Key Pals and Mailing Lists: Interactive Communication

by Randall S. Davis

"Sharing ideas is what the Internet is all about!"

- Randall Davis



Purpose of Lesson:
  • You should know how to use a variety of Internet tools including keypal exchanges and chat as a way of communicating with others.

How can I find Keypals on the Web?

So far, we have talked about how to set up an e-mail account and how to write clear and effective messages. Now we need to find people to write. There are many places where you can find "keypals" (pen friends) on the Web.

Before you begin start searching for keypals at these sites, there are a few things you should remember:

  • always follow the guidelines of Netiquette that were discussed earlier which includes giving out personal information. Most people visiting these sites are just interested in making friends, but there are a few strange people, too. Just use common sense when writing and responding to messages;
  • start by just browsing the lists before you ever submit your name or a message;
  • consider contacting one or two people first to see the response you receive before you send your own message. Because hundreds or thousands of people will be able to view your message, there is the possiblity that you might receive a flood of e-mail messsages. Start small.
Here is a very short list of keypal sites, and each has its own features. You can also use a search engine to find more using keywords like "penpal":
  • CyberFriends: Find key pals by age, country, gender, and even see their pictures.
  • PenPal Garden: A very big site with over 8,500 key pal members.
  • Students of the World: Site has cultural information (geography, maps, statistics, photos...) on countries through interactive maps, plus penfriends
  • Pen Pal Party: A nice website for finding friends from over 130 countries.
  • PenPal Network: Another excellent site with good search capabilities. Free membership required.
  • Google Pen Pal Directory: Links to many other Penfriend groups.
If you are asking someone to answer a survey you have created, you could use this simeple message:
Hi _____,

My name is ___________, and I am studying English at the University of Utah (in the United States). In my writing class, I am doing research on the topic of ____________, and I am collecting information from people like you who could take a minute or so to answer some questions. Please visit my Webpage at the link below and then click on the Survey link:

You can also read more about me. Thank you for your help.



What are Mailing Lists and Discussion Groups?

Discussion groups on the Web are places where you can post and read messages about topics from learning English to Pop music. The ESL Discussion Center is one place to begin.

Mailing list for learners of allow members to send e-mail messages to the entire group. Be careful. You might receieve several hundred e-mail messages if you join very popular mailing lists. Visit Yahoo and search the listing of some mailing lists. One list you might consider starting with is Mailing list for learners of English.


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 by Randall S. Davis, All rights reserved.