Oya Oya

Teaching Practice 8
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students learn to write a formal letter (or email) of complaint. The lesson starts with a reading about an unsatisfactory meal Joseph Clements and his family had at a Cafe Royale restaurant and complete his letter with more formal alternatives. Then students will be taken through various stages that will enable them to write a letter of complaint. This includes the layout, sequence and common set phrases. Finally students write their own letter about hotel accommodation.


Abc • Latham-Koenig, C. & Oxenden, C. (2008) New English File Upper-intermediate SsBk Oxford

Main Aims

  • To enable students to develop their productive skills and provide writing practice of a formal e-mail of complaint in the context of hotel accommodation.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide students practice in reading for gist and specific information in the context of a formal letter of complaint about unsatisfactory meal at a restaurant.


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

Show a picture of the family on the board (PPT) and ask students 'What do you see?'. Tell Ss to work in pairs and check answers (open class). Ask Ss: - What would you do in this situation? - Would you stay silent or would you do something? - Who would you complain to? - In which situations would you complain? - What would you complain about? - Have you ever written a to a company, a shop, airlines, authorities or organisations in order to complain? What do we call such a letter? (A formal letter of complaint).

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

Tell Ss to read the letter and tell them not to worry about the missing words at this point. Let them answer the questions: - Who is the letter to? - Why is the problem? - What does the author of the letter hope to achieve? Set a time limit of 3 minutes. Check the answers. Tell Ss that when we write a formal letter/email we normally use a more formal kind of language. Show HO1 and set the task: - Complete the letter of Joseph Clements with the more formal alternative in each case. Set a time limit of 4 minutes. Get Ss to compare their answers with a partner. Check the answers.

Useful Language (6-8 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

Elicit the meaning of formal/informal if necessary - give examples: formal-letter to boss, CV, application forms; informal - letter to a friend. Point out that we do not use contractions in formal writings. Hand out Template letter and ask Ss to look it through (1 min). Highlight that a formal letter of complaint consists of 3 parts: Introduction, development and conclusion. Point out that we do not use Dear Manager to begin a letter, even if we don't know the person's name. Dear Sir / Madam should be used instead. Go through the Reason for writing and elicit possible continuations to the two sentences: - I am writing to complain about ... - I am writing regarding Elicit the expressions: - I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with ... - give me a full refund Focus on Typical endings an tell Ss we should only finish "Yours sincerely" when we know the name of the person. If not, "Yours faithfully" should be used.

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

Let Ss brainstorm typical problems they might have in a hotel (write them on the board): - You didn't get the room you had booked - The room was dirty / had not been cleaned - The receptionist was rude - The internet connection was not working reliably - Food was awful / tasteless; there was a little choice - Tv set / air condition was not working - There was no hot water - Smth was overprices; To pay extra money for a see view Tell Ss: - Decide where you were staying and imagine what problems there might have been. What kind of problems would you complain? - White 120-180 words, organised in 3 or 4 paragraphs (reason for writing, details of the problems, request for action). Use a formal style. Use the phrases from the template. Then check your letter for mistakes. Set a time limit of 15 minutes. Monitor the students. Help where needed.

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

Students hang their letters around the classroom. Ask them to stand up and read each other's letters and give feedback to each other if they find any mistakes. Monitor Ss and check the letters with them. During w/c feedback, write the students' mistake on the board and elicit the right answers from Ss. Show them funny pictures (PPT) and wish them a good summer holiday with high-class service.

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