Jan Zeiger Jan Zeiger

Writing a letter of complaint
pre intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn to write a formal email to complain about a product or service. New language is presented, as are the parts of a business letter.


Main Aims

  • Students will learn the language and tools to make a formal complaint via email

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide practice vocabulary, conciseness, and form required to express consumer needs.


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

Students talk about a time they had a problem with a service or purchased item. They will then choose which issue to write an email about. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Fn8W9nxIE3OC9CrRLSNykXfeSvAv4D49Pd08vJcKyWc/edit?usp=sharing

Exposure (6-7 minutes) • To provide a model of an email to complain about a defective product. To match sentences with the stages of a business letter

Read a sample email, put fragments in order, according to the included guide. https://jamboard.google.com/d/1o4jCmcVd3baDW6_NdXreVJAhEcLf3td2xVP1SgGtCL0/edit?usp=sharing

Useful Language (5-7 minutes) • To learn formal ways of expression

Review the language - copy phrases that might be useful to you. Discuss how to adjust the language to meet your particular needs. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Pm8RbRNj6Y5QA0lG5zvtp6TK-XyQ8VjpGX1Dg2Ho-L4/edit?usp=sharing

Productive Task(s) (20-25 minutes) • To write an original email to ask for help with an issue


Feedback and Error Correction (7-8 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

Show sample letter excerpts for group editing

Web site designed by: Nikue