Understanding the layout of formal business letters by xml31992

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									       2          Communication
                  Challenge 1

                  Understanding the layout of formal business letters
                  Understanding the use of formal and informal language
                  and how to use appropriate language in a given context

                  Why do learners find these skills a challenge ?
                  Learners seldom use formal writing or business letter formats. They do not
                  use formal language in everyday situations and find it difficult to select
                  the appropriate degree of formality in writing.                                     Comm 1

Starting point Before undertaking this activity, learners need to :
              I   understand the purpose of business letters and their format
              I   have some understanding of the use of specific informal and formal language.


       Activity Understanding and creating business letters


How to deliver In Communication Appendix 1.1 you will find two versions of a letter relating
               to a student’s enquiry to an organisation about work placement opportunities.
               One letter is too formal and the other too informal.
                  The letters are marked with dotted lines for a cut-and-paste activity. However,
                  if this approach is not appropriate for your learners you should produce
                  a clean version of the letter and use approach 2.

                  Timing 30 minutes for each part

                  Resources
    Approach 1 Copies of the two letters in Communication Appendix 1.1 with cut lines indicated
                  Scissors
                  The use of glue to paste is optional
    Approach 2 Clean versions of letters A and B in Communication Appendix 1.1
                  Business letter template in Communication Appendix 1.2
                  KSSP Skills for Life and work resource sheets
                  ‘How to … write a business letter’ and ‘How to … choose the right tone and style’
                  KSSP Teaching and learning: Communication guide ( pages 21–22, 24–25 and 40 )
Approach 1 Cut and paste
          Cut up letters A and B along the dotted lines in Communication Appendix 1.1.
          Jumble up the cut text and distribute it to learners for a paired activity.
          Ask your learners to re-form the letters as the original.
          The activity is designed to reinforce understanding of the layout of formal letters.
          Although there will be some flexibility, for example in the position of the date
          at the top of the page, normal letter-writing conventions should be followed
          ( eg the name should not appear above the sender’s address ) .
          A further learning point from the activity is the recognition of the
          formal and informal presentation and use of language.
          Ask each pair of learners to identify three words or phrases from each letter
          that are either too formal or too informal in this context. This will help them
          identify where the tone is inappropriate.
          Use a final plenary session to identify and explore other aspects of
          formal and informal language in different scenarios relevant to the learners.
          A ‘fair copy’ of an acceptable letter for this exercise is included in
          Communication challenge 3, but be careful as the exercise is used as
          a proofreading activity and contains spelling errors !


Approach 2 Spotting inaccurate language
          Produce a ‘clean’ version of letter A and provide each learner, or pair of learners,
          with a copy. Ask each individual or pair to circle or highlight any word or phrase
          that is too informal. Ask them to write in a more appropriate word or phrase.
          Produce a ‘clean’ version of letter B and provide each learner, or pair of learners,
          with a copy. Ask each individual or pair to circle or highlight any word or phrase
          that is too formal. Ask them to write in a more appropriate word or phrase.
          Ask each learner to use either the business letter template included
          in Communication Appendix 1.2 or his / her amended versions of
          letters A and B to write a letter about work placement opportunities,
          using appropriate language and format.
          Use a final plenary session to identify and explore other aspects of
          formal and informal language in different scenarios relevant to the learners.
          These activities could be paper-based or undertaken using ICT.




          Next steps
          Communication challenges 3 ( Proofreading for spelling errors ),
          9 ( Using appropriate language in a given context ) and
          12 ( Reasons for paragraphs ) .

          Links to other key skills
          ICT can be used to produce and amend the letters.
          The approach of AoN challenge 1 can be used to develop learners’ abilities
          in checking documentation for accuracy and content.




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