willjgregg willjgregg

TP 8
Intermediate level


This is a product-based writing lesson in which students complete a job application letters. First, students are exposed to the model text. Then, students organize their ideas after the target language is highlighted. Having been given time to write, students exchange papers and find jobs for one another.


Abc model
Abc business cards
Abc list of useful words
Abc useful language highlights

Main Aims

  • To provide product writing practice for writing a cover letter.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide gist and detailed reading practice using a cover letter.


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

I start the lesson with sharing a little about my work history. Writing four jobs up on the board, I ask students to pick which one I've never done. I say which job was my favorite and which was my least favorite, and students discuss the same in groups.

Exposure (6-8 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading.

Pre-Teach: Human Resources, dexterity On the whiteboard is projected a model cover letter. Students answer the following questions and read for one minute: What is she applying for for? Would you hire her? Students discuss answers with their partners. Then, students read for two minutes to answer the following questions: How old is she? What does she say that she is "known for?" I gather a few answers from students collectively.

Useful Language (10-12 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Using the whiteboard, I elicit the various stages of a cover letter from students and write up some useful formulas for expressing themselves formally. It's important to take adequate care with this stage, because it effects whether students feel confident and prepared to write in the next stage.

Productive Task(s) (14-18 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

On the board, write "I want to be a _____________." Students can think of something they want to be now, in the future, or something they wanted to be when they were younger. Students are given about a minute to do this, and I have a chance to help them with vocabulary if necessary. Pre-teach: Hiring Agency Once students have thought of something, they are asked to write a cover letter to a potential employer detailing why they are suited for their ideal position. Students are told that they have about 10 minutes to write and that they should cover all of the components: the salutation, the reason for applying, personal qualifications, and their previous experience (if any). If students need more time, it can be given to them. ICQ: How many minutes? Can you write more than [gesture at board]? Yes! Be creative!

Feedback and Error Correction (8-10 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

Pre-teach: Employment Agency Next, students are arranged into three or four groups. Then, the groups compile all of their cover letters and swap them. Next, students are told that they work for a employment agency. These are the cover letters that they have gotten in this week. All of these people *desperately* need jobs, and they must find a job for each person, even if it isn't a good fit. Then, each group is given a stack of job advertisements. As a group, they will read the advertisements and the cover letters and match applicants to jobs. ICQ's: Does each person need a job? Yes. Should you decide alone or with your group? With your group. FB: Monitoring and error correction. After the activity is over, each student gets his/her cover letter back with their new job attached.

(Flex) Peer Feedback (4-6 minutes) • To give students additional feedback on their writing

If there is time, groups will be asked if they would change anything about the cover letters they have read. They are told to mark the changes using sticky notes.

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