Boost up your speech skills



14.1. Listening Development

Assignment 1. Listen to the recording to Unit 14. Part 1 ‘Written world 1’ describes the early stages of the development of writing. Listen and make a short summary.

Part 2 ‘Written world 2’ dwells on the revolution in technology of writing. Listen and put down those fact you found the most interesting.

Assignment 2. Listen to the recording to Part 3 tackling the religious aspect of the influence of writing for pleasure.

14.2. Vocabulary Enrichment

Assignment 1. The two formats below are great examples of what a business letter should look like. Compare the block layout and the indented layout to see how different they are. Check whether there are any mistakes in writing. Then explain how you understand the words and expressions from the letter.

  1. paragraph(s)
  2. margins
  3. recipient
  4. to think in terms of
  5. passion – passionately
  6. ident on every paragraph
  7. justify – justification
  8. keep it straight to the point
  9. restate the purpose
  10. close the letter
  11. sign – signature
  12. enclosure

Assignment 2. Put the following phrases in the right column.

Starting a letter

Closing remarks

      • We are writing to inform you that ...
      • We are writing to enquire about ...
      • For further details ...
      • I recently read / heard about ..... and would like to know ....
      • We hope you are happy with this arrangement.
      • Having seen your advertisement in ..., I would like to ...
      • We hope you can settle this matter to our satisfaction
      • If we can be of any further assistance, please let us know.
      • If I can help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
      • If you require more information ...
      • I received your address from ... and would like to ...
      • Thank you for taking this into consideration.
      • I am contacting you for the following reason.
      • Thank you for your help.
      • I would be interested in (obtaining / receiving) ...
      • I am writing to tell you about ...

      Assignment 3. Look through the following phrases and try to think of the situations in which you can use them.

      1. to act on behalf of
      2. always at your service
      3. as agreed
      4. as far as the payment is concerned
      5. as per invoice
      6. as per your request
      7. as requested
      8. at your earliest convenience
      9. at your expense
      10. on delivery
      11. on receipt of the order
      12. on short notice
      13. on written request
      14. order to be confirmed
      15. our offer is still open
      16. we acknowledge receipt of
      17. we apologize for the delay
      18. to notify in advance about

      Assignment 4. Complete the sentences with the appropriate prepositions.

      a) Have a quick look these figures and get me asap.

      b) Let me know if you need any help the Koreans. And copy me any correspondence them.

      с) Could you get our suppliers and sort something them? I'll leave the details you, but keep me the loop.

      d) BTW, you did a great job the presentation. It went really well the Belgians. We'll just have to wait and see what they come to us .

      e) Can you update me where we are the Expo arrangements? I'm a bit touch. Can I leave it you to contact the speakers?

      f) I'd like to sound you this new packaging idea. Let's meet to discuss it sometime next week. BTW, I still can't seem to get Monica.

      g) I know you're your neck in work at the moment and probably don't want to take any more, but could you take this Milan thing my hands?

      h) I haven't had time to read the whole report and I'll probably need to check some of these figures the computer, but leave it me.

      i) Thanks for your offer a beer. If I can finish this report by 7, I may just take you it! I could certainly do one!

      Assignment 5. Complete each of the sentences below with an appropriate word.

      1. We're writing you in ____ to (= about) the email we received on...

      2. _____ ... = On the other hand...

      3. I received your email, in which you ____ (= described in detail) your plan to launch the product by next March.

      4. Sorry for ____ back to you so late. = Sorry for the late response.

      5. Let's ____ ( = arrange) a meeting for Friday.

      6. At the present time... = At ____ time...

      7. We usually ____ ( = communicate with) clients directly.

      8. It would really ____ if you could send me some additional information.

      9. I believe we should take a different ____ = I think we should do something different.

      10. I've ____ ( = examined) your payment history, and I did notice the discrepancy that you mentioned.

      Assignment 6. Proofread the letter asking for reference below and correct all the mistakes.

      I write to you to request you provide reference to me as I begin my job search. As you know, I complete my graduate studies this spring, and found several exciting opportunitiy that I am exploring.

      As my undergraduate thesis advisor and mentor, I am believing that a reference from you provide a potential employer with information to recommending me as school counselor.

      If you are needing any additional informations, please contact me via email and phone.

      Thanks you for your consideration and supporting.


      Jessica Angel



      Assignment 7. Translate the following sentences into English using the active vocabulary.

      1. Я пишу, чтобы узнать . . .
      2. Благодарю вас за помощь.
      3. Жду ответа с нетерпением.
      4. Прилагаю информацию, которую вы просили.
      5. Не могли бы вы выслать мне вашу последнюю брошюру?
      6. Я был бы очень признателен, если бы Вы прислали мне эту информацию.
      7. Просьба вернуть прилагаемый конверт с вашим платежом.
      8. Поздравляю с назначением на пост генерального менеджера.
      9. Я был рад услышать, что переговоры по контракту прошли хорошо.
      10. Я просто хотел бы подтвердить основные моменты, которые мы обсудили.
      11. Ваша заявка на финансирование была одобрена.
      12. Если мы можем оказать помощь, пожалуйста, не стесняйтесь обращаться.

      14.3. Reading Improvement

      Assignment 1. Look at the subtitles from the text “Job Search Email Etiquette” – and match them to the paragraphs (1 – 8). The first one has been done for you as an example.

      A. Where to Send Your Email Message B. Email Message Content C. Include an Email Signature D. Your Email Account E. Email Subject Line
      F. Send a Test Message G. Double Check Your Email Message H. Email Subject Line Examples


      When you are using email to job search, it's important that all your communications are as professional as they would be if you were writing an old-fashioned paper letter.

      Here's information on all you need to know about job search email etiquette including what to include in your job search emails, how to format your email, and how to make sure your email message is read.

      In general, your email messages should include words, not acronyms or slang, full sentences, paragraphs, and detailed information on who you are and why you are sending the email.

      The email account you send your messages from, having a Subject Line completed, the files you attach, and your signature are important, as well.

      1 D. Your Email Account

      Make sure you have an email account name that is appropriate for business use, i.e. There are a variety of free web-based email account, like Gmail and Yahoo, that you can use. It also makes sense to set up an email account just for job searching, so your professional email doesn't get mixed in with your personal mail.

      2 ...

      When possible, send your email to a contact person, rather than a general email box. Send a copy to yourself, so you have a record of the emails you have sent and the jobs you have applied to.

      3 ...

      Your email message needs a Subject Line. If it's blank it's probably going to end up in a Spam mailbox or being deleted. Make sure you list the position you are applying for in the Subject Line of your email message, so the employer is clear as to what job you are applying for.

      4 ...

      Subject Line: Communications Director Position

      Subject Line: Marketing Associate Position / Your Name

      5 ...

      If you have a contact person, address your email to Dear Mr. / Ms. LastName. If you don't, address your email to Dear Hiring Manager or simply start with the first paragraph of your message.

      When you're applying for a job via email, copy and paste your cover letter into the email message or write your cover letter in the body of an email message. If the job posting asks you to send your resume as an attachment, send your resume as a PDF or a Word document.

      When you're inquiring about available positions or networking, be clear about why you are writing and the purpose of your email message.

      6 ...

      Include an email signature with your contact information, so it's easy for the hiring manager to get in touch with you. Including a link to your LinkedIn profile is a good way to give the hiring manager more information on your skills and abilities.

      7 ...

      Make sure you spell check and check your grammar and capitalization. They are just as important in an email cover letter as in paper cover letters.

      8 ...

      Before you actually send your email, send the message to yourself first to test that the formatting works. If everything looks good, resend to the employer.

      after Alison Doyle

      Assignment 2. Mark whether these sentences are true or false.

      1. It is important that you format your letter in a professional way.

      2. Abbreviations and argo are recommended to be widely used.

      3. Signatures are least significant parts of a letter.

      4. People typically use the same account for business and private correspondence.

      5. Always use a general email box when corresponding on business.

      6. Emails with empty subject line are eventually eradicated as spam.

      7. An email signature is an image of your signature in handwriting.

      8. Your text does not need to be word perfect when you use an email.

      14.4. Writing Enhancement

      Assignment 1. Read the following letter and replace the underlined formal phrases with more appropriate informal ones.


      Dear Mum,

      I felt obliged to write to inform you how everything is going here in Spain since I started university. Please accept my sincere apologies for not writing sooner but I've been so busy I really haven't had a suitable opportunity.

      I managed to find a nice place to live, it’s a small flat just around the corner from the university. I'm sharing the flat with a girl called Anita who seems really nice and has been here for a year.

      I have become familiar with my surroundings and have been practising my Spanish, which is improving considerably every day.

      I hope to return home for Christmas once the examinations are over. It will be wonderful to see everyone again. I do get homesick, you know.

      I look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Yours sincerely,

      Dear Mum,

      I to inform you how everything is going here in Spain since I started university. Please for not writing sooner but I've been so busy I really haven't had a .

      I managed to find a nice place to live, it’s a small flat just around the corner from the university. I'm sharing the flat with a girl called Anita who seems really nice and has been here for a year.

      I’ve familiar with my surroundings and have been practising my Spanish, which is every day.

      I'm home for Christmas once the examinations are over. It will be wonderful to see everyone again. I do get homesick, you know.

      from you soon.

      Yours ,

      Assignment 2. Write these letters in the appropriate style using 120 – 180 words. Make sure to use the active vocabulary properly.

      1. You need to buy new furniture for your company. Write an enquiry letter.
      2. Write an order letter for the new furniture for your company.

      14.5. Speaking Reinforcement

      Assignment 1. Speak about your experience in writing personal letters, business letters, emails. Find out how often your group mates do it, what they enjoy doing, what difficulties they have.

      Assignment 2. Discuss what you would write in a letter if you happened to find yourself on the desert island, and had a sheet of paper, a pen, and a bottle with a cork.