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Unit 1

Formal Letter
MODEL Task You recently stayed at Happy Valley Campsite with a group of classmates on an end-of-course trip, but were disappointed with your stay. Look at the brochure you received from Happy Valley Campsite before booking the trip and the notes you made while you were there. Then write a letter to the campsite director complaining about your stay and asking for compensation on behalf of your group, giving your reasons. Write your letter in 180-220 words. Happy Valley Campsite Planning to spend your holidays with a group of friends? Camping is a great option! At Happy Valley we make groups especially welcome. We offer the finest campsite facilities in Europe at very reasonable daily, weekly and group rates (generous student discounts available1). cosy trailer accommodation2 metres from clean safe beach 3 hire a tent or bring your own fantastic nightlife in nearby Grimscia5 4 mini-market Phone: 982019076 e-mail: hapvalcam@netexplor.com David Thompson Campsite Manager6 Happy Valley Little Bay Gisbom GI79 F09
1 Not now new policy in place 2 Small and dirty 3 No rented only 4 Only open one hour daily expensive 5 One cinema and one bar people unfriendly 6 Never available to speak to

MODEL Dear Mr Thompson, I am writing to complain about a holiday I spent at Happy Valley from 12th to 20th August with a group of student friends. We were unsatisfied with our stay for several reasons, and feel that we were mislead by your brochure. On the financial side, our first complaint is that we were charged the full fee despite the fact that we had originally been quoted a price with a student discount. Furthermore, and contrary to what is stated in your brochure, friends who had brought their own tents were not allowed to use them and had to pay to rent tents they did not need. If this were not enough, we have complaints about the site itself. The trailers were cramped and had not been cleaned for some time. Although there was a mini-market, it was not at all 'convenient'; apart from being extremely expensive, it was closed for most of the day. Finally, I would hardly call one bar and one cinema in Grimscia 'fantastic nightlife' as your brochure claims. I tried to speak to you during our stay, but this was impossible. I feel that your brochure is misleading. I expect to receive financial compensation for our disappointment, otherwise I will take the matter further by contacting an organisation dealing with advertising standards. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely, James Brown

TIPS Part 1 of the Writing Paper is a compulsory question. You have to produce a piece of writing in a specified format in response to a practical reading input This may consist of two or three texts totalling up to 400 words, e.g. a memo, a newspaper extract a set of notes etc. Thus the task tests your ability to understand and process information as well as write. Make sure you: read the instructions carefully and do exactly what they ask for. Highlight key words. plan before you start writing. include all the relevant information from the input. think about the target reader think about text type think about your purpose in writing think about the appropriate register and tone and maintain them throughout your writing DOs and DONTs DO use the person's name it you know it (Dear Mr. X). If the persons name is not known, DO use Dear Sir/Madam. If you have used the person's name at the beginning of your letter, DO end your letter with Yours sincerely. If you havent used the persons name at the beginning of your letter, DO end your letter with Yours faithfully. DO state the purpose of your letter clearly and concisely. DO begin by identifying and/or describing the situation you are writing about. DO expand on the ideas in the input but make sure that you don't include things that are irrelevant. DO organise points from the input in a logical and coherent way. DON'T use the same language as the input as this may cause you to use the wrong register. DO make links between points within the paragraph. DO make links between paragraphs. DO say what you want the result of your letter to be in the final paragraph. DO try to end on a positive note. DO try to remain factual but polite. DONT make your language too forceful or you will have a negative effect on the reader. USEFUL LANGUAGE STATING THE CIRCUMSTANCES lm writing to draw your attention to/point out (certain inaccuracies/discrepancies) to complain about to express my concern about/disappointment with/disapproval of/apologies for with regard/reference to LISTING COMPLAINTS My most serious complaint is Not only + inversion (e.g. Not only did your employee insult us)... but also To begin with For a start Firstly, Secondly, Finally, Moreover/ Furthermore/In addition On top of that DEMANDING ACTION TO BE TAKEN Unless you .... I have no option but to If I do not I will have no choice but to Otherwise I will be forced to I fear that If this were not enough To support my argument, (I would like to tell you) In my view This strikes me as I appreciate the reasons for..., but According to your whereas in fact

I urge you to I would appreciate it/be grateful if you would It seems only fair that you should I look forward to receiving/seeing

I trust/very much hope you will I suggest that sb + bare infinitive HOMETASK # 1 1 You are going to write a letter of complaint about a film. First, discuss these questions with a partner. 1 What kind of film do you think is suitable for a family audience? 2 What would you normally expect to find in a film aimed at younger children? 3 Whose responsibility do you think it is to monitor the films young children see? 2 Read the following writing task, and underline the three things that you have to do in your letter. Your school is raising funds by showing family films at weekends. You took your young cousin to see a film there last weekend, but were disappointed. Read the advertisement, the review and your notes. Write a letter to the school outlining the reasons why you were disappointed, your cousin's reaction to the film, and suggesting what should be done. Write your letter in 180-220 words. Saturday 5 p.m1. A family film! Master Plot is an action-packed comedy thriller to please everyone 2. A man is accused of murder, and his attempts to clear his name are funny 3 and enjoyable. Running time 3 hours, with a short interval4 for people to buy ice cream. Tickets 95.
1 Started late 2 Bad choice 3 No! Jokes too adult for young ones 4 Not long enough! 5 No reductions?

The acting is excellent throughout. Although the plot is complex, and sometimes confusing, it is clever, and adult. However, the humour1 is black, and not to everyone's taste. The special effects are intense with images that could be hard to forget. These might give children nightmares2.
1 Suitable or not? 2 They did!

HOMETASK # 2 Read the following writing task. Underline the three things that you have to do in your letter. What is the best order to put them in? Your school is planning a musical concert to give students the chance to perform in public and raise money for school funds. Information about the concert has been published on the school website, with a request for comments and suggestions. You decide to write to the Principal. Read the web page below and the provisional programme on which you have made notes. Write a letter to the Principal outlining your reactions to the concert and making suggestions with your reasons. Write your letter in 180-220 words. Concert Saturday June 15th Performers of all ages and abilities welcome - take your chance to perform in public! Rehearsals will be held between 10-14th June1 so that everyone will be fully prepared. Just fill in the form and come along! NAME: INSTRUMENT PLAYED:2 LEVEL ACHIEVED:3 TYPE OF MUSIC: REASONS FOR PARTICIPATING:
1 Long enough? 2 What about dancers? 3 Why?

PROVlSlONAL PROGRAMME First half Classical music Classical dance1 Seat prices: 10 Students/children: 92 Second half Modern music/groups Modern dance

Proceeds to School Funds

1 Boring? Mix them up? 2 Too expensive / other ways to raise money?

Task Your class has recently been doing a project on people who are currently famous. Your teacher has asked you to write an essay, giving your opinion on the following statement. Many young people wrongly believe that fame brings happiness. Write your essay in 220-260 words. Model It is undoubtedly the case that we live in an age when many people are admired for simply being famous , rather than for the way in which they achieved that fame. Furthermore, so much media coverage is given to the lives of celebrities that we seem to know them as well as any other member of our social circle. However, whether or not they are happy as well as famous is open to debate. Few would dispute the fact that fame attracts both positive and negative publicity: the media may choose to praise a star one week, and then attack them the next with critical articles and unflattering photographs. Moreover, it is probably true to say that some celebrities do not know who they can rely on as a genuine friend; and who is likely to exploit them for their own gain. It is also the case that fame doesnt last and obscurity must be extremely hard to deal with if you have been used to the spotlight. On the other hand, being famous can open up some marvellous opportunities. One can indulge oneself with luxury homes and travel to exotic destinations or do others some good through charity work or simply by lending ones name to a project. Additionally, if you are famous for being a heart surgeon or civil rights activist, for instance, then hopefully the pride you take in your work must equate to some form of happiness. In conclusion, young people who believe that fame brings happiness might not be entirely wrong. If you can maintain a degree of privacy, keep your self-respect and hold onto a trustworthy circle of friends, being famous might be an occupation worth pursuing. TIPS TYPES of ESSAYS A discursive essay is a piece of formal writing which discusses a particular issue, situation or problem. There are three main types of discursive essays. i For and against essays present both sides of an issue, discussing points in favour of a particular topic as well as those against, or the advantages and disadvantages of particular question. Each point should be supported by justifications, examples, and/or reasons. The writer's own opinion should be presented only in the final paragraph ii Opinion essays present the writer's personal opinion concerning the topic, clearly stated and supported by reasons and/or examples. The opposing viewpoint and reason should be included in a separate paragraph before the closing one, together with an argument that shows it is an unconvincing viewpoint. The writer's opinion should be included in the introduction, and summarised/restated in the conclusion. iii Essays suggesting solutions to problems, in which the problem(s) associated with a particular issue or situation are analysed and possible solutions are put forward, together with any expected results/consequences. The writer's opinion may be mentioned, directly or indirectly, in the introduction and/or conclusion. NOTE on FORMAL STYLE Discursive essays are written in formal style. You should use passive voice, impersonal constructions a range of advanced vocabulary (verbs, adjectives, abstract nouns, etc.) formal linking words/phrases complex sentences with a variety of links, dependent clauses, etc

inversion You should not use: contracted forms, except when these are part of a quotation colloquial expressions, phrasal verbs, idioms (e.g. lots of, put up with, over the moon, etc.) simplistic vocabulary (e.g. Experts say, they think, it is bad, etc.) a series of short sentences (e. g. Many people think so. They are wrong, etc.) simple linking words (e.g. and, but, so, etc.). DOs and DONTs DONT start with your own opinion or giving your conclusion - make sure that your essay leads to the logical conclusion. DO introduce topic and describe tendencies. DO have a balanced approach. DO give your own opinion at the end. DO use connectors to link your ideas together. DONT forget to support your opinions with evidence or examples. DO involve the reader by using rhetorical questions, quotations and thought-provoking statements but DONT overuse them. DO remember to present your ideas in an objective way. DO clearly separate paragraphs helps with organization. DO start each paragraph with a topic sentence, summarizing the contents of the paragraph. DO use formal linking devices and maintain a formal or semi-formal register throughout your essay. DO use impersonal language in preference to first person pronouns. DONT use very strong language (e.g. I know, I am sure, I detest, etc.). DONT use over-generalisations (e.g. All politicians lie, etc.). DONT use personal examples (e.g. In my school, etc.). DONT use clichs, proverbs (e.g. Rome was not built in a day, etc.). The DISCUSSION CLOCK When considering a topic you may refer to the discussion clock, which will help you think of ideas when planning your essay. Referring to the discussion clock is a useful "brainstorming" technique, as it helps you examine a topic from various viewpoints and decide on ideas/ points to include in your essay. Keep in mind that a topic may not relate to all the aspects presented in the discussion clock. Remember that for each viewpoint you have thought of, there is usually an opposing argument. Think of the opposing arguments when planning your essay.

Psychological Moral









Social Educational


USEFUL LANGUAGE INTRODUCING THE TOPIC Some people claim that museums are a waste of money. It is often said that children should be taught more history in school. What is often stated is that history should be an important part of the curriculum. COMMONLY HELD VIEWS It is widely believed that No one would dispute the fact that SAYING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK There are those who argue that It has been suggested that It is often claimed that REFERRING TO SOURCES All the evidence suggests that A recent survey proved that Few people would contest/dispute (the fact) that It is generally agreed that Opponents/Supporters/Proponents of sth argue that

Judging by the comments made by Interviews with sb have revealed that

LINKING IDEAS While it is true that spending some money is a good thing, it may not always be right to spend too much. Not only is it right to spend money, but also to invest in the future. Conversely, it may not be the right thing to do. On the contrary, there is a groundswell of opinion against the plan. GIVING OPINIONS I can honestly say that I agree with the plan. Personally, I feel that spending money on preserving the past is a complete waste. From my perspective it seems to be a good idea. It is probably true to say that It cannot be denied that There can be no doubt that It is my firm belief that It would be wrong to argue that I am inclined to believe that I would dispute the claim that It strikes me that

TO EMPHASISE A POINT clearly obviously it is obvious

naturally needless to say indeed

CONCLUDING On balance, I feel that more money should be spent on preserving history. Taking everything into consideration there is a clear case for cutting the budget on the arts. TO INTRODUCE EXAMPLES for instance such as in particular particularly TO MAKE PARTIALLY CORRECT STATEMENTS to a certain/some extent/degree in a way/sense this is partly true (but) TO EXPLAIN/CLARIFY A POINT in other words that is to say HOMETASK # 1 You have been investigating the status of music in society and have asked professional musicians and music teachers for their views. Now your tutor has asked you to write an essay assessing the importance of music nowadays, using your notes and giving your own opinions on this subject. Professionals 1 Local rock bands - lots of live gigs (small venues e.g. parties), CD sales small 2 Classical orchestra - v. tough to find work, low pay 3 Big money for top performers Music teachers Music less important than e.g. maths at school - but important from early age Benefits of playing - creative, brings new friendships Benefits of listening - relaxing, fun Write your essay in 220-260 words. 1 Consider the following opening paragraph as a guide in writing your own, a shorter one. Music is something that we perhaps take for granted in our daily lives, particularly when it exists in the form of background music, from advertising jingles to MTV. However, do w as a society take music as seriously as w should? In this essay, I will examine this subject from the perspectives of the professional musician and the music teacher, giving my own views on the status of music today. 2 Choose appropriate openers to insert in sentences a-h below, paying attention both to the ideas expressed and the grammar used. Generalising It is usually the case that People tend to regard Specifying The reality is that By and large especially This is (clearly) illustrated/shown by the fact that One/A clear/striking/ typical example of (this) The fact that.... shows/illustrates that to a limited extent there is some truth in up to a point this/which means that

From the classical performer's point of view, Professional musicians are seen as Raising an argument Considering / Looking at / Taking the example of Giving one side One argument in favour of this is In support of Giving the other side At the same time In actual fact In contrast to

For rock musicians

On the question of

It is true that

Set/Weighed against this is This is not to say that

a ..................................................... highly-skilled individuals, yet their earnings don't always reflect their talent. b ..................................................... teaching music in school, not enough is done. ..................................................... children who learn music at a young age benefit academically. d ..................................................... the fact that it is easier to make your own CD these days. e ..................................................... everyone should be able to read music, as it is not a fundamental lifeskill. f ..................................................... music is more available to us than ever before. g ..................................................... the many benefits of listening to music. h ..................................................... this it should be added that the best-known performers earn a great deal. 3 Now write four more sentences based on the content in the notes, with any openers you haven't used.

4 Insert all twelve sentences into this paragraph plan. Add anything else that needs to be said in each paragraph. Now write an essay based on what is in the plan, being careful to reorder the sentences where necessary and adding appropriate linkers. (1 Opening paragraph)

2 General perceptions of the role of music in society

3 Performers

4 Music in schools

5 Benefits of music (playing and listening)

(6 Concluding paragraph)

HOMETASK # 2 Discuss the view that advertising promotes excessive consumerism. Write your essay in 220-260 words.

The editor of your college English language magazine has asked you to write a review of two films you have seen recently saying why one of the films is likely to be of particular relevance and interest to students at the college and why you believe the other is not so useful. Write your review in 220-260 words.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK The two videos I watched were 'Cure for Summertime Blues' and 'Days of Wonder'. The first was worth the time and money and has an important message; all I can say about the second is you'd be better off spending your cash on a take-away pizza! 'Cure for Summertime Blues' is a film about young people on holiday in Greece, and almost as soon as it started I found myself laughing till I cried and nodding in agreement with more or less every line of the script. I hadn't seen any of the actors before but I found their portrayal of teenagers from a London comprehensive completely convincing. The film has a clear message for young people: that caring about others and the planet means more than money or looks. The film was thought provoking as well as extremely entertaining. Conversely, 'Days of Wonder' was a completely different kettle of fish. Despite a star-studded cast, a director with a string of film successes behind her and a screenplay based on the novel of the same name, 'Days of Wonder' just doesn't work. Changing the setting from seventeenth century Paris to contemporary Sydney, while leaving the script in the baroque style of the original novel, is particularly unsatisfactory. What's more, it's impossible to believe that a man would contemplate killing someone, merely for speaking to his girlfriend. Such inconsistencies in the plot ruined the credibility of the film for me. So, if you want to watch something that you'll enjoy and which has something important to say then 'Cure for Summertime Blues' is the one to choose.

AN ARTIST OF THE FUTURE? Is he a complete phenomenon? He dashes off works of art with big, bold confident sweeps of the brush, and his style has been compared with Picasso. Nothing unusual in that, except that Edward Simpson is only six


years old. He has become the youngest artist to have his work accepted for the British Watercolour Society's annual exhibition, and his paintings sell for 50 each. He comes from a long line of artists, but has been painting seriously for less than a year. Although Edward's grandfather is a professional painter and illustrator of children's books, he was less than anxious to encourage his six-year-old grandson, partly because he didn't want him to damage his paints, but mostly because 'we did not need another struggling and penniless artist in the family'. In his father's eyes, though, Edward's paintings 'are spot on. Edward really is a natural. He may only be six, but he has an eye for art and knows instinctively what he is doing with a paintbrush'. So what kind of pictures does Edward paint? He enjoys painting animals, especially dogs, and his approach is simple and direct. His bold cartoon ish figures have already established a small but exclusive market; people may well be collecting them with an eye to the future. He uses primary colours and a natural approach, and his pictures would add charm to any living room. Some people might find them too simple for sophisticated tastes, but there is certainly something special about the sheep in particular that catches the eye. When I first saw Edward's work I was surprised at the effect it had on me. I was profoundly moved. I found the clean lines of his paintings remarkable and thought-provoking, a return to the simplicity of Picasso. Will Edward be the Picasso of the future? Only time will tell, but I think his exhibition is well worth a look. TIPS Reviews usually include the following elements: introduction to catch reader's interest background information a brief account of what is being reviewed any general comments (either positive or negative) personal opinion and recommendation. Remember, your review doesn't necessarily have to be about something you liked or enjoyed. DOs and DONTs DONT be too informal and chatty use a fairly formal style. DO indicate the structure of your review in the first paragraph. DO start your review with a humorous or catchy comment to attract your audience's attention. In reviews of more than one event, DO use the language of comparison and contrast. DO use vocabulary specific to whatever you are reviewing. DO try to make your review interesting for the reader by using a range of vocabulary, and a variety of structures. The purpose of a review is often to persuade the reader to see the film or read the book. DONT tell your readers about the ending if it will ruin the film or book for them. DONT forget to cover all the points mentioned in the task. DO write an equal amount on each film/book/CD/show, etc. DO give information about the cast, director or screenplay if you are writing about a film. DONT assume the reader/viewer knows the story summarise it clearly and concisely. DONT just describe the plot; offer your evaluation of it as well. DONT use / think and in my opinion try to be objective. DO describe the plot in the present tense. DO end your review with a recommendation or final evaluation. USEFUL LANGUAGE BOOK (FICTION) Types: thriller, mystery, whodunit, romance, science fiction, fantasy, historical Elements: character, plot, dialogue, setting, atmosphere, author, novelist, writer BOOK (NON-FICTION) Types: coffee table book, cookery book, travel book, encyclopedia, dictionary, textbook, manual Elements: chapter, section, index, glossary, illustration, author, editor FILM Types: (as for fiction) + adaptation, comedy, animation Elements: screenplay, script, set, role, costume, design, photography, special effects, animation, soundtrack People: cast, actor, director, producer, scriptwriter.


PLAY Types: (as for film) + farce, musical Elements: act, scene, set, role, costume, lyrics, music, design, stage People: (as for film) + playwright, composer CONCERT Types of group or musician: rock group/band/musician, (lead, bass, rhythm) guitarist, (lead/backing) singer, drummer, folk singer/guitarist, country and western singer, jazz band/quartet/trio/singer, orchestra, quintet/quartet/ ensemble/soloist/violinist/cellist Elements: song, lyrics, tune, piece, symphony, concerto, cantata, score, stage, theatre, hall, auditorium People: songwriter, composer, conductor. EXHIBITION Types: painting, sculpture, photography, furniture, design, handicrafts Elements: gallery, catalogue, displays TV PROGRAMME Types: series, documentary, soap opera, drama, situation comedy, chat show, debate, current affairs programme People: compere, presenter, host, director, producer, scriptwriter, cast, actor PROVIDING BACKGROUND INFORMATION 'A Horse of a Different Colour' is Michael Gordon's fourth novel/second film/first major role/second individual exhibition. 'In the Beginning Was the Word' came on at Odeon cinemas last week and I went along to see it. INTRODUCING A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE PLOT Set in eighteenth century London, the film tells the story of/recounts events in the lives of three sisters. In the breathtaking landscape of northern Canada, the book examines the themes of solitude and intimacy. On the eve of the First World War, the series introduces us to the Wilson household. COMMENTING CRITICALLY I found the plot rather conventional/predictable/contrived/completely bizarre/absurd/incomprehensible. The novelist has succeeded in creating an extremely intricate/complex plot/entirely believable/life-like characters. The characters are completely believable/unconvincing and the dialogue is witty/stilted and natural/artificial. The ballerina was absolutely brilliant/was verging on the incompetent. A particular strength/weakness of the production was the set design by Marcelo Camilleri. The exhibition catalogue is economically priced/ridiculously over-priced. ... provides a fascinating/ valuable/revealing insight into... The design/characlerization/ production is second to none/ is not its best feature. I found the plot rather predictable/disappointing. The acting is very impressive/ convincing. She gives a compelling/ memorable performance as PROVIDING A RECOMMENDATION I would strongly advise you not to miss/waste your money on 'Ain't Got a Clue'. I would definitely recommend seeing/visiting/reading/having a look at 'Melbourne: a Sentimental Journey'. For those who enjoy contemporary music, Tropical String Quartet are not to be missed. Go and see 'Momix. You'll be amazed. Don't be put off by the title/critics/cover. It will have you roaring with laughter/rushing out to buy the sequel. It is a definite must-see. Nevertheless, this is a book/film well worth considering. If you enjoy spectacular epics, this is the film for you. Predictable and heavy-handed, this is definitely one to miss! I would definitely give it a miss. COMPARING AND CONTRASTING (STRENGTHS OR TWO EVENTS)


While/Whereas/Although/Despite the fact that/In spite of the fact that characterisation was particularly strong, the plot gradually lost credibility. The cast is brilliant; especially when you lake into account how truly dreadful the script is. 'I Remember What You Did Last Winter' is a masterpiece, 'Looking for Sam' is the opposite. Both films are likely to appeal to younger audiences, but 'Postmortem' will be especially appealing. Neither the novel nor the film fully convinced me, though the character of Margo really comes alive on the screen. X is a bit/considerably more original than ... X isn't quite as good as ... EVALUATIONS (particularly) memorable (entirely) predictable (truly) original (really) lively (excruciatingly) boring (totally) unconvincing over the top (extremely) popular riveting (viewing) (almost) inaudible (incredibly) stylish (vastly) overrated

entertaining (profoundly) moving (quite) sophisticated (absolutely) hilarious (refreshingly) different (a bit) flat (beautifully) recorded clichd atmospheric spine-chilling over-hyped spectacular

BALANCING AN OPINION I found (the lyrics incomprehensible at times/the host infuriating), but... / However,... Although (the lead singer has a great voice/the show is a big hit with the public),... Even so, (her performance will stay in the memory for a long time/the show makes great family viewing). Despite this/In spite of this/And yet (I enjoyed nearly every track on it/it doesn't really spoil the programme). On the other hand, (I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it/the concept doesn't really work). EXPRESSING PREFERENCE If I had to choose one... I'd rather... than ... I much prefer... Give me ... any day! SUMMARISING So, (two different artists but) ... All in all, (if you're going to buy one disc/watch one programme this week)... Quite simply, (this is the best...)

Hometask # 1
The editor of an international student magazine has asked you to write a review of two comedies you have seen recently. Compare the two films from the point of view of the acting the plot Write your review in 220-260 words.

Hometask # 2
An international art magazine is running a series of reviews of exhibitions and museums called 'It really had an impact on me!' You decide to contribute a review. You should describe the exhibition or museum, explain what had such an impact on you and say whether you would recommend it to others. Write your review in 220-260 words.


Character Reference
To whom it may concern Lara Goodrich As the manager of a local branch of the Excel Insurance Company I have known and worked with Lara Goodrich for nearly six years. During this short rime she has progressed from her initial job as trainee secretary to her current position as office manager. At each stage in her career here Lara has shown great enthusiasm for her work and has always managed to combine a friendly, outgoing nature with a dedicated, professional approach. Her willingness to respond to circumstances and work extra hours if required has been a major asset to the company. She is at all times very approachable and enjoys the affection and respect of office colleagues and members of the sales team alike. She is also extremely adept at dealing with difficult customers. She can be sensitive to criticism and does have a tendency to take things to heart. However, this is a mark of her perfectionism, which generally manifests itself as a positive attribute. Indeed, her ability to work accurately and with attention to detail is one of her greatest strengths, particularly in this field of work. She has excellent organizational skills and has been responsible for planning my own business trips, as well as making travel arrangements for visitors from other branches and Head Office. Naturally, with her experience she is familiar with all aspects of office work, and quickly assimilates new developments. For these reasons I am confident that Lara has the right qualities for this job and have no hesitation in supporting her application. TIPS Make sure the information you give is relevant. Write in a formal register - you are writing to an employer. Identify how you know the person briefly and clearly. Use a variety of expressions to convey positive qualities, rather than repeating the same phrase. Include a reference to a weakness but leave the reader with a positive impression.


Conclude by recommending the person for the job.

USEFUL LANGUAGE 1 have a helpful sensitive easy-going stubborn determined potential reluctance dedication ability patience 3 display the right personal qualities show lack possess develop 4 have a (strong) tendency to be domineering lose one's temper become iII worry over detail avoid responsibility 5 have/develop advanced computer excellent secretarial outstanding management poor parenting the necessary communication 6 adopt a/an cautious energetic enthusiastic slapdash positive nature

2 show great


approach to one's work

... and since then we have remained firm friends. During the (five) years he has worked for me, (Peter) ... As a former colleague of (Susan's), I... Overall suitability She has the makings of an excellent (teacher). He would be a great asset to your (company). She would make a valuable contribution to your (school). Not only is she a highly talented (actress) but she is also an exceptionally gifted (musician). He is a skilled craftsman/a proficient typist/an expert cook/a promising athlete/an accomplished singer. He has a talent for bringing history alive/a flair for languages/a gift for music. (Paul) has a warm friendly manner/a determined nature/ all the necessary personal qualities. (Celia) shows great patience/ sensitivity towards others/ enthusiasm/potentiaI. These qualities enable (her) to...

Hometask # 1
Your friend would like to apply for the scholarship advertised below and has asked you to write a character reference for him/her.


The Wisbech Trust offers a one-year scholarship for a suitable person to study in a university in an Englishspeaking country. The grant covers all study costs, travel to and from the country and adequate living expenses. The chosen candidate should be academically able, interested in the chosen country, and be prepared to work as part of a team on an area of research decided by the university. Write your reference in 250 words.

Hometask # 2
A colleague of yours at work has applied for a job in the export sales department of a large multinational company. Since you have known and worked with this person for over five years, you have been asked to write a character reference to support the application. You should include relevant information both about the business skills and the character of your colleague. Write your reference in 250 words.

Punctuation Rules
Commas 1 after introductory elements: Introductory elements may be adverbial phrases: Finally. I managed to pass the exam. As a result, we lost the match. adverbial clauses: When m got there, they had already left. If you know the answer, please tell me. Note: Adverbial phrases and clauses don't require commas when in final position. participle clauses: Being a kind man, he agreed to help. Too frightened to move, the}' clung to the ledge. Note: This type of clause must be separated off by a comma in final position. 2 around inserted elements: Inserted elements may be: adverbial: I decided, nevertheless, to continue with the tour. My friends, although they had never visited Spain before, had no problems getting around. adjectival: The boy, tired after his long journey, fell into a deep sleep.


Checklist for Writing

The task Have you answered the whole question? Is all the necessary information present? Is there any irrelevant information you should delete? Tick off the key points you highlighted in the question to check you haven't forgotten anything. Purpose and target audience Have you put your message across clearly and effectively? Is the register and tone appropriate for your readers? Put yourself in the reader's position. Would you understand what the writer wants to say? Would you feel put off or offended by the tone? Layout and organisation Is the layout appropriate for the task type? Is the information organised into coherent paragraphs? Does each paragraph begin with a clear statement of the topic and deal with one main idea? Is the sequence of ideas from one paragraph to the next logical and easy to follow? Are linking expressions and paragraph transitions used to tie sentences and paragraphs together? Variety Is there a range of vocabulary? Have you used precise and interesting words rather than vague, dull ones? Have you used a variety of sentence patterns and not just a series of short, simple sentences? Have you avoided unnecessarily complicated sentences? Accuracy


Is the grammar correct? Check for correct use of articles and determiners subject and verb agreement verb forms and tenses prepositions and particles pronouns and pronoun reference structures after verbs (gerunds, infinitives, noun clauses) Is the punctuation correct? Check for correct use of capital letters and full stops commas apostrophes quotation marks Is the spelling correct? Check for typical errors.