writing formal request email
Main aim of the lesson is exposing the learners to a model text of formal request. Students will be guided to highlight the common features of this genre, they will have an opportunity to write a part of formal request.
Working on indirect questioning structure to make requests polite is the sub aim of my lesson as well as working on some lexical sets as main components of this genre. By the end of this lesson students will have practiced writing a draft and brainstorming as sub-skills of writing.
Procedure (38-50 minutes)
A picture of a hotel room is shown on the screen, followed by these questions: look at this photo, where does it show? (a hotel) Have you ever been to a hotel? (yes/No) Talk to your partner about these two questions, and take notes. What kinds of facilities they should have? (hair drier, room service,e.t.c) Is the location of the hotel important? why? Then the teacher askes their opinion randomly. Then the following statement is played You are planning a holiday in Scotland. You have been given the name and address of a hotel near the sea and would like some further information. Here they will have a chance to brainstorming and generate ideas for their writing.
A sample letter of request is displayed on the screen. Elicitation is done about the features of the text. Have a look at this text, what is it? (letter/email) What is it about? (hotel facilities and location) Who is the sender? (Jenny) Who is the receiver? (unknown) Is it formal or informal? (formal) How do you know it is formal? (Salutation, ending,..) Who do we send a formal email? (unknown people/people we have never met) How it is started? Dear Sir/Madam, Can we use it when we know the receiver? (no) When we do not know the name of the person we are writing to we begin the email with 'Dear Sir/Madam'. How do we close it? (yours faithfully,) What do we need after this expression? (comma) How do we start when we know the receiver's name? (Dear Miss Crystal,) Can we close it with yours faithfully? (no, we close with yours sincerely,) What do we have in the first paragraph? (purpose of email) What is the second paragraph about? (hotel location) How do you know? (Iknow the hotel is close to the sea, but I would be grateful if you could give me details of its exact location/topic sentence) What is the third paragraph about? (hotel facilities) How do you know? (topic sentence/ I would also like to know what facilities the hotel has) What do we have to signal the closing of the email? (I look forward to hearing from you) Before signature what do we have? (Yours faithfully)+(comma) and under that the name of the sender
Look at the second paragraph, what does the writer look for? (more information about the hotel location) How does the writer tell it? (I would be grateful if you could give me details of its exact location). Is it formal or informal? (formal) What is the purpose? why did the writer write it? (request/wants something) How do you know? ( I would be grateful if ) What is the request without this expression? (could you give me details of its location?) What type of question is that? yes/no question or wh question? (yes/no question) Is it a good idea to ask that kind of direct question? (no) Is it polite? (no) It is not professional to ask direct questions from authorities, or unknown people. It is considered to be impolite, that's why we change them to indirect questions. We have some fixed expressions like: I would be gratful+ if/whether(for yes/no questions)+sentence in the statement form Then the same procedure is done for the next question in that paragraph, in order to highlight the rule for information questions. I would be gratful+ wh-word(for wh questions)+sentence in the statement form Then this formula is shown on the board. Pronunciation practices are done. (choral as well as individual drills). Students are asked to look at the text and find some more examples of indirect questioning.
A handout of yes/no as well as information questions are given to the learners. they have some time to change the direct questions to indirect. After pair checking, they are provided with an answer key.
A hand out which includes some questions is given to the students. It is about the content of a formal email. they have five to six minutes to read the questions and choose the best options. After pair checking, they have the answer key.
They are given some time to start writing a formal letter, but because we don't have enough time to complete it, they only should write about the first paragraph which is the statement of the purpose and the second paragraph which is about the location or facilities. this is going to be their first draft, so by focusing on these two parts they will practice draft writing too. While they are on it I am monitoring to get ready for the feedback. When they are done they will exchange their paper with the person sitting next to them. Then each person is supposed to check his/her friends' paper based on the criteria written on the board. check your friend's email to see if: It has a correct opening/greeting The purpose of writing is mentioned The indirect question Format is correct.
I will write some of their sentences on the board, no matter they are correct or false. They can be both. Then I draw their attention to the board and together we discuss their correctness or falseness in order to praise them verbally for correct ones, as well as giving them advice on the wrong ones.