How to Teach 'Writing Letters of Application for jobs' in Form Four

How to Teach 'Writing Letters of Application for jobs' in Form Four

Welcome to UNIT 19.4 

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 19.3, we discussed about the various ways of teaching the sub topic "Reading and obtaining specific information" in Form Two.    

IN THIS UNIT 19.4, we will cover the sub topic "Writing letters of application for jobs" in Form Four.

Sub Topic: Writing letters of application for jobs
Periods per sub topic: 10
Class: Form Four

When we want to ask or apply for a position in a certain office or institution, we always send letters of application for jobs or particular posts. The letters of application for jobs speak for the applicants. And thus, because we are not there when our letters are read, we should write these letters well. The students should thoroughly be equipped with the better letter writing skills so that they prepare themselves for the life after school where they will be required to write letters of application for jobs.

In this sub topic/lesson, the student should be able to write letters of application for jobs.

This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:
  1. Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.
In this sub topic/lesson; the teacher will guide students to brainstorm on the meaning of 'letter', 'letter of application/application letter' and 'letter of application for jobs'. The teacher also can discuss with the students on the reasons why people write letters and why people should write letters of application for jobs.
Letter is....
Application letter....
Letter of application for job.....
People write various kinds of letters for various reasons. For instance, friendly letters are written purposely for greeting each other. Official letters are written to make various official communications between offices, people and institutions. However, letters of application for jobs are written in order to apply for posts in various offices and institutions.
  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will use various sample letters to engage students in the process of writing letters of application for jobs. In addition to these sample letters of application for jobs, students are expected to write various letters of application for jobs of their own.
  1. Target Practice. Show them/Guide them to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher showcases students the proper grammatical patterns to use when they write letters of application for jobs. These grammatical patterns and expressions should be thoroughly learnt by students. Some of these grammatical patterns are:
Refer to....
Refer to my letter dated....
I am writing to apply for....
Dear Sir/Madam,
I have attached my CV and academic certificates.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours Sincerely
  1. Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school and library.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will discuss with students on letter writing skills and encourage them to write various letters of application for jobs in the school context. For example, the teacher may ask students to write letters of application for jobs as they write to apply for various posts in Students' Government. This is the real situation or context students should practice on.
  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.
In this sub topic/lesson: The most commonly applied vocabularies are: sincerely, faithfully, refer, Re, advertisement.

Guide the students to the full sub topic/lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:
ACTIVITY ONE: Brainstorming. The teacher has to brainstorm with the students on the sub topic/lesson's aspects through oral questions with answers, pair works, and group discussions of all important concepts to get students on track.
In this activity, the teacher will guide students to brainstorm on letters of application for jobs, mentioning jobs they would like to apply for and how letters of application for jobs differ from other letters.
By definition, letters of application for jobs or application letters are the official letters that are written for the purpose of requesting for a post on a particular company or institution.
The jobs that people may write letters to apply for are so many. Some of them are:
and many more.
Letters of application for jobs are not like other letters. Although they share some common features with other letters, letters of application for jobs have other distinctive features:
  1. Sender's address.
  2. Date.
  3. Receiver's address
  4. Salutation.
  5. Heading.
  6. Body of the letter.
  7. Complimentary sentence.
  8. Closure.
  9. Signature.
  10. Full name.

ACTIVITY TWO: Teacher's Demonstration. The teacher applies his/models or examples so as to bring the topic/lesson and the students into the real or common sense of the topic/lesson.
In this activity, the teacher has to provide students with sample letters to study. These sample letters will show students how the letters of application for jobs are written and organized. The following is one of the samples of letters of application for jobs.

Teacher's Model
P.O.Box 355,
P.O.Box 122,
      Dear Sir/ Madam.
Please refer to the heading above.
In the Daily News, Friday 15th October, 2017 it was advertised job for drivers and I would like to apply for the job.

I am Tanzanian aged thirty five; married and having one child. I have three years’ experience with heavy commercial vehicles. I hold a driving license class A, B, C, E, it is valid and stamped. I am of height 181 centimetres. Previously, I was working with Masanja Transport Company as a driver and I was awarded a certificate of good conduct in 2012. Currently, I am a Bus Driver for Networking Bus Company.

I have attached a reference letter from the Manager of Masanja Transport Company, my previous employer and my certificate of good conduct. For my ability at work contact the Manager of Masanja Transport Company P.O.Box 211, Mpanda.

I look forward to the consideration of my application.
Yours faithfully
 B. Fursa

ACTIVITY THREE: Students' Demonstration. The teacher guides students how they can apply a model like that of a teacher. The skills demonstrated by the teacher should now be demonstrated/applied by them. Here students need to be guided on how to use given expressions, structures, vocabulary, and phrases or similar ones.

In this activity, the teacher has to guide students to work in pairs, draft, revise, and edit a letter of application for jobs. These series of activities have to be supervised closely by the teacher. The students should be carefully monitored as they brainstorm on letter writing ideas, draft the first rough drafts, revise their drafts, and edit their drafts for the submission. Also see Stages of writing official letters in Parts of Official Letters  or General Stages of Academic Writing

The teacher's role in this letter writing process should be to move from one pair to another assisting them with choice of words, grammar, and writing styles.
ACTIVITY FOUR: Taking/leading students to the real situations or contexts where they can apply what they have mastered. Here speaking, reading or writing activities are involved.
ACTIVITY FIVE: Winding up the topic/lesson. Here teachers summarise the topic/lesson by emphasizing the importance of the sub topic/lesson and suggesting other related aspects of the sub topic/lesson.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: As a teacher, what other activity can be applied in this sub topic/lesson? You can always drop your alternative activity or activities to this article so as to improve teaching and learning of 'O' Level English.

Also check out Parts of Official Letters  

Ask students how they think people communicated when there were no phones like today. The students understand that phones are modern technologies and their response will be that people were writing letters to each other. In fact, our life is made successful with writing. We can't say other language skills are not important, but they are always perfected by writing. For example, writing letters of application for jobs is one of the important writing skills. The students should be encouraged that writing letters is still an important skill that everyone should have because it is widely applicable in the contemporary societies.

A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the students are able to write letters of application for jobs.

Assessment #01: Group Work.
Pick any English newspaper and allow all students to discuss which headline has prompted them to write the letter of application for jobs.
Assessment #02: Pair Works
Pick any English newspaper or magazine and ask students to look for Job Vacancy. Discuss with them about the relevance of the vacancy and ask them to write official letter about the requirements of the vacancy.
Assessment #03: Individual Work.
Write an advertisement about recruiting workers of Rice Factory. Ask them to write the official letter applying for Machine Operator post. They should write to The Manager, Karema Rice Factory, P.O.Box 123, Mpanda. Sign your letter as JADI KUSOMA.

Note 01: You can give students more individual works, pair works, and group works to facilitate their interaction and understanding of the sub topic or lesson. As English language teacher you have to give students more works to do. Because language is meant to be largely spoken and written, the teacher should rely on written exercises and notes. Instead students have to learn English language by vigorously exercising individually, in pairs, and in groups.

Letter Writing is a productive skill. After learning all four language skills during teaching and learning processes, finally the students will have to sit down and write some letters especially letters that will help them get the jobs after they finish schooling. This is the advantage of letter writing skills to the students. They should be encouraged to learn more about writing better letters that will give then various employment opportunities.

Note 02: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.

This article is about how to study and teach "Writing letters of application for jobs" in Form Four. As a student or teacher, what is your opinion on how to study and teach this sub topic/lesson?
Your opinion is worth and I believe that it can make these materials better for our own consumption.
You are Welcome!

You can also check the following useful links for each class below:
Other Related Useful Links:
Form Four National Examination (NECTA) Sections

You may also be interested with the following related topics:

Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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