Honors Summer Enrichment Award: A Quest to Find the Perfect French Speaking Pen Pal

Receiving the Honors Summer Enrichment Award has allowed me to continue working on my fluency in French.   I practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing with Rosetta Stone.  Additionally, I speak with a pen pal who is fluent in French and English.  Her name is Hana Francioni, and she lives in Morocco!  Hana and I speak mainly in French, but when I make a mistake or cannot understand what she is saying, she explains in English.  The combination of studying with Rosetta Stone and communicating with a fluent speaker has helped me progress greatly.  During July, I plan to start reading a French novel.  I am deciding between Le Petit Nicolas by Goscinny and Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry.

Unfortunately, I have faced several challenges this summer.  First, finding time to practice with Rosetta Stone can be difficult with two jobs, vacation, and other commitments.  To overcome this challenge, I have adjusted how much I speak to Hana or use Rosetta Stone daily.  I usually fluctuate between fifteen minutes and an hour with a few off days.  Another challenge I faced was initially finding a pen pal.  There are a plethora of different websites that help locate pen pals from different countries.  Finding the perfect site and pen pal was…interesting, to say the least. After several failed attempts and messages from foreign males looking for a romantic pen pal, I decided to try PenPal World.  This site is safe and provided me with many great options.  Hana and I started talking on June 3 and we are becoming good friends.  Overall, I am having fun trying to advance in my fluency and look forward to the rest of summer!

Mary Funderlich

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