Penpal Programs: In Primary Classrooms


160 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-55138-124-9
DDC 372.62'3044




Reviewed by Koos A. de Beer

Koos A. de Beer is an ESL instructor in Vancouver, B.C.


This 10-chapter book gives a detailed account of how to set up and
operate a penpal program for students in Grades 1 and 2. Chapter 1
covers the fundamental pedagogical function of a penpal program; it
discusses the program’s role in the overall development of a child’s
language skills, as well as how such a program fits into the language
arts curricular requirements. Chapter 2 details the basic components of
a penpal program, while Chapters 3 and 4 explore the relationship
between writers involved in the program. Implementing the program in the
classroom is the focus of Chapter 5. The remaining chapters look at how
the program fits into the overall language development program. The
book, which includes examples of letter exchanges, clearly demonstrates
the effectiveness of penpal programs in language development.


Berrill, Deborah P., and Molly Gall., “Penpal Programs: In Primary Classrooms,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,