Imen Yakoubi Imen Yakoubi

Writing a complaint email
Intermediate class level


In this lesson, students will learn how to write a simple complaint email; they are required to distinguish between formal and informal language; identify the steps and the order of an email composition and memorize the most useful complaint expressions.


Abc English File, Student e-Book 4th Edition; Intermediate level

Main Aims

  • To provide process writing practice of a a formal email or letter in the context of in the context of complaining about an unpleasant customer service experience

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide clarification of all the formal phrases or expressions in the context of used in the context of writing a complaint email


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

Set the students in the context of complaint : presenting pictures for different scenarios that may happen in daily life: I will show them pictures about reserving a horrible hotel room for an expensive amount of money and ask them how will they react; Having a horrible haircut; having a disgusting meal in a fancy restaurant etc..I will elicit from them the main concept

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

I will ask the students to read a list of some common phrases related to complaint; they have to identify which ones are formal and which ones are not

Useful Language (8-10 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

students need to : 1- read some "chunks" and identify in which part of the email they need to be (drwaing attention for the problem; stating the problem; asking for solution) 2- Read a very informal complaint email and discuss how can we fix it by changing the very negative words 3- put in order some email parts that they were divided randomly to get out final writing product at the end

Productive Task(s) (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

give the students 10 minutes to write their email following the model and the template given in class

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

Have five or six minutes for correcting errors and giving feedback for students in order to develop their writing skils

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