A Commercial Enterprise Letter

In this activity, newcomers try to re-write an inappropriately informal business letter in a greater appropriate, formal style.

Catherine Morley, Teacher, Trainer, Writer

They then examine their version with a version textual content, supporting them to be aware the traditional formulae used on this form of letter, and comprise some of this new language into any other similar letter.

This interest is especially appropriate for better degree Business English college students, or person rookies who need to write formal letters in English in real life.


Make enough copies of these worksheets so that every pupil may have one.

  • Worksheet 1 48k
  • Worksheet 2 46k
  • Worksheet three 44k
  • Peer evaluation 44k


  • In order to get college students thinking about enterprise letters, ask how many motives they can think about for writing this type of letter. Give more than one examples, then get students to brainstorm in pairs, before feeding again to the class.
  • Give newbies the inappropriately informal letter (Worksheet 1). Ask a few simple comprehension questions.
    • Have they been in touch earlier than?
    • What’s it about?
    • What are the problems with the gadget?
  • Then ask what’s wrong with the textual content. (Too casual, does not follow letter-writing conventions). Elicit a number of the kinds of things they may want to change to make it extra formal (vocabulary, sentence structure, layout, paragraphing, greeting and close).
  • In pairs, college students re-write the letter to make it greater suitable as a proper letter. Don’t assist them too much at this stage – the idea is that scholars write the high-quality letter they’re able to using their existing language sources. This creates a need for the traditional letter-writing language which may be ‘lacking’ from their contemporary know-how.
  • Give college students the model letter (Worksheet 2) and ask them to evaluate it with their letter. Emphasise that the version is only one viable way of re-writing the letter – this may lead to a dialogue on whether any differences are equally accurate. Ask the students to become aware of language from the model which they might use to enhance their letter. In this way, a number of the traditional sentence frames which can be so not unusual in business letters are ‘fed in’.
  • At this degree you would possibly also want to draw interest to the conventional greetings and endings for formal letters. (In British English, if the call of the person is used, e.g. Dear Mr. Jones, then the ending is Yours surely. If you don’t know the call of the character you’re writing to, then the letter starts Dear Sir / Madam, and ends Yours faithfully.) It can also be well worth highlighting the punctuation used right here, i.e. a comma after the greeting, as this could range among languages. In addition, a few college students aren’t acquainted with the shape of deal with Ms, which refers to a girl without specifying her marital fame. Other troubles which are complicated to your rookies, along with paragraphing, over-lengthy sentences etc., can also be handled here.
  • Students pick out a state of affairs from Worksheet three, brainstorm in pairs, and pick suitable language from their very own letter and Worksheet 2. They then write the letter, operating collaboratively. This stage may also be performed individually for homework if time is brief. The letters may be accrued in by using the teacher for evaluation / correction functions, or used for a peer-evaluation interest. (See the Peer evaluation form for an example of the way this could be performed).

Language stage

© British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2BN, UK

© BBC World Service, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH, UK

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.