Tag Archives: BIBPenpals

A message to Young People in the USA: PeopleToPeople.com and Building International Bridges Penpals can expand your world

29 May

Building International Bridges was created in 2004 to carry on the work of Brooks Emeny.  Brooks was an early participant in People to People International, which was started by President Eisenhower.  Learn more at www.PeopleToPeople.com

The key observation:  Sometimes governments don’t communicate well.  At least with people-to-people efforts, the lines of communication can remain open between countries.

Brooks was a university professor and he visited Iran, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, India, and met professors in those countries.  That’s an example of a people-to-people connection.


You can connect with students in person or by Skype.
Make safe connections via http://www.BIBPenpals.com
by following the guidelines: (1) Keep a parent or other adult in the room to monitor the skype calls


Guideline (2): if the other person is rude or “too friendly” or makes you uncomfortable, contact BIB Penpals and stop talking with the person.
+1 954 646 8246


The images on this page are from the PeopleToPeople.com website. The purpose of presenting these images to you is to encourage you to visit their website.
BIBPenpals.com is not affiliated with PeopletoPeople.com


Remember, only you can prevent negative experiences from happening. Smile, don’t give out personal information, use an email address that you don’t usually use…

If you visit http://www.PeopleToPeople.com, you will find these announcements.Image

USE COMMONSENSE when connecting with people you don’t know.

(If commonsense were common, we wouldn’t have to point out these tips)

a) don’t give out personal information, such as your address or phone number

b)  don’t travel to meet the other person

c)  don’t take risks

d) don’t sue the people who set up this website.  We’re teachers and we want to connect students to encourage  peer-to-peer learning

If you have the money, why not connect with PeopleToPeople.com?

If you don’t have the funds necessary to travel, learn more about the penpal program via Skype and Facebook …


A Skype text conversation with Davit of Armenia: A search for conversation partners

13 Dec

Here is a request from a student in Armenia

1)  he has some good suggestions for “history of Armenia”

2)  he really wants to study   I think he is 17 years old and already in university

he could be a good role model for students in the USA

c)  he wants to practice his English by talking on Skype with students and teachers in the USA

Can you help?  He is 9 hours ahead of East Coast USA

This conversation was at 11 am in Florida, so it was 20 hours (8 pm) in Armenia

his email address is dave.vanyan@mail.ru

:03:45 Steve: how are your studies?

:03:54 AM] davitvanyan95: very well

:04:02 AM] davitvanyan95: i enterd university

:04:22 AM] davitvanyan95: i want to speak diiferent students and lecturer

:04:40 AM] davitvanyan95: please say they my skaype and they will call me


:05:05 Steve: perhaps you can create a group of students and I will get a group of students

:05:18 Steve: i will be meeting with a teacher on SATURDAY at 10:30 am in my house

:05:35 Steve: Maybe 10 am

:05:39 AM] davitvanyan95: i want to speak soo much

:06:01 AM] davitvanyan95: because i want to improve my speech and accent

:06:35 Steve: can you call me on skype at 19:00 hours on Saturday?

:06:44 Steve: I will have a friend who is a teacher and you can practice with him, too/


:06:45 AM] davitvanyan95: have you students ?can i speak with them right now

:06:58 AM] davitvanyan95: please say him email?


:06:59 Steve: I am very busy now  … but my friend Matthew has students.

:07:08 Steve: i can perhaps create a group of students to talk with you.


:07:13 AM] davitvanyan95: or adress skaype

:07:17 AM] davitvanyan95: ok want


This is what the Armenian language looks like. This is an excerpt from a transcription of Ken Robinson’s speech to TED Talks.

:07:47 Steve: i will give more students your skype address

:07:53 Steve: do you have facebook?

:08:53 Steve: my facebook is  www.facebook.com/theguideontheside

:08:56 Steve: please find me.

:09:02 Steve: then i can connect you to my students


:09:50 AM] davitvanyan95: i find you

:09:50 Steve: another teacher is Dennis Yuzenas.  his father was from Lithuania.   dyuzenas@oapb.org

:10:15 AM] davitvanyan95: can you write him skaype adress

:10:18 Steve: you can write to Dennis now and ask for his students to contact you.  he is a history teacher and maybe you can ask his students to learn about your coutnry’s history.   HOw about Turkey in 1912…

:10:40 Steve: yuzenas does not have skype…. but his students have skype.  Write to him directly.

:10:58 Steve: Many teachers are private with their email addresses but you can talk with Matt (my teacher friend) on saturday.  is that a good plan?

:00 AM] davitvanyan95: ok

:15:48 Steve: i will send you some youtube videos to see my friend yuzenas in the classroom

:15:48 AM] davitvanyan95: ok ask them to call me

:15:59 Steve: yes, i will ask them to write to you and ask their studnets to call you.


:16:37 AM] davitvanyan95: ok thank you

:16:37 Steve: I am looking for some videos about history.  Do you have a recommendation on youtube?   what are good videos about armenia?

:18:58 Steve: is this a good video?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP7X3gcBaAY

:19:09 Steve: i want to find a good history of Armenia to show my students


:20:54 AM] davitvanyan95: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Armenia


:22:26 Steve: excellent!   but i need to know if this is accurate.


:22:39 AM] davitvanyan95: http://armenia-tv.ru/the-armenian-genocide/


:22:41 Steve: do you agree with the information in wikipedia about Armenia?  Does the article tell the truth?


:22:50 AM] davitvanyan95: everything about armenian is true


:22:52 Steve: yes, the genocide that video will be important

:23:19 Steve: thank you I will show this information to my students.    What is your hope for the future?   What are the problems and what are the solutions for Armenia?


DAVIT:  Armenia is developing coutry

davitvanyan95: but our  country is  not so rich

 davitvanyan95: http://go.mail.ru/search_video?q=armenian%20hystory&fr=web_videorb#d=3598256660&sig=3a11b6c15f&i=3_zjoTYRMgU&s=youtube

This message  is for teachers and students in the USA.  Please contact Davit.  he wants to practice English by Skype.

you can start by finding him on FACEBOOK and by writing to his email address

EMAIL   dave.vanyan@mail.ru


This message is given to Dennis Yuzenas and Matt Blazek and Omar Vasile… please think about how we can get some students to contact Davit.

I’m also sending this message to Michael Mayo, a reporter who writes for the Sun Sentinel  mmayo@tribune.com…  (a talented writer). 

Learn more at www.Youtube.com/bibpenpals.

Learn about Pikifriends…. let’s collaborate (Isn’t that the core message of BIB?)

9 Jun

I’ve learned much about how to engage students with the lesson plans at PikiFriends.

I’ve had some requests from readers of my other sites  www.GuideontheSide.com and TransformTeaching.org to explain the principles of “lecturing less” and becoming a guide on the side.   The key principles are

a)  listening to what students want to learn

b)  sharing with students the research about what experts think will be needed by employees and workers of the future

c)  taking time to link students to “collaborative skills.”   Show students that they don’t need to re-invent the wheel, just collaborate with others.

For example, the BIBPenpals work connects nicely with Dominos For Schools and the work of PikiFriends.

Here’s a link that I suggest to teachers and students:


I’m impressed with the organization and passion of the lessons on this site.  I’m going to recommend that teachers who take my courses look at pikifriends.wordpress.com.     Steve McCrea    trainer.   www.EdutechFoundation.net  and  www.TransformTeaching.org
Send more suggestions to BIBPenpals@yahoo.com.   
Steve McCrea
Building International Bridges    +1 954 646 8246  if you want to chat.  
Sometimes a phone call is faster than setting up a skype call
SKYPE   SteveEnglishTeacher

“What type of American English is most acceptable?”

9 Jun

See the following question.

A student asks what English most U.S. people consider to be the most acceptable within the union.

1)  The word “union” is quaint and sophisticated.  “These United States” eventually became, “The United States,” suggesting one piece.  The questioner is possibly a student of history.

2)  The short answer is “Tom Brokaw.”   A longer answer appears below:


not Southern
not Boston
not valley girl california
not Texas
not New Joisey   (New Jersey)
not NOOOO yawk
not WisCON shin    wis CAAAAHN sin   
Ask a central question: Who makes a good news reader?   Tom Brokaw,  Jane Pauley, …
 Midwest without the open “GAAAAD” when they say “God.”     
Another newsreader = Brian Williams… born in Ridgeway, New Jersey.   Some people from New Jersey can avoid a strong accent.
 The important parts to keep are a clear RRR sound and to make sure the word DOG and SAW have the same vowel sound.  … and HOT DOG needs to have two separate sounds.   You can learn more at http://www.BestEnglishSite.com or by searching for a pronunciation video.   http://www.Youtube.com/FreeEnglishLessons and look for “It Sounds Like”…
Questions?  Write to BIBPenpals@yahoo.com