Most of our students are usually reluctant when it comes to writing. Reflecting on that problem I thought that writing should most of the times be connected to real life tasks and have a specific purpose. So when I had to teach my 5th graders how to write an e-mail (Unit 1) I thought that it would be a nice idea to use their parents’ e-mail addresses and actually send me an e-mail.
First we talked about the format of an e-mail and showed them the basic technical details using my e-mail. Then I asked them to write to me about their free time activities using the grammar taught in Unit 1(that is the verbs like ,enjoy ,love, prefer,hate ,dislike +verb+-ing),in order to express their likes and dislikes. Next I gave them my e-mail address and a week’s deadline to send me their e-mails. Each student received a different answer depending on the content of their e-mail. I also explained that the words or phrase written in red colour in my replies would mean that they had used these words or phrases in the wrong way in their e-mails. That was my way of correcting their homework and highlighting their mistakes.In addition correcting their «homework in disguise» as I call it from my home ,in my own time ,was quite convenient for me too.
The majority of my students ,even those who are usually unwilling to bring me their homework, participated in the activity. They were enthousiastic about communicating with me personally and they were looking forward to receiving my reply. Most of them had never sent an e-mail before, so this was a brand new experience for them, that motivated them to write and use the FL for a specific purpose. Finally, my students asked me if they could use my e-mail some other time to ask me any questions concerning our lesson and I gladly accepted.
Below you can read some of my students’ e-mails and my replies to them.
a.)Dear Mrs Mary
I’m sending you this e-mail to tell you about my freetime activities.
How are you?
In my free time I do many things but I have favourites and some activities which I don’t like.In my freetime I play with my friends and we do many things. I love playing basketball in my rim ,I prefer playing table tennis to biliards.I enjoy doing trick shots and videos with my friends for bottle fliping.
The activities which I dont’ like doing are few : I dislike help with the housework,I hate climbing and I dont’ like sailing.
That’s all.What about you?What do you like doing in your free time?
I was happy to receive your e-mail and see that you have a lot of interesting hobbies!In fact some of them I knew nothing about like bottle flipping!I also don’t understand the trick shots! What exactly is that?
I agree that most children dislike helping with the housework! Unfortunately I dislike doing the housework as well, but I don’t have a choice you see! I’m the mum!
Anyway,when I find some free time I enjoy going out with my friends and family! I also prefer surfing on the Internet to watching T.V and relaxing on my couch watching movies!
Well that’s all for now! See you at school!
I write water bottle flip trick shots. TRICK SHOTS means when you do something difficult with tricks and you do it very very good .
Thank you Thomas for letting me know! Maybe you can teach me some of your tricks! or play with you and your friends sometime in the future!
b.)Dear Mrs Maria,
I’m sending you this e-mail to tell you about free times activities.
At the weekends,I love playing football in Amaliadas sports centre.I enjoy playing bottle flipping with my friends Thomas and Jim in the afternoon.I prefer reading subjects English to reading subjects France.I hate climbing because I’m scare the heights.
See you tomorrow.
Dear George ,
thank you for sending me your e-mail.I see that you have a lot of things that you like doing with your friends!
I also have some free time only at weekends because during the week I am very busy!
My son unlike you (αντιθετα με σενα) prefers studying French to English! I love listening to people speaking French!
I don’t like climbing too for two reasons! I’m afraid of heights like you and it’s quite tiring for me! I enjoy relaxing at home or going out with my friends and family!
That’s all for now! I have to answer some more e- mails!
See you tomorrow!