Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Groups 201-204 Homework: Letter to your hostess in England, Mrs. Sampson

You have 20 minutes to do this task. Please write on a separate piece of paper to give me, in case we don't have time to read our letters in class.

Task: You have received a letter from the mother of an English host family you have just stayed with while doing a summer English course. Mrs. Sampson writes:
... We all really enjoyed having you stay with us. How was your journey back home? Do you feel that you improved your English as much as you had hoped? What did you enjoy most about your stay in England?
As for our latest news, we’ve just bought a puppy....
Tim Lloyd; source.
Write a letter of about 100-140 words. Observe the rules of good letter-writing. Answer Mrs. Sampson’s questions and ask three questions about the new dog.

Bring to class next week. (If you have not written to David about school, or your essay about the Internet as a source of information, don't forget to bring those, too!)

Exercise from Olga Afanasyeva, Virginia Evans, Victoria Kopylova, Practice Exam Papers for the Russian State Exam, 2010 Revised Edition, Moscow: Express Publishing/Prosveshchenie Publishers.

Remember the "rules of good letter-writing"... These rules refer to the format expected in the Unified State Exam:

  1. First line, upper right corner: address (city and country are enough).
  2. Second line, upper right corner: date (more about this below).
  3. Salutation: ("Dear Frank,"; "Dear Mrs. Sampson,"; "My darling wife,"; "Sweetie Pie!").
  4. Intro: an expression of thanks for last letter, of regret for taking such a long time to reply; etc. One or two sentences. ("Thanks so much for your wonderful letter! I'm sorry I took so long to answer, but I had to study for two tests.")
  5. Body: This is the main part of the letter. Respond to the assignment. Usually this means answering the questions in the letter you have "received" and asking questions as directed by the assignment.
  6. Outro: In this last sentence or two, you may ask your correspondent to write again soon or to send you something, or you may explain that you must end the letter now because of another obligation. ("Write again soon--and don't forget to send me pictures from the concert! I have to end my letter here--my mother wants me to help wash the dishes.")
  7. Complimentary close: This word or phrase can be formal ("Yours truly,"), less formal ("Sincerely,"), informal "Best regards," or "All the best!"), or even warmer ("Love," or "Hugs and kisses,").
  8. Signature.

You may use the British convention:
21 September 2011 (note: no comma)
21 Sept. 2011
21st September 2011
21st Sept. 2011
... or the American convention:
September 21, 2011
Sept. 21, 2011
But don't use numbers for the month. 21.09.2011 (European) or 9/21/2011 (American).

Length of letters on the Unified State Exam: 100-140 words. Don't write fewer than 90 words or more than 154!

For a chart showing the placement of various elements of the letter, go back to this post.

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