Hilal Hilal

Writing lesson
Upper-Intermediate level


In this lesson, SS will learn how to write a formal letter and how it is distinguished from an informal letter in the context of writing an official complaint to a local government. SS will match paragraphs in a formal letter with summaries in a control practice. The SS will then compare a formal letter with an informal letter and point out their differences. The SS will do a task where they will find the formal versions of 5 sentences in the first letter. SS will rewrite an informal email to make it more formal in a freer practice using what they have learned. Then SS will compare their letters.


Abc formal letter on page 89 of Empower Upper-Intermediate
Abc Google Slides
Abc Writing Skills (Using formal language) a) on p. 89 in Empower Upper-Int
Abc letters on page 88 and 89 of Empower Upper Int
Abc informal letter in part d of page 89 of Empower Upper-Int
Abc Padlet

Main Aims

  • To learn how to write a formal letter in the context of writing an official complaint to a local government

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide presentation and clarification of lexis used in formal / informal letters in the context of writing official complaints and writing to a friend


Warmer/Lead-in (2-3 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

- T show SS a picture of a soldier from the First World War and elicits he is writing a letter - T asks SS to look at the soldier's face expression and pictures on his desk and asks SS to tell if they think the letter is formal or informal - SS say its informal

Exposure (4-5 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

- T shows the formal letter on page 89 of Empower-Upper Intermediate and asks if that is a formal or informal letter. - SS say it's formal - T asks why they think it is formal, asks if the writer knows the recipient of the letter - SS say no - T asks elicits that this is an "official complaint."

Pre-teach lexis (5-7 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful lexis for coming productive tasks

-T presents the meaning, form and pronunciation of the words concern, punctuation, sign-off, reckon, and get in touch with - T elicits examples and asks CCQs to make sure the meanings are conveyed well - T drills the words from SS

Guided discovery (4-5 minutes) • Raising awareness of TL

- T puts SS in pairs / groups - TT asks SS to compare the formal and informal letters and point out the differences in terms of greeting, sign-off, punctuation, contractions - SS find the differences in pairs / groups - T shows AK

Presentation (2-3 minutes) • To present lexis that SS will need for the following practices

- T shows various examples of sign-offs for formal and semi-formal letters

Guided discovery (5-8 minutes) • To introduce the learners to phrases used in a formal letter

- T puts SS in pairs - T asks SS to find the formal versions of a number of informal statements in the given formal letter - SS do the task in pairs / groups - T shows AK

Freer Practice (5-8 minutes) • To use the TL in a freer way

- T shows an informal email and asks SS to rewrite it in a formal way - SS rewrite the email in a formal way individually

Feedback and Error Correction (5-7 minutes) • To provide feedback on SS' production and use of language

- T asks SS to copy and paste their emails onto a Padlet board - SS share their emails on the board - T elicits correct and incorrect usage in written emails from SS

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