevitably there are some difficulties I met in this project.
This first one is the infrequency of our contact.
Secondly, my partner and I are not really familiar with each other before
we started to contact with each other by e-mail. Therefore, sometimes
we don't know what we have to say in letters, it makes the letters serious
and boring. Truly, I am sure this situation will be improved after
we have known each other for a longer time. However, since this project
just lasts for a short period of time, the problem could not be solved
during the project time.
||7 or 8
||7 or 8
The most stunning thing to me is that the other side is patient and tolerant
to my late response. Most of the time, I could not reply the mail immediately
and delay the proceedings. She would try to be understanding and not get
mad at my lateness.
The most important thing I share with her is the situation of cram school
in Taiwan. I've told her that cram school is very common in Taiwan. We
have all types of cram school all around. She felt quite interested in
this phenomenon and asks me many questions about what a cram school is