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IELTS Preparation Series 2, Episode 26: General Task Writing

September 3, 2016

 

(Bấm vào đây để xem/nghe bài kế tiếp)

 

Xem lời thoại bên dưới:

 

0:03

Hello. I'm Margot Politis. Welcome to Study English, IELTS preparation.

0:18

Today we're going to talk about letter writing.

0:22

IELTS Task 1 in the General Training module asks you to write a letter. We write letters

0:30

to friends, strangers, businesses, government departments and institutions.

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The tone of a letter can be formal or informal, depending on who is going to read it.

0:47

There are several purposes for writing letters:

0:51

giving or requesting information

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giving instructions

0:57

relating an event

1:00

giving good or bad news

1:04

complaining

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describing

1:08

Some letters can include several of these purposes at the same time.

1:13

Here are some examples.

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Letters for giving information might include: travel plans

1:20

arrival details what to see and do on holidays.

1:25

Letters requesting information might be for: course information

1:31

library hours timetable information.

1:36

Some letters for giving instructions include: how to get to your house

1:41

how to operate a machine how to open an account.

1:46

And relating an event: a an incident or accident

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a wedding or function or a holiday.

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giving good or bad news cancelling an appointment

2:00

accepting a job offer informing of the birth of a baby.

2:05

Letters complaining might include: poor service in a restaurant

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loud noise in your district or a problem with faulty goods.

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And letters describing might be about: lost property

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a friend or a place.

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OK. That's an overview of different types of letter. Now let's consider the organisation

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of the letter.

2:35

Letters have a clear and familiar structure. Formal letters begin with a greeting: Dear

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___, and end with a closing: Yours sincerely.

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In between the top and the bottom, is the body. But what sort of body? How do we decide

2:53

about the shape of the letter between the greeting and the closing?

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Well, we write because we have a purpose. It is important to indicate at the beginning

3:04

of a letter what its purpose is.

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Let's consider some examples.

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If your letter is for giving information, you might start with: I am writing to advise

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that

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or for requesting information: I am writing to request information about

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for giving instructions: I am writing to explain how to

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relating an event: I am writing to describe the accident I saw

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giving good or bad news: I am very happy to tell you that

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complaining: I am writing to complain about

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describing: I am writing to describe some lost property

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It's easier for the reader of the letter if it's organised coherently.

4:00

In Task 1, the way the IELTS General Training question is laid out will help you in organising

4:07

your response or answer.

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For example, look at the following question - a typical question for Task 1:

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You have to sit IELTS and you would like to do a preparation program to help you prepare

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for the test. Write a letter to the Course Information Officer at a college that offers

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IELTS preparation courses requesting information:

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how long the course is how much the course costs and

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course pre-requisites

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You should write at least 150 words.

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The way the question is constructed tells you how to organise your letter. There are

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3 bullet points:

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how long the course is how much the course costs and

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course pre-requisites

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This tells you that you should construct 3 body paragraphs, one for each bullet point.

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Thus your letter should look something like this.

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First a greeting:

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Dear Sir or Madam,

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Then an introduction stating a purpose:

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I am writing because

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Then the body:

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1.how long the course is 2.how much the course costs

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3.course pre-requisites

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And then finally, the closing:

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Yours sincerely,

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So when writing your IELTS letter, it's a matter of being logical and organising your

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ideas.

5:50

Let's look at another question and decide how to tackle it.

5:55

You recently went to a conference in another city and stayed in a hotel. When you returned

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home you discovered that you had left your briefcase in the hotel.

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Write a letter to the manager of the hotel, explaining the problem:

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explain where you left your briefcase describe the briefcase

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advise how to inform you, and where to send it, if found

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You should write at least 150 words.

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If we follow the same strategy as last time, our letter organisation will look something

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like this.

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First a greeting: Dear Sir or Madam,

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Then an introduction stating a purpose:

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I am writing because

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Then the body:

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1.explain where you left your briefcase 2.describe the briefcase

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3.advise how to inform you, and where to send it, if found

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And then finish with the closing:

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Yours sincerely,

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The last thing to discuss about the letters you'll be writing is the level of formality.

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The two IELTS letters we looked at should be formal.

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There will be times when you will have to compose a less formal letter, with different

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language choices.

7:27

Here are some examples:

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more formal: I am writing to enquire about the cost of your IELTS Preparation Program.

7:38

less formal: I am writing to ask about the cost of your IELTS Preparation Program.

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more formal: This is due to the fact that teaching costs have increased.

7:54

less formal: This is because teaching costs have increased.

8:01

more formal: If you require further information less formal: If you need more information

8:12

more formal: Please find enclosed less formal: Here are

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more formal: We have been forced to increase fees.

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less formal: We've had to increase fees.

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more formal: I regret to advise you. less formal: I'm sorry to tell you.

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more formal: I will not be able to attend. less formal: I cannot come.

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Well, you should now be able to practise letter writing. Remember, each letter you write will

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have a different purpose, and a clear purpose statement will convey your intent to the reader.

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Organise the letter into several short paragraphs, and choose the tone carefully. Should it be

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more or less formal?

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To find more information and tips, don't forget to visit our website. It's abcasiapacific.com/studyenglish.

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You'll find all the stories, transcripts, study notes, exercises and quizzes for the

9:27

series.

9:29

That's all for now. I hope to see you again for another episode of Study English. Bye

9:34

bye.

 

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