John Conrad John Conrad

Copy of Writing Emails Lesson Plan
UW+ level


The main focus will be on writing semi-formal emails, and the students will send an email to a tourist information center of their choice using the rules they will have studied in the lesson.


Main Aims

  • To teach or revise the rules of writing emails in English by studying the differences between formal, semi-formal, and informal emails.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To have students send an email to a tourist information center and hopefully receive a reply.


Warmer (8-10 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

1. Elicit students what factors are important for them when they are choosing a holiday (e.g., weather, accommodations, activities, costs, culture, food, history, etc.). 2. Elicit students where they usually get information about a holiday destination (e.g., guidebooks, Internet, recommendations from friends, etc.). 3. Place the students into pairs and tell them to try and decide on a place in the world that they would both like to visit. Give them a few minutes to discuss this and then go around the class asking where each pair would like to go.

Exposure (20-24 minutes) • To provide a model of the task and highlight useful words and phrases

1. Present to the class that they will be emailing a tourist information center in a city of their choice to get information about that place. Before they write their emails, elicit some of the rules of email writing: * Ask the students what style of writing they would use if writing a letter to a prospective employer (formal). * Ask what style of writing they would use to email a close friend (informal). * Ask what style of writing they would use if emailing a formal recipient (semi-formal). * Ask what style of writing they should use to write to a tourist information center (semi-formal). 2. Tell the students that they will be focusing 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. 3. Give the student pairs a copy of the "good email" worksheet, a copy of the "bad email" worksheet, and a copy of the "do's and don'ts" worksheet. The student then compare the 2 emails and try to discover the rules of writing a good email. They should write the rules in the correct column. 4. Go around the class eliciting the rules they discovered and write them on the board under "do's and don'ts" columns. 5. Suggested "do's and don'ts" are in Teacher's Notes worksheet. 6. Hand out to students 3 worksheets (formal / semi-formal / informal emails) pre-cut into strips. Ask the students to group them into a 3 separate emails (formal / semi-formal / informal) and in the correct order. 7. Review and elicit the rules of email writing and ask if the emails apply the rules generally.

Task (16-18 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

1. Tell students that they are going to write an email (on paper) to a tourist information center of the city of their choice asking for any information they require. Tell them to use the model semi-formal email as an example and to follow the list of "do's and don'ts" they have constructed. 2. Place students in pairs. Go around the class reminding them of the rules and helping with any language problems. 3. When they have finished writing, ask the students to swap emails with another pair and ask them to proof-read each other's emails.

Report (5-7 minutes) • To allow students to report on how they did the task and how it went

1. Elicit feedback from the class on how they felt they did in writing the email, what they liked from other students emails, etc. 2. Give instructions to students to write and send an email to a tourist information center of their choice and see if they receive a reply/response. Ask students to share their reply/response with you at a later date at WSE.

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