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Writing Formal Letters
Upper Intermediate level


In this lesson Ss learn how to write formal letters. The lesson starts with drawing Ss attention to the differences between formal and informal letters. They will be introduced to an advertisement called " BrainBoost " after which there will be a listening task. Ss in pairs are supposed to find out some details regarding a spoken complaint through a dialogue. this is followed by a text which is a formal letter of complaint by the same character. Ss are to notice the different language, ( Grammar, Vocabulary ),being used in the letter. Finally, when the words/phrases and punctuation appropriate for formal letters is presented to the Ss, then they will be given another situation in which they must find some problems and write a formal complaint letter about it.


Abc Course Book Page
Abc Course Book Page
Abc Vocab. List

Main Aims

  • To get Ss to write a Formal letter of complaint.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To introduse to Ss some common words and phrases used in a formal letter through a listening and a reading task.


Warm Up (2-4 minutes) • To engage Ss into the topic and get their minds ready for a listening task

Write: Formal Letter Vs. Informal Letter on the WB. Show the example letters to the class. Ask them if they can see any differences. Elicit answers like: Punctuation, Abbreviation, type of words, Grammar used, etc.

Listening for specific detail (7-10 minutes) • Practice listening skill by recording an audio task in the context of a conversation between a customer and a manager. To introduce to Ss an informal spoken complain language.

Show the advertisement by OH. Focus Ss on the advertisement. Ask Ss if they have seen similar advertisements before and if they have tried some. Set the questions and play the recording. Put Ss in pairs to compare and check answers as a whole class.

Presentation (10-15 minutes) • To focus on some detailed information from the recording in order to answer the question.

Put Ss in pairs and introduce the character and set the question. Ex. 2, Pg. 46. Tell Ss that the sentences are what Philip says not writes. Check answers as a class. Put Ss into pairs to underline the words/phrases he uses in Ex. 3 and discuss the question in b. Check answers and go through the language notes in the TB. Write the differences elicited from Ss on WB. Hand out the voc. list to Ss and have them match with phrases. Put Ss into pairs and ask them to do Ex. 3c. Monitor and help if necessary. Show Ss the vocab. list using OH. Ask the Ss to come to the board and match the formal and informal voc. Check the answers as WC.

Vocabulary (2-4 minutes) • Getting more formal voc. and phrases from the text for practice.

Give Ss a few min. to find the phrases in Ex. 4. Elicit some examples and ask the Ss to write them on the board. Check that Ss understand the phrases.

Controlled Practice (10-15 minutes) • To apply their knowledge of Grammar and Vocabulary used for Formal letters in order to write a formal letter of complaint in a different situation.

Hand out Pg. 139 from the CB. Get them to choose one of the languages. Put Ss in pairs to think of 4 things that might go wrong, and then elicit examples and write them on the board. Using the ideas on the board or their own ideas, Ss write the letter. Then exchange letters among Ss for them to see each other's letters.

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