Saturday, July 28, 2012

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Teaching Email Writing

This is something we have all tried to hit on at some point or another.  I've implemented this kind of activity in a variety of classes in the past - writing, listening/speaking (because I get so annoyed by bad student emails), study skills.  This semester I am teaching a low-intermediate writing class, and want to do something less intense for the end fo the semester.  Modifying and expanding on old materials I had, here is what I came up with:

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will be aware of the importance of a subject, proper format and mechanics, and straightforward, meaningful content for email writing
  • Students will be able to write a simple email to their ESL teacher regarding an absence, assignment, or homework using a proper subject, format, mechanics, and content

1. Presentation: Give them sample emails and a checklist.  Together, we'll review what's on the checklist of do's/don'ts for email.  We'll analyze the first example email together. (Below are some activity excerpts.)

2. Practice: Students in pairs will analyze the other fours examples using the checklist.  They'll fix any grammar mistakes and then, individually re-write the emails.

3. Produce: Students will write me at least two emails from the sample scenarios I provide.