Email-writing aims ultimately at:
- Improving social skills ( saying “thank you”, sending an invitation, offering help or support, ………etc. )
- Asking for information informally.
- Exchanging ideas and opinions.
- Writing about some personal experience.
Here is a model for an email writing lesson plan
At the end of this lesson Ss should be able to:
- Compose a written text (an email) based on a familiar subject.
- Recognize the differences between writing a letter and writing an email.
- Discuss email-writing focusing on personal experience, reasons, advantages, feelings, form, expressions, ………
- Show the class a real model of an email (on a wall sheet, overhead projector or data show) and encourage Ss to talk about what they see.
Presentation (Introduce the rules of email-writing using the previous model of the email)
- Show Ss the box where we should write the email address of the receiver and how to write it.
- Show Ss the box where we should write the subject of the email.
- Point to the word “Dear” referring to the name of the receiver after it.
- Tell Ss what to write at the beginning of the email ( informal greeting and then tell what you are writing about )
- Ask Ss to read the body of the email and check their understanding.
- Tell Ss what to write at the end of the email (“Best regards”, …. and under it; the name of the sender )
Practice (Ss practise email-writing in pairs)
- Select with Ss a familiar subject to write an email about to a friend.
- Specify the email address and the name of the receiver and write them on the board.
- Elicit some suggested sentences to be impeded in the body of the email.
- Ask Ss to work in pairs and write the email (in a separate paper) as the model they saw before, go round to check and give help.
- Take some emails and show them to the class. Read out them and provide feedback.
- Each pair take their email to make the correction needed and then come to the front showing the class the final version and read the email aloud.
Finish the lesson:
- By reminding Ss with the rules of writing an email.
- By asking Ss to write another email at home after specifying the information needed for doing that.
Writing is like swimming – it needs a conscious effort and repeatedly practice. We as teachers should be aware of the difficulties our learners may face on their writing tasks at elementary level.
Unexpectedly I think it is not easy for elementary students to simply copy a couple of lines without making mistakes or compose a paragraph on their own. Therefore, I suggest the following tasks that enable learners to write in English without having the burden of thinking too much about content and text organization.
Some controlled writing tasks:
1. Present a sentence to the class, then cover it and make the class write it from memory.
2. Hand out a text including some mistakes for the class to find.
3. Distribute a story in the classroom with some missing words asking pupils to write them correctly.
4. Take a story, then cut the sentences into strips and distribute them in the classroom. Pupils can work in pairs: One is writing and the second student is running to find all the paper strips in the room and then dictate them from memory to his partner. After dictating, the sentences need to be ordered
correctly and told by one of the students.
Some guided writing tasks:
1. Let students read a text and note 5 to 7 keywords. Then put the text aside and try to reconstruct the original text using the keywords.
2. Let students listen to a story and then write about the main ideas included in it.
3. Ask questions that the learners are answering based on a picture. What/who can you see? Where is it? What happened? What will happen next?
4. Expose the students to some factual information in table like city or country fact files or personal profiles, then ask them to write a new version of the text based on the given one.
Writing is not a frightening experience. By doing some controlled and guided activities learners can find a balance between rule oriented (spelling, grammar) and creative expression.
There are three main ways of giving feedback to students when using process approach to writing. They are as follow:
1. Teacher editing:
This is more suitable for beginner students who start writing. The teacher should do the editing and the proof-reading with students to provide more guidance and set an example.
Here, the texts should be interchanged and the editing is done by other students. Students exchange their papers and comment on each other’s papers as it is common for writers in the real life to ask their friends or colleagues to check their writing for any mistakes.
It is very common for writers to miss their own mistakes so it is recommended to leave their texts for a night, empty their mind and deal with some other work then they return to their papers with clear mind to start the process of self-editing. In the classroom environment, we can have students write their essays one day, collect the papers and provide students with the checklist of the editing and proof-reading features. The next day the teacher can have students edit and proof-read their texts themselves or in pairs or with the help of the teacher if they are beginner students.