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In this lesson, the students will be taken through the various stages that will enable them to write a letter of complaint. This includes the layout, sequence, and common set phrases linked to the functional language for each stage. They will then write their own letter, using the template as a reference to guide them.


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Main Aims

  • To introduce and provide practice of writing a formal complaint email

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide scan and detailed reading of a template letter of complaint.


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

- What would you do in this situation? - Would you stay silent or would you do something? - Who would you complain to? - In which situations would you complain? - What would you complain about? - Have you ever written to a company, a shop, airlines, authorities or organizations in order to complain? What do we call such a letter? (A formal letter of complaint). Introduce the topic: Who might you write a letter of complaint to? To a friend? Is it an official letter? Is the style of writing formal or informal? Elicit the order of a letter of complaint: What is the first thing you write in a letter? Do they need to know when the event that you are complaining took place? Elicit order: Name. to whom it may concern. When. Where. What happened. Why you are complaining. Nice comment to encourage reply. What you you want from them. Closing the letter.

Text Analysis (10-12 minutes) • To clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of the task language

1.Work in pairs. Match the cut-out paragraph sections of the template letter with their corresponding stages. Followed by class feedback. 2. Hand out a Template letter. Exercise 2. Elicit different types of set phrases for the different stages. One found from the text and 2 from students. Write some of the elicited examples on the board. Elicit the meaning of formal/informal if necessary - give examples: formal-letter to boss, CV, application forms; informal - letter to a friend. Point out that we do not use contractions in formal writings. Hand out Template letter and ask Ss to look it through (1 min). Highlight that a formal letter of complaint consists of 3 parts: Introduction, development and conclusion. Point out that we do not use Dear Manager to begin a letter, even if we don't know the person's name. Dear Sir / Madam should be used instead. Go through the Reason for writing and elicit possible continuations to the two sentences: - I am writing to complain about ... - I am writing regarding Elicit the expressions: - I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with ... - give me a full refund Focus on Typical endings an tell Ss we should only finish "Yours sincerely" when we know the name of the person. If not, "Yours faithfully" should be used.

Writing their own email (10-12 minutes) • To provide a model of the task, highlight useful words and phrases and allow students to write their own version

Tell Ss: - Decide where you were staying and imagine what problems there might have been. What kind of problems would you complain? - White 120-180 words, organised in 3 or 4 paragraphs (reason for writing, details of the problems, request for action). Use a formal style. Use the phrases from the template. Then check your letter for mistakes. Set a time limit of 15 minutes. Monitor the students. Help where needed.

Feedback (10-12 minutes) • To provide students with practice of the task language and report on how they did the task and how it went

Create Picture Gallery with the students' letters and get the students to look at each other's letters. Look around and pick out and write down some common errors. Get them to sit down again and ask them what they liked about each other's letters. Go through on WB some of the common errors. Monitor Ss and check the letters with them. During w/c feedback, write the students' mistake on the board and elicit the right answers from Ss

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