Desperately seeking work

Published on 12th April, 2012 in Global Bloggers by Valentina Castellani

Some of our students come to Belfast to study English and end up falling in love with it. The next step is to find a job to be able to stay. For this reason I use the section ‘Writing a job application’ in Unit 6 of Global Elementary.

First of all we start with the Reading section. I usually enlarge the job advertisement on the page and give it to the students. I ask them what kind of text do they think it is. We look at its specific features and we all agree that is a job advertisement. I then ask them what they would expect to find in a job application letter in response to the advertisement. We brainstorm different ideas before reading the letter featured in the unit. We then discuss whether this letter fulfills all that is requested in the advertisement, what is good, what can be improved, etc.

We then pay attention to the style of the letter. In the ‘Writing skills’ section, Global focuses on the use of formal language. We look at these features and we look back at the job application letter, to see if these elements are present or not. I then ask them to correct the letter to make it more formal and appropriate in style.

After that we work on the vocabulary in ‘Language focus’. This section deals with describing personal skills and personal qualities. We look at the use of prepositions in collocations and the use of the infinitive or the gerund in specific constructions.

All these activities help students to prepare to write their own job application letter. We focus on a few jobs as suggested in the ‘Preparing to write’ section. We brainstorm skills and qualities, and I specifically ask them to use some of the expression we’ve just looked at.

Finally students write a job application letter. I ask them to follow the guideline in the Writing section, which helps them to structure their letter clearly and effectively.

Before the lesson I usually collect a few job advertisements from the newspaper. At the end of the class I ask them to choose an advertisement they find interesting and they would like to apply for. Their homework consists in writing the job application letter for the job advertisement they chose. The following class I collect all letters and correct them. In this way, students have a model letter to use when applying for jobs once they are done with their English course.


  • Thanks again for this explanation of your lesson. I particularly like how you brought in real advertisements and helped them create their own model letter. This really felt like an extremely useful task, perfect example of real world in the classroom!

    Lindsay Clandfield on 26 April, 2012
  • Thanks Lindsay for your comment!
    I’m really happy you liked it.
    yes, students found this lesson really really helpful.
    so thanks to you for including it in Global!

    Valentina on 26 April, 2012