Writing a business letter
low-intermediate level


In this lesson Ss learn how to write a letter in correct business format. The lesson starts with a discussion about the reasons Ss can think of for writing a business letter. This is followed by showing Ss a complaint business letter and practicing some gist and detailed questions. Then engage Ss in couple of controlled practice which analyse and review the paragraph organisation, connecting words, expressions and the main components of a formal business letter, Finally apply a free group practice of business letter writing and allow Ss to present their production for peer correction and feedback.


Abc Business letter HO
Abc Lead-in Photo
Abc Whiteboard and markers
Abc colored labeling tags
Abc Situation Box

Main Aims

  • Writing: To provide product writing practice of a letter in the context of business format.

Subsidiary Aims

  • Vocabulary: provide clarification, review and practice of business style in the context of complaint.


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

* Show Ss the slide of the Lead-in Photo on OHP. * Discuss with Ss how they can describe the feeling of people appeared in the photo and what reasons might be behind those feelings. * Ask Ss in-pairs to think about 5 reasons for writing a business letter. * give Ss a chance to brainstorm and then discuss their outcomes and list down the reasons on board.

Exposure (8-10 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading

* Give Ss the Business Letter HO. * Write on board some gist and detailed questions as a purpose for reading the letter, ex: - Is this the first contact between the sender and the receiver? - What is the relationship between the sender and receiver? - What is the purpose (reason) of sending this letter? - What type of business letter is this? * Ask Ss to read the letter individually and silently. * In-pairs Ss answer Qs on board. * Get response from whole class for the questions on board.

Useful Language (10-15 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

* Refer Ss to the Business letter HO to discuss and analyse the letter through asking CCQs regarding: - style (formal/informal) - letter components - number of paragraphs and the purpose of each - connecting words and expressions used * Divide the class into 4 groups. # Task (1): * Give each group 8 colored labeling tags and the worksheet of labeling HO. * Ask Ss to use each colored tag to label the correct part of the letter (give Ss 3 min. for this task) * Ask Ss to exchange their worksheets together for peer correction. * Give the whole class Feedback on board. # Task (2): * Set a race between the four groups on the gap-fill worksheet. * Ask Ss to match the questions about each part of the business letter with the correct definition. * After having a winner group, give the whole class Feedback on board. * Give Ss an example of a complaint business letter with components clarification as a reference of business letter format.

Productive Task(s) (15-18 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

* In groups of three each ask Ss to choose blindly one of the situations in the box. * Explain to Ss that the picked situation is an introduction part from a business letter. * What teams have to do is to brainstorm and create the rest components of the compliant business letter that fits to complete the scenario of this situation. * Inform Ss that they have 15 minutes to finish writing their letters. * Ask Ss to pay attention to the formality format of their letters. * Let Ss write the letters, working collaboratively. * Monitor Ss' progress and give any necessary help.

Feedback and Error Correction (10-12 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

* Each team assigns one presenter to show their business letter on OHP for the class. * Ask the rest of Ss to listen carefully to the presenters and take notes about what they might see as error in writing a formal business letter. * After presentations, run a discussion with Ss giving error correction and feedback.

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