To provide process and product writing practice of a email in the context of travelling
To provide specific information in the context of travel by reading and speaking.
Procedure (60-73 minutes)
Greet the Ss and discuss how their day was so far. Tell the Ss a story about yourself, when you probably planned to travel to a far of destination as a vacation. Discuss the things you had to consider before travelling .e.g. guidebooks, internet, costs, culture, food, history etc. Then try to elicit, from where one can usually get this info (travel agent) and ask if they have ever requested information from a travel agent before.
Ask the class to stand up and make a semi-circle based on the times and places they have traveled to, with the person who has traveled the most standing on the right and least on the left. Then select two Ss with the most experience and two with the least and make a group. Likewise, make three groups at least. Once they settle down, explain that they will be emailing a tourist info centre/ travel agent in a city/country of their choice to get info of that place. Make pairs and ask them to decide on a place they want to visit (preferably some foreign country like China, Turkey etc). Give them a few minutes to do so.
Tell the class that before they write their emails, they are going to go through some of the rules of email writing. i) Ask them what style of writing they would use, if writing a letter to e.g. a prospective employer. The answer is formal. ii) Then ask what style of writing they would use to email a close friend. The answer is informal. iii) Finally ask what style of writing they would use if emailing a formal recipient. The answer is semi-formal. Ask them what style of writing should be used to write to a tourist information centre (semi-formal). Then ask them to discuss in pairs. Take FB and check if they've understood.
Give out the cut up strips (worksheets 1, 2a and 3) and ask them to group them into a formal letter, a semi-formal email and an informal email, and then to put the strips into the right order. Go round checking. Tell the students that you are going to focus on the semi-formal email because emailing has become the main means of communication and so it is important to know the conventions of this style of writing. Give the pairs a copy of the semi-formal email as an example of a good email (worksheet 2b) and a copy of the ‘bad email’ (worksheet 4). Ask them to draw two columns on a piece of paper and write the headings Dos and Don’ts at the top. The students then compare the two emails and try to discover the rules of writing a good email. They should write the rules in the correct column. Give them about 10 minutes to do this. Go round the classroom asking for the rules they discovered, and write them up on the board under Dos and Don’ts. Ask them to work in pairs and write an email based on the model email worksheet and use the decided rules written on the board. Help them with the tasks and give feedback in the end.
When they have finished writing, ask the students to swap emails with another pair and ask them to proof-read each other’s emails. Go round giving each pair feedback helping them with any mistakes they may have made. Then ask students to try to find the email address of the tourist information centre of their chosen place. When they have the address, ask them to use their own email accounts to write their email to the information centre. This means they will receive an answer to their own email addresses.
Ask the students to email another pair with their questions (as well as the tourist information centre). That pair can then use the Internet to research the answers to the questions and reply to the email with the answers. This will give the students extra practice of emailing, and also give them valuable practice of using the Internet for research purposes in English. Take FB and give suggestions.