Owen Carow Owen Carow

Pre-intermediate level


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Main Aims

  • To introduce and provide practice of writing a (short) email telling your family what these days (lockdown) have been like.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide process writing practice of both formal and informal email contexts.


Class Profile and Assumptions

This is a pre-intermediate group of online students based in Mexico. The students are pursuing English in both professional, academic, and personal contexts. The focus of the session will be on writing practice. I assume students are quite familiar with emailing, so the point of the lesson is to introduce and practice the formulaic language in English.

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

The teacher will ask the group to discuss how their daily life has changed since or because of the virus. This will lead students to consider the same content they will compose their email about later in the lesson. CCQs: Why are things different now? ICQs: What is the discussion question?

Sample Analysis: Layout (5-5 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

The teacher will show the students an example of the completed email: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1E9Kk_iRqlI3J1jHzF_jrXNEBJ0-kfQw2TEuXNowFsT4/edit?usp=sharing The example is an informal email to a grandmother. I will read the email, then prompt students for: The gist of the email Whether the email is formal/informal I have highlighted the components of the layout of the email, and will prompt students to explain what each phrase means/does before giving my own brief explanation. Finally, I will prompt comparison that layout to the short formal email I prepared, pointing out the differences in each component. CCQs: What is the gist of the email? Is this email formal or informal? Who is the recipient? What is this blue/green/yellow/red part? Why do we need it/What does it mean? What is the difference between the informal and formal email?

Sample analysis: Formulaic Language (5-5 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

The teacher will discuss the meaning and form of email greetings, special greetings relevant to COVID, introducing oneself in an email, and closing and signing the email. Because this is a writing lesson, there will be little focus on pronunciation, but appropriacy will be discussed in terms of formal and informal emails. CCQs: Why do we need formal and informal terms? When do we include greetings in emails? (always) Is it always necessary to introduce oneself? (not necessarily) Is it always necessary to include a Covid greeting/mention the virus? (not necessarily, but increasingly common) Why is using “love” informal? What do we mean by “sincerely” or “best”?

Writing (20-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

Students will respond to the prompt: "Write a short email that tells someone about your life during the coronavirus/lockdown this year. How do you spend your time? What is different? Remember: include a greeting, introduce yourself, wish your reader well, and close and sign the email. Include at least three body sentences describing your experiences. You can choose a formal or informal style, depending on who you are writing to." The teacher will remain open to questions from students through voice or message chat, and link the powerpoint in the chat so students may reference it. ICQs: What is the prompt? How much time will we spend on writing?

Peer Feedback: Checklist (5-5 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

Students will be given the checklist: https://forms.gle/WuvZy1W9biuKDGLS6 Students will PM their emails to a partner (or rotating trio) and consult the checklist. ICQs: Whose email will you read? What is in the checklist?

Peer Feedback: Partner Discussion (5-5 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

Students will have 3 minutes in breakout rooms to discuss their partners' work. Afterwards, the class will come back together for 2 minutes to discuss the teacher's recorded feedback and any final questions. ICQs: What will you discuss in BORs?

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