How to teach "Writing telephone messages" in Form Two

How to teach "Writing telephone messages" in Form Two

Welcome to UNIT 22.4

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 22.3, we discussed about the various ways of teaching the sub topic "Writing things in a diary"   in Form One.                             
IN THIS UNIT 22.4, we will cover the sub topic “Writing telephone messages” in Form Two.
Sub Topic: Writing telephone messages
Periods per sub topic: 8
Class: Form Two
In this world where mobile phones are widely used, the knowledge of how to use them is important as well. Today, people can call and write messages to each other from everywhere they are.
In this sub topic/lesson, the student should be able to write messages on mobile phones.
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 brainstorms with students by asking them if they have ever used mobile phones in their life. Actually, most of them will say yes. Some will respond that they have never used it before. The teacher now can guide them to brainstorm how they write messages on these mobile phones.
At this first stage of the lesson, students should discuss the matter vigorously in the way that every will understand what the lesson will be about. For example, the teacher should allow students to brainstorm themselves on how mobile phones are used to write messages. The students who have that knowledge can share it with others in their respective groups. The teacher should always be there moving from one group to another as he/she provides necessary help to them.
At this stage, the teacher should also guide students to discuss the meaning of important terms like telephone, mobile telephone, message, inbox, send, reply, forward, edit, and other important terminologies used when sending messages on mobile phones
  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, a teacher will have to prepare and use samples of mobile telephone messages. The real materials to be used here are mobile phones. The teacher can help students create groups in which he/she will give each group one mobile phone. If there are no mobile phones, the teacher can still use sample mobile phones' messages that can be photocopied to match the number of students or it can just be written on the board.
Another way of applying materials on this lesson is to use projector on which sample telephone messages can be displayed in slides.
  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 will guide students to practice how to write telephone messages on mobile phones by using these patterns:
Wait for me.
I'm on my way.
Can't call right now
Call me later.
I'm busy.
Please call.
The teacher can also guide students to discuss other terms used when writing telephone messages and the mostly used mobile telephone abbreviations.
  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 can guide students to use the library or computer rooms where students can find various stories or texts on how telephone messages are written and appropriate terms used. Apart from this, students can be encouraged to learn how to write telephone messages at home. At school, students can also be encouraged to learn how to write telephone messages in appropriate way. In a nutshell, these mobile telephone messages can be practised by students at their homes or at school.
  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: telephone, mobile phones, message, reply, send, receive, forward, etc.
Guide the students to the full 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 should brainstorm with students on the meanings of terminologies used when writing mobile telephone messages, uses of mobile telephone messages, and how telephone messages are written.
Teacher and students should brainstorm on the following important terminologies used when writing mobile telephone messages. They are:
Mobile telephone
Forward, etc
Mobile phones are used in to serve various needs.
Generally, mobile telephone messages are written in order to accomplish some of the following needs:
  • To communicate
  • To greet each other
  • To make business transaction
  • To invite others on various occasions
Therefore, mobile telephone messages are important in our daily life and students and the teacher have to discuss these uses of telephone messages and provide real life examples and experiences.
In the following activity, students will be introduced on how to write these mobile telephone messages.
ACTIVITY TWO: Teacher's Demonstration. 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 demonstrate to students how to write the telephone messages on mobile phones. A teacher can use a sample telephone message to show students how messages are written on the telephone and how they look like. An example below shows how a telephone message looks like:
Image credit: 

At this point, the teacher can use the board to demonstrate his/her sample mobile telephone messages or the projector can be used instead. Some samples from teacher's demonstrations can be:
To: John
From: Asha
I'm at the meeting now. I'll call you later.
Time: 22:00 Hours
Message taken by/Received by: John
Other contents of mobile telephone messages:
Wait a minute. I'll call after 30 minutes.
Can't call right now. There are a lot of noises here
Image credit: 
ACTIVITY THREE: Students' Demonstration. Showing students how models like that of a teacher can be 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 give the students a message to write on the phone. The teacher should guide students to make sure they have understood and they are ready to write mobile telephone messages.
The students should get ready to write the messages. Before they write mobile telephone messages, the teacher should give them guiding subject or let them choose one subject among various alternatives of messages or topics.
ACTIVITY FOUR: More Students' Demonstrations. 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. 
Image credit:
In this activity, the teacher has to guide students to organise themselves in pairs and guide them to discuss the given topics from which they should write mobile telephone messages.
As they write, the teacher should go around the class looking at those messages (if they are correct).
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 Blog! (OLE).
Ask students if they always see telephone messages in the places they live. Also ask them what kinds of telephone messages are common to their places.
In most cases, telephone messages are very common nowadays especially because of mobile phones are available and everyone can just grab it and write a message provided that he/she knows how read and write. It is almost true that every person and every house can have one or more than one mobile phone, and family members can write various telephone messages to other family members, friends, or work mates. Even in our villages, mobile telephone messages are common. The students should now be encouraged that mobile telephone messages are part and parcel of our everyday life. They should practice how to write good mobile telephone messages for others.
A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the student is able to write telephone messages on mobile phones.
Assessment #01: Group work
Provide three or four topics for each group to choose and write the telephone message for it. These topics are greetings, best wishes, or any important information. Each group should present their work before the class.
Assessment #02: Pair works
Provide four topics for each pair to write a good telephone message for it. These four topics are appreciation, success, congratulation and sympathy. Each pair should present their work before the class.
Assessment #03: Individual work
Ask each individual student to write the telephone message for his/her graduation inviting his/her parents, relatives, and friends to the party.
However, students can write more specific mobile telephone messages to show that they are busy doing something, they will call later, they are in the meeting, they will meet later, or they will be out of reach.

Note: 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.
Writing messages involve writing. As it has always been stated in this blog, 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 in order to apply the skills they have masters. Thus, after mastering the skill of writing mobile telephone messages, students have to sit down and practice real writing of mobile telephone messages for various purposes in their daily life.
However, for most schools and students, mobile phones are strictly forbidden. In that scenario, the teacher has to guide students to use mobile phones when they write messages but they should also comply with the existing school regulations. In most cases, in Tanzania, no student is allowed to own mobile phone, but they can be taught how to use it at homes when there are no restrictions from their parents and guardians. The general advice is that a student should not own mobile phone until he/she is at college or university.

NOTE: 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 telephone messages" in Form Two. 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!

Thank you for visiting ‘O’ Level English Blog.

If you are a STUDENT, TEACHER, PARENT/GUARDIAN, or an education stakeholder, you can also get various Materials, Teaching Guide, and Notes for ‘O’ Level English Language (OLE) right here.
You may also be interested in our products below:
1. English Language for Secondary Schools
2. Our Blogs:

3. Other Useful ‘O’ Level English 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.

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts

Previous Post Next Post