Communication is more than just understanding what the other is saying. Not only does the language in which you communicate with each other vary from country to country, but each country also has its own communication culture that sometimes differs greatly from yours. It is therefore important (especially in the initial phase) that you follow up on this information exchange properly.
UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER - LITERALLY
Your colleagues from the partner school will not have the same mother tongue as you. Therefore, look for a common working language for your school link and make sure that at least one person in your working group masters this language. As an option, you can involve parents to translate notes, or you can use translation software available online. In addition, a school link is the perfect opportunity for you and your colleagues to learn a new language, which you can immediately practice with your partner school.
THE RIGHT MEANS OF COMMUNICATION
Different cultures of communication exist in different countries: while people often use e-mail in one country, Facebook or WhatsApp may be more popular in another. Are you looking for an effective communication method for your school link? Experiment to find out what works for both schools. You can also combine different channels: discuss an activity by telephone, for example, and then send a short report afterwards via Facebook.
MAKE SOUND AGREEMENTS
Draft a schedule for your communication. This way you prevent your school link from being neglected during busy periods at school. Adhere as much as possible to the pre-determined contact moments and make practical agreements about who initiates the communication, and when. Make sure that one person keeps an overview of all agreements and to do's, but at the same time, keep your communication as broad as possible and involve as many colleagues as possible. In addition, avoid interpreting (the lack of) communication. Don’t have the time to reply extensively to an e-mail? Send a quick message to confirm that you have received it to avoid misunderstandings. Remember that radio silence does not necessarily mean disapproval or a lack of interest.