OUR PEN FRIENDS IN BERLIN

Report: Class 7, The Sir Bernard Lovell School, Bristol

An exciting project!

First of all, Lisa, our German assistant, brought us letters from a school in Berlin. They were from students who were our age but in year six. Some of the pupils had unusual names but they do the same kind of activities we do, for example playing football. What was different was the handwriting. It was sometimes difficult to read. We were impressed with their English because it seemed so much better than our German, but this is because they started learning English earlier than we started learning German.

Findings about life in Germany

We were shocked to find out that they start school a lot earlier than us. They start at 7.30 in the morning and they have school on Saturdays. Some of us would actually like to start earlier and go home before lunch. They are also lucky that they don’t have to wear a school uniform, but they have the same subjects as us. They also told us what they got for Christmas and some of them told us their e-mail addresses.

Our answers in German!

We were a bit nervous about answering back in German, because we didn't know if they would understand. Some of us were very excited about using our German to communicate with real people. Then we had to wait. When we finally had a reply we heard that there had been a fire in their school and that's why it had taken so long. We were disappointed when half the class didn't get a reply. Those who did get a reply, and had a letter addressed to them personally, felt a bit more special. And we found out that they had been doing a fashion show and a cake sale. They also went to see a theatre performance.

First contacts with new friends

Some of us were really excited because now they had a personal e-mail address to reply to. Steph was very lucky and continued personal contact via e-mail: “In the beginning it was really hard to understand because she wrote in German. Then she wrote in English but all her words were jumbled around. She asked me how I was and what I liked and she told me about her favourite stars.”

It'd be great if all of us had their own pen friend because that would allow us to communicate at our own pace and in our own time. It would be great if you could also start writing to someone in Germany.