Chad Jaspe Chad Jaspe

TP7: Writing - Informal Emails: Giving News
Upper-Intermediate level


In this lesson students will explore writing informal emails in the context of getting in touch and giving news to someone they have not kept in contact with. The lesson will begin with a lead-in where students will discuss topics and news that they would give to a friend or family member they have not talked with in a long time (over a year). Students will then explore an informal email as a model text where they will examine the structure of an informal email. Additionally students will examine different elements of an informal email such as contractions, ellipsis, and informal language. Students will quickly review elements of an informal email, draft ideas and an outline of an email, then will independently construct their email. Peers will then review each other's work with a checklist looking for informal elements. Finally the class will conduct open class feedback where the language students' used will be examined, praised, and corrected.


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Main Aims

  • By the end of the lesson, students will have learned and practiced writing an informal letter giving news in the context of getting back in touch with a friend.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide clarification of language used for writing an informal letter in the context of getting back in touch with a friend.


Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To engage learners and activate their previous knowledge of a topic area

- Provide discussion scenario "Imagine you haven't talked to a close friend or family member in a couple months or longer" - Provide discussion questions 1) "What are some things you might share with them?" 2) "What are some things you would ask them?" - T. provides model with friend from Japan. 1) I am taking a CELTA course so I can teach become a better English teacher 2) How are you and your boyfriend? What are you doing for work?

Text Analysis (12-15 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading. Clarify functional language and elements of model text.

- Transition "Today we're going to be writing informal emails to friends we haven't contacted in months" "We're going to look at an email that Sofia wrote to her friend Noemi." - Gist reading task: Students will scan the email and categorize each section of the text under the following categories: (a. opening greeting, b. closing greeting, c. giving information, d. reason for writing, e. conclusion, f. requesting information) "We're going to scan this email and categorize each section." - Students read the text and categorize each section (2 minutes) - Students discuss answers in BoR - OCFB - Teacher highlights the 6 elements of structure to an informal e-mail - Reading for Detailed information: elements of informal e-mail will be elicited from students. Aiming to highlight (contractions, ellipsis, and informal language) "Is Sofia's email informal or formal?" "How do you know? In BoR, work together and find elements that make this e-mail informal. (3 minutes) -T. Provides model. Highlights the opening greeting ('Hi Noemie' vs. 'Dear Noemie'). - OCFB: Students share what informal elements they found. (T. calls on groups individually or will have students write down ideas in chat) - If needed, t. will point out additional elements. - T. clarifies functional language used in writing informal email - Uses examples sentences to highlight (informal language, ellipsis, contractions)

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

- Task students with thinking about someone they haven't talked to for some time (1 month - 1 year, 2 years) Someone they haven't really regularly communicated with. - Pull from lead-in task. - Highlight things for students to talk about. - Highlight things for students to ask about. - Students draft structure of their essay using post-it notes on jamboard/(Pull from resource website) - Remind students about elements of informal writing - (opening greeting, reason for writing, giving information, requesting information, conclusion, closing greeting) - Students independently write. On shared google doc (Appropriately labeled for each student) Can take students into breakout rooms if they have questions.

Peer Feedback (5-7 minutes) • To provide learners with the opportunity to practice identifying elements of an informal e-mail and provide feedback to peers.

- Provide students with word document to use for peer feedback - Provide model for students to give feedback (Use T.'s example) (1m) - Students look at peer's text using checklist (2m) - Students provide feedback to each other using the checklist (Students check off if certain elements have been used or not.) (3m)

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

- T writes on board accurate language that students used. - T. highlights why the language usage was effective. - T. writes on board language that needs to be fixed. - T. tasks students with identifying the error in groups (BoR) - OCFB. T. elicits corrections to sentences from students.

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