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Lesson plan to accompany the July 2001 Newsletter

To see the text used in the plan

For a Word version

Preliminary information

Level: Intermediate

Time: 90 minutes?

Aims:
To introduce some common acronyms used in e-mails
To look at some tips for writing e-mails
To give intensive reading practice
To give oral fluency practice
To give practice in writing e.mails - if the writing activity is used as a follow up

Assumptions:
That the stds use or will be using in the near future e-mails in English & that the stds will therefore find the theme interesting
That some of the acronyms & e-mail tips will be known
That the language in the e-mail reading will generally be OK although there are some unknown words - see anticipated problems. For latin-based languages there are a lot of 'similar' words

Anticipated problems:
Some vocab items in the e-mail reading might not be known - depending on the group.
eg. disorder, burden on, staggering, treatment, donate, to forward, tracking software, to track, pea soup for hobos, sodium-laden soup, riding the rails, screeching >>> solution: pre-teach essential items & leave the rest for after the reading.

Materials & aids:
Board
Tasks - acronyms, netiquette dos & don'ts (taken for a Guardian Weekly article 24-30 May '01), e-mail text, comprehension task

Procedure

Stage 1: Lead in to raise interest

tch< > stds, 5 mins

1. Elicit the times that the stds write in a normal day - e-mail should come out here > follow on with a discussion on the value of e-mails > then on to how to write them - any rules? Heard of acronyms used in e-mails?

Stage 2: Lead in to raise interest

std<>std, tch< > stds, 5 mins

1. Match up acronyms & meaning, in pairs. There's the same activity with emoticons as well - explain that they have to lok at them side on.
2. Feedback - elicit any more they might know & any they use in their language(s)

Some common acronyms used in e-mails - match the two columns
BTW

FWIW

FAQ

FYA

FYI

IMHO

IMO

IMNSHO

TIA
In my humble opinion

For what it's worth

Frequently asked question(s)

In my opinion

For your action

Thanks in advance

By the way

In my not so humble opinion

For your information
  
Answers:
BTW - By the way

FWIW - For what it's worth

FAQ - Frequently asked question(s)

FYA - For your action

FYI - For your information

IMHO - In my humble opinion

IMO - In my opinion

IMNSHO - In my not so humble opinion

TIA - Thanks in advance

 

Emoticons: match the two columns

:-)

:-D

;-)

{}

O:-)

X-)

:-X

:*

winking

kissing

I see nothing

hugging

I say nothing

angel

laughing

smiling

  
  
Answers:

:-) smiling

:-D laughing

;-) winking

{} hugging

O:-) angel

X-) I see nothing

:-X I say nothing

:* kissing

 

Stage 3: Awareness of 'good' e-mail writing

std<>std, tch< > stds, 10 mins

1. Elicit any tips they know of for writing e-mails. Explain task - to match Dos & Don'ts
2. Task, in pairs - monitor & help out
3. Feedback - discuss

A Compendium of Netiquette - put the following points into the appropriate column below

Always greet your correspondent
Start your message in the subject field
Overuse acronyms; you may not be understood
Wait a day, if possible, before answering
Forward e-mails without getting the author's permission first
Re-read before sending
Think before you write
Write anything you wouldn't put on a postcard
If you are angry, wait even longer
Be brief
Write in capital letters; it will be perceived as shouting
Don't use
Think creatively about your subject line
Use upper & lower case
Use e-mail as a weapon or to conduct difficult conversations
Spell & punctuate properly
Sign off simply
Be negative

DOs
DON'Ts

  

 

 

 

 

 

  
  
Answers:
DOs
DON'Ts
Always greet your correspondent
Think before you write
Re-read before sending
Wait a day, if possible, before answering
If you are angry, wait even longer
procedure
Be brief
Think creatively about your subject line
Use upper & lower case
Spell & punctuate properly
Sign off simply
Don't start your message in the subject field
Don't overuse acronyms; you may not be understood
Don't forward e-mails without getting the author's permission first
Don't write anything you wouldn't put on a postcard
Don't write in capital letters; it will be perceived as shouting
Don't use e-mail as a weapon or to conduct difficult conversations
Don't be negative

Stage 4: E-mail reading

std<>std, tch< > stds, 15 mins

1. Give out e-mail texts - face down - & say they can look at it for 30 seconds to get the general idea.
2. Stds look & then turn the papers over.
3. Stds compare answers.
4. Feedback
5. Comprehension task - hand out - stds read
6. Read & answer task
7. Stds compare
8. Feedback & discuss the e-mail - believe it??? Received any similar??

Comprehension questions:

1. Who should read this e-mail?

2. What's the problem?

3. What are some of the consequences of this problem?

4. What is the solution to the problem?

5. What will happen if the money cannot be raised?

Stage 5: Language focus ideas

Among the areas you might want to pick up on are:

- to be a burden on somebody

- the x is ....., not to mention ....

- it's imperative in order to ....

- in the event that we can/can't


Stage 6: Follow up ideas

- stds write a response to the problem, offering advice & sympathy

- stds write their own hoaxes - following the problem - solution structure of the example e-mail - should be lots of fun

- stds search on the Net for more hoaxes - supply them with some of the addresses from the July Newsletter. They bring them in, swap them around & vote on the most outlandish/interesting/provocative etc.

Text

From: john@fallforit.com]
Sent: Saturday, 23 June 2001 14:54
For: info@developingteachers.com
Subject: Please help!!!!!!

Please read this unless you don't have a heart!

Hello, my name is Harold Anslinger. One month ago, my little boy, Tommy, was diagnosed with Simiatomia-B, a rare genetic disorder which affects the nuclei of cells.

Chromosomes are genetically modified and human chromosomes are slowly changed into chromosomes of a chimpanzee. My beautiful six-year-old son is slowly turning into a monkey.

Needless to say, this is a burden on my wife, Marlene, and I. The doctor's bills are staggering, not to mention the cost of bananas and the little tricycles that chimps like to ride. Doctors tell us that the changeover will be complete in one year and that our only hope is a new experimental treatment available at Johns Hopkins. In an act of extreme generosity, Microsoft, Johns Hopkins, and the Pope have volunteered to donate one cent for every e-mail that you forward. God bless Bill Gates! God bless Mr. Hopkins! God bless His Holiness!

Here's how it works. Every time you forward this e-mail, special tracking software in Switzerland keeps track of it and the money is automatically placed in a Swiss bank account. We need to raise approximately three million dollars, which is 300 million e-mails, so please forward this message to all of your relatives, all of your friends, and even people you may not like so much. It's imperative in order to keep little Tommy from becoming a chimp, and to find a solution for others like him.

In the event that we can't raise the three million dollars, the money will be donated to Campbell Soup's "pea soup for hobos" project, where cans of sodium-laden soup are donated to indigent people riding the rails. I have to go now. Tommy is screeching for another banana.

Thank you, and god bless.

      

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