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Email communication

Problem-centred tasks

Engaging students in email communication to develop ability to compose and read emails in different contexts and for different purposes. The most effective way to teach these skills is to provide opportunities for email communication with another person and the experiences of this communication in the learning.  

  • Contacting people or organisations for relevant information (e.g. travel agency, library, friends)

  • Communicating via email with another class for a project


Scaffolding activities

#1 Email hunt

Students carry out an ‘email hunt’ to identify and explore the main functions of the school email application.

#2 Explore meaning

Students explore the meaning of the symbols and words found in typical email applications. 

#3 Do's and don'ts

Students analyse examples and  generate email ‘rules’ (e.g. words in the subject line, use of fonts, font sizes, colours, capital letters, the use of bullet points, etc.) . They explore what is appropriate in different contexts. 

#4 Special language

Students explore how emoticons and txtspeak can be used in email communication. They investigate when it is appropriate to use these.


#5 Structure

Students consider how email texts and their structures can be shaped by the contexts, audience and purpose of their email (e.g. opening, closing, etc.).  

#6 Email types

Students brainstorm different email types and discuss in what context they can be used (e.g. apology, thank-you email, invitation, complain, etc.).

They explore phrases which can be used in different types (e.g. Please, accept my apology for...).

#7 Power of language

Students explore how language in emails can be used for manipulation and persuasion (e.g. being polite, scammers' tricks, etc.).

#8 Stranger-danger

Students make a list of features of unsafe emails. They generate and present a list of strategies to deal with unsafe emails.  

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