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Creating Opportunity Worldwide

Pro-ELT Teacher Training Materials

Aptis Preparation: Writing Emails


PART A
Put the following texts in order: (you can check your answers on the next page. Dont look yet!)
1. Formal Email
I was very disappointed to hear that our staff outing has been cancelled. It is
very unfortunate that Mr. Smith is unavailable.
I wonder if there is any way to still have the trip. Would it be possible to find
another organiser? Perhaps you could make a general announcement calling
for volunteers. I would even be happy to take on the responsibility myself.
Best regards,
Miss Simone De Beauvoir
Dear Management,
Please let me know if I can assist in any way as I would very much like the
outing to go ahead.
I know that everyone was very keen to visit the Cameron Highlands next week
and I am sure that this will be a blow to staff morale. I am particularly unhappy
with the cancellation because it is so rare I get the opportunity to socialise with
my colleagues.

2. Informal Email
Simone
I dare say youve seen the news about our trip. Its been cancelled. What a
shame! I think the management should try to find another organiser a.s.a.p. I
dont suppose youd volunteer, would you?
Dear Jean-Paul,
See you,

Contributed by: Justin Miller


The British Council, 2014
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities.
British Council Malaysia is a branch (995232-A) of the British Council, registered as a charity in England and Wales (209131) and Scotland (SC037733)

Creating Opportunity Worldwide


Pro-ELT Teacher Training Materials

Model Texts
Example Aptis Part 4 Question:
You see the following message in your weekly memo at work:
Dear Employees,
Due to unforeseen events, the organiser for next weeks proposed trip to the tea plantation in the
Cameron Highlands, Mr. Smith, has had to take leave. As a result the event has been cancelled. We are
sorry for any inconvenience.
The Management
Formal Email
Write a response to the management saying how you feel and suggesting alternatives. Aim for 150
words

Dear Management,
I was very disappointed to hear that our staff outing has been cancelled. It is very unfortunate that Mr.
Smith is unavailable.
I know that everyone was very keen to visit the Cameron Highlands next week and I am sure that this
will be a blow to staff morale. I am particularly unhappy with the cancellation because it is so rare I get
the opportunity to socialise with my colleagues.
I wonder if there is any way to still have the trip. Would it be possible to find another organiser? Perhaps
you could make a general announcement calling for volunteers. I would even be happy to take on the
responsibility myself.
Please let me know if I can assist in any way as I would very much like the outing to go ahead.
Best regards,
Miss Simone De Beauvoir
140 words

Contributed by: Justin Miller


The British Council, 2014
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities.
British Council Malaysia is a branch (995232-A) of the British Council, registered as a charity in England and Wales (209131) and Scotland (SC037733)

Creating Opportunity Worldwide


Pro-ELT Teacher Training Materials
Informal Email
Write a response of about 50 words to your friend saying how you feel and suggesting alternatives.
Hello Jean-Paul,
I dare say youve seen the news about our trip. Its been cancelled. What a shame! I think the
management should try to find another organiser a.s.a.p. I dont suppose youd volunteer, would you?
Let me know if youre interested.
See you,
Simone
45 words

Contributed by: Justin Miller


The British Council, 2014
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities.
British Council Malaysia is a branch (995232-A) of the British Council, registered as a charity in England and Wales (209131) and Scotland (SC037733)

Creating Opportunity Worldwide


Pro-ELT Teacher Training Materials
PART B
Vocabularly
B1. Find words in the formal email text that have similar meanings to the following:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Not happy
Enthusiastic
Trip
Fellow employees
Unusual
Help
Unlucky

B2. What does the lexical chunk a blow to staff morale mean?
B3. Find the two words in the formal email that use the root cancel. Write these words down and
say what part of speech each one is (e.g. preposition, adjective, etc.).
PART C
Look back at the email texts. The formal email has seven parts and the informal one has four parts.
Can you give a name for each of these parts? Type them in the text boxes below in bold. The first
one is done as an example
Formal Email
Opening Salutation

Contributed by: Justin Miller


The British Council, 2014
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities.
British Council Malaysia is a branch (995232-A) of the British Council, registered as a charity in England and Wales (209131) and Scotland (SC037733)

Creating Opportunity Worldwide


Pro-ELT Teacher Training Materials
Informal Email

Signature

PART D
Useful Phrases
Look at the two emails and see if you can find any useful phrases that will help you in the future. Type them into
the appropriate text box from Part C.
E.g. What a shame! from the informal email.
Now look at any other models you have for writing emails and see if you can find more useful phrases. You
probably have a few model texts from your teacher.
PART E
Production
First, you might like to remind yourself of the information in the common errors PowerPoint, then, go to
http://proelt.byethost7.com/ and choose one of the questions from there and write your own emails. Follow
the instructions and post your answer online. There is no time limit but when you start reading the question you
should start timing yourself to see how long you take.

Contributed by: Justin Miller


The British Council, 2014
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities.
British Council Malaysia is a branch (995232-A) of the British Council, registered as a charity in England and Wales (209131) and Scotland (SC037733)

Creating Opportunity Worldwide


Pro-ELT Teacher Training Materials

ANSWERS
PART B
Vocabularly
B1. Find words in the formal email text that have similar meanings to the following:
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

Not happy disappointed, unhappy


Enthusiastic keen
Trip outing
Fellow employees colleagues
Unusual rare
Help assist
Unlucky unfortunate

B2. What does the lexical chunk a blow to staff morale mean? It is something that will make the
staff feel unhappy and dissatisfied
B3. Find the two words in the formal email that use the root cancel. Write these words down and
say what part of speech each one is (e.g. preposition, adjective, etc.). cancelled (verb);
cancellation (noun)
PART C
Look back at the email texts. The formal email has seven parts and the informal one has four parts.
Can you give a name for each of these parts? Type them in the text boxes below in bold. The first
one is done as an example
Formal Email
Opening Salutation

Reason for writing (or introduce topic


or set context)
Your feelings about the message

Suggesting an alternative

Closing line
Final closing salutation
Contributed by: Justin Miller
The British Council, 2014
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities.
British Council Malaysia is a branch (995232-A) of the British Council, registered as a charity in England and Wales (209131) and Scotland (SC037733)

Creating Opportunity Worldwide


Pro-ELT Teacher Training Materials

Signature (full name and title)

Informal Email
Opening salutation

Stating how you feel and suggesting


an alternative

Closing salutation

Signature

Contributed by: Justin Miller


The British Council, 2014
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities.
British Council Malaysia is a branch (995232-A) of the British Council, registered as a charity in England and Wales (209131) and Scotland (SC037733)