Writing letters and emails asking for or giving information are part of theCambridge exams for all levels. As I teach mainly exam orientated classes,this genre of writing is of interest to me and my students. I have limited thescope of my Essay to transactional writing because in addition to masteringthis skill to pass an exam , I view this as a practical skill which students mayneed later on in life e.g to write a job application .Students rate their writing skills as average to poor in both LI ,L2,feel thatwriting takes up speaking time in class and prefer to do it for homework.With this in mind I have chosen to further my understanding of The Product andProcess Approaches to writing , exploring ways in which I can encouragelearners to obtain better results.
Writing is thought of as a “
“ ( Bowden,T. &Marks,J.1994p143)often given as homework and seen by students as being of little use andtherefore boring . This is true in all classrooms ESL and non. Writing isdifficult ,it requires us to be silent ,to organize our ideas ,to understand whywe are writing, to be accurate and to use an appropriate style and vocabulary.In
,perhapsto ask for information, to complain ,to apply for a job or to thank somebody andyou expect a reply ,you have unanswered questions .Your writing is usuallyformal as you do not know the person you are writing to .
The following sub-skills apply
Use paragraphs, to give an order to your thoughts and organize thecontent coherently.
Plan the content. The first paragraph stating the reason why you arewriting e.g
I am writing to ask you about your cooking course,
the secondparagraph to ask for information
e.g when is it possible to begin thecourse?
Etc and finally a conclusion asking for a reply ,
I am lookingforward to your reply
Use punctuation correctly, question and exclamation marks ,full stops,spelling ,commas and colons.
Uses standard forms of address ,such as
Dear Sir or Madam
for formalcorrespondence and end appropriately e.g
Yours faithfully …
Use an appropriate style for your intention ,abbreviations and phrasalverbs are not used e.
Varying language to avoid repetition.
Keep in mind why you are writing ,what information you require, or wishto give.