In ESL classrooms, I would use this website to make students be able to 1) write well-formatted and well-organized emails, and 2) understand and imagine lives of ePals who are living in different ways from the students. More specifically, in a culture class (I can say this is an ESL writing class which is based on cultural contents), I will use the tool for having students compare and contrast (similarities and differences between) the students’ lives and their ePals’. I will first divide the students into some groups each of which explores one country with the members, which means the group members ask an ePal/ePals to obtain information about their lives. The activity gives the students many chances to carefully think what questions they need to ask, and what type of register they will need to write in when they ask questions. After collecting information and summarizing it, they will give presentations and upload their written work on the website so that all classmates can share the information.
ePals looks a wonderfully useful tool for teachers in finding online friends for students while protecting their privacies, monitoring their work, and motivating them to study by themselves.