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As we are all aware, English remains the most popular language of official and business communication.
Mrs Mwasala, a Form Two English Language teacher at Juani Secondary School, decided to try a new method of teaching letter writing. Mrs Mwasala then formed groups made up of three pairs each, and asked all the groups to note the format of the letters they had written.
After identifying the main features of the informal letter, Mrs Mwasala focused on the content. In the next lesson Mrs Mwasala taught her students the format and content of formal letters.
In the next class, Mrs Mwasala had the students draft a letter of application in answer to the advertisement they had read the previous day.
The letters were so good that some students obtained temporary jobs during their school holidays on the strength of these letters. Since people rarely write personal letters nowadays, do you think we should stop teaching this and concentrate on official letters only?
For this activity, put the students in groups and give each group at least three different types of letters — a job application, a personal letter and a letter of complaint. Ask them to identify which of the letters are personal and which are official, and to mark the differences between personal and official letters. To make them more familiar with the format of official letters, give them an activity to do in pairs (Resource 4: Format of a business letter [worksheet]).
As part of the feedback, remember to point out that there are no fixed rules in letter writing; there are only conventions that allow people to communicate with the least amount of confusion. For the next part of the task, give the students information about the content of a letter they will write with a partner.
At the end of the activity, have the pairs exchange their draft letters and make corrections under your supervision. As homework, they should add, delete or modify their letter as suggested, check for spelling and grammatical errors and make the letter ready for submission.
When teaching students how to write a notice, we need to keep in mind the style: the format, the sentence structures, the manner in which important information is highlighted and so on.
Also bring samples of official letters to contrast the style of a notice with that of a letter.
Before showing your students the sample notices, have a class discussion on the ways in which people share written information with a large number of people at the same time. For the activity, ask the students about the kinds of topics that we find in notices (lost and found, announcement of events, reminders of deadlines, warnings, etc.). At this level, your JSS students need not learn the details of writing a professional report. The following activity is designed to help your students practise writing a simple report for a general audience. To begin the activity, put up on the board the two headlines given above, and ask your students to guess where they might see such sentences. Announce that the headlines they studied were from newspaper reports, and that they are going to learn how to write a report. Once the drafts are ready, have the groups exchange their drafts with one another, and suggest corrections in the content and style of each draft report, wherever necessary. To complete the process of writing, give the groups their drafts back for editing and final submission with the necessary corrections.
As a homework assignment, you could ask them to read that day’s newspaper or listen to a news item on television and write a report on it for the next class. In this unit you learned how to develop your students’ skills in writing formal letters and how to use questioning techniques to guide students in making good summaries or reports. Most people have either written or received an informal letter from a relative, a friend or an acquaintance.
The introduction is usually in the form of a greeting, self-introduction and very short summary of the main topic of the letter. The body usually consists of the writer’s message, along with any extra details he or she may want to convey. I know it has only been two months since I was transferred to this school but it feels like such a long time since the last time I saw you. Here are some ways of writing the important information in a letter to an employer to apply for leave.
Seven people were killed on Monday in the Philippines when an ex-a sacked police officer seized a tourist bus and opened fire at his hostages before he was killed by police.
Six of the dead were Chinese passengers held for more than 10 hours inside the air-conditioned bus in a seaside park in Manila City, according to doctors at two hospitals where they were brought.
The hostage-taker, dismissed police officer Rolando Del Rosario Mendoza, was also killed in an exchange of gunfire with the police assault team, authorities said. There were 15 Chinese tourists and a Filipino driver being held in the bus when the violence erupted. The driver escaped from the bus when Mendoza began to open fire in an angry outburst after seeing his brother, who was helping in the negotiations, dragged away by police. Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said the government was “saddened” by the violent end to the standoff, which began more than 10 hours earlier. Armed with an M16 assault rifle, Mendoza seized the bus and demanded that authorities reconsider his dismissal from the force in February 2009 due to extortion and harassment.


There were 25 people inside the bus when it was seized, including 20 Chinese tourists, a travel guide from Hong Kong and four Filipinos. Six Chinese tourists, including three children, and three Filipinos were subsequently freed unharmed as “gifts” to negotiators, said Manila City Vice [Police Chief] Isko Moreno.
Before Mendoza opened fire, a Chinese woman told DZXL radio station that she and her daughter were among the hostages. The hostage-taking played out on live national television, giving Mendoza a chance to see most of the movements of the police from inside the tourist bus. The Hong Kong government said it had chartered a plane to take relatives of the dead and injured holiday makers to Manila.
Announcement of Schedule and Agenda by Sports teacher, students arranged around the playground according to classes. The principal organised the events in such a way that all the spectators could watch all the events, both indoors and outdoors. The last set of events was indoor games — table tennis, badminton and chess, which were organised in the school’s Indoor Hall.
Notices, especially in schools, provide information about things lost and found, events that have happened or are about to happen, meetings, functions, tours, fairs, exhibitions, camps, etc., being organised or postponed, new developments in the institutions or new rules and so on.
Notices should use CAPITAL LETTERS for the word notice, the name of the school, the heading, and the name and designation of the contact person.
Little Flower School is organising an Inter-School Debating Competition for Junior Secondary students. Question: Would it help if I brought actual samples of official documents such as job advertisements in newspapers, bank forms or application forms of colleges or companies? Answer: Bringing actual documents (also called authentic materials) to the class is in fact a desirable strategy for effective teaching.
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It is the medium through which we apply for jobs or for leave, present our findings, write important notifications or communicate with colleagues in the workplace.
An informal letter, for example, is a way of communicating with people we are close to or familiar with. Reports may be short, such as news reports, or detailed summaries of official meetings and presentations. The case study and activities in this unit identify some of the teaching techniques that can assist you in developing your students’ ability to communicate effectively.
She read out to the class a letter that she claimed to have found in the corridor, and asked them to say what kind of letter it was. As she moved from group to group, she noticed that they were able to clearly differentiate the sections of the letter, including the salutation and closing.
She showed samples of personal letters to her students, and explained that the content of letters to and from friends and relatives focuses on personal matters, making them less formal than business letters. She brought along samples of formal and business letters (Resource 3), and also newspaper cuttings of job advertisements. Have you asked them to bring their own personal letters to the class and used these to teach? Draw their attention to the particular differences in the format, such as the date, the salutation, the subject line and so on. Using the sample official letters given in Resource 3 to guide them, have them practise parts of the format, as given in the worksheet in Resource 4.
For example, the North American convention is to write the month before the date, whereas in the British tradition the date precedes the month. You could begin the discussion by asking them how their school communicates to them important information about co-curricular activities, exam schedules, competitions or exhibitions to elicit the word notice from them. Once you have a list of their contributions, choose a topic for the class activity (preferably something familiar to them, such as a lost-and-found notice).
Their points should include the structure, how contact details are given (see Resource 7a), and so on. Have the students work in groups to design different types of notices: a lost-and-found notice, one announcing a competition, another issuing a warning about late arrival for morning assembly and so on. However, a professional report includes much more than a summary; it has tables of figures, diagrams, analyses of the event and a bibliography listing the documents consulted during the writing of the report.
But it is important for them to practise summary writing for real-life purposes, one of which is report writing. Before you begin, bring to the class a selection of newspaper reports like the one in Resource 5. With their input, draw up a list of points to remember while writing a report; for example, include only important points, use passive structures where possible, keep the important points in the correct sequence, avoid personal opinions and so on. Afterwards, have a class discussion on the suggested corrections to highlight the different strategies they needed to use while expanding information from list notes, and contracting information from an essay format.
This individual follow-up activity will give your students an opportunity to practise their newly acquired report writing skills. An informal letter is often written for the purpose of communicating with someone we are close to, or are familiar or comfortable with.
However, informal letters still follow a certain format, including the address of the writer, the date, an introduction, the body and a conclusion. Looking at the format of the sample letter you have been given, select the appropriate forms by circling them.


One woman cried hysterically as she was helped out of the vehicle, whose glass windows were shattered. Actual documents are interesting for students as they give them a taste of real-life communication. Das Vollsortiment der Energieversorgung reicht von einzelnen Kabeln bis zu ma?geschneiderten, hochkomplexen und zukunftsorientierten intelligenten Netzsystemen und Losungen im Glasfaserbereich. Um alle Funktionen dieser Website nutzen zu konnen, aktivieren Sie bitte JavaScript in Ihrem Browser. As young adults preparing for professional or vocational education, your JSS students need to practise communicating effectively in writing in formal situations. Through demonstration and discussion, for example, your students will explore the importance of taking time to consider who they are writing to, what they wish to communicate and how they can present their message or ideas better to achieve effective communication. She then asked one member of each group to write a similar format on the board, and reminded the students that this kind of format belonged to an informal letter (Resources 1 and 2). However, she pointed out, they still follow a certain format, including the address of the writer, the date, introduction, body and conclusion.
For the content, she asked them to use the information they had noted in the previous class. Notices can be for various purposes, such as the announcement of events, reminders, information about lost and found goods, and so on. Draw their attention to why letters, emails or other similar ways of communicating cannot be used in such situations (explain that these are ways we communicate with one person or a limited group of people we know personally or professionally). You can have them practise the skills of report writing by using newspaper reports as a model. For the activity, divide the class into groups of five, and give them sample newspaper reports as a guide. Again, review the techniques of writing a report that they discussed before they began the activity.
Commonly available books on letter writing or notice writing do not give students the experience of real communication, so devising pair- and group-work tasks to help students respond to such forms or job advertisements will be good classroom activities.
This unit aims to provide you with opportunities to explore a variety of techniques to assist your students to communicate effectively through letters, notices and reports. Mrs Mwasala then distributed a copy of the letter to her students, working in pairs, and asked them to write a reply to the letter. Let them study the two formats and decide which one is suitable for a notice, and which is more suitable for giving information in a different form.
The groups should then take their own compositions back to make final copies, which can subsequently be put up in the class display board. A newspaper report is aimed at a general audience and so presents important events in a concise way, using simple vocabulary and structures.
This was followed by a welcome address by the vice principal, thanking all the guests, parents and students for gracing the occasion and participating. The first set of events was Athletics with track and field events: the 100, 200 and 400 metre races on the Race Track, pole vault and javelin throw on the far end of the track, and high jump and long jump events on the inner field. The Chief Guest, who had graciously stayed for the entire day, was called upon to award the winners of the various events.
This task should make the students aware of the special format and content style of notices. Note also that newspaper reports are usually written in the passive voice, because the focus is on the event that occurred and its effects.
Make sure that for half of the groups, the passage is in list form (a list of important points) (see Resource 6a), and for the other half, the passage should be in essay form (see Resource 6b). In the closing ceremony, the principal first declared the Games closed, and then asked the Honourable Governor to both announce and distribute the prizes to the winners. The first (list) will need to be expanded, while the second (essay) will need to be shortened.
The ceremony was held in the Assembly Hall so that all the attending parents could proudly watch their children walk up to the dais to receive their prizes. This means that half of the groups will have an expansion activity, while the other half will have a contraction activity. The principal then invited everyone to help themselves to refreshments and enjoy the sporting events. The days being shorter in the winter now, the school took care to organise the games well within daylight hours. The Chief Guest then thanked the organisers, participants and spectators for making the day a success, and admitted that he had enjoyed himself more than he had expected. The school authorities thanked the guest on behalf of everyone, and with this, the Annual School Sports Day came to an end.
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