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Text types: la carta formal

When writing a letter you must have clear who you are sending that piece of writing to and your purpose. These details will contextualize your writing giving you the necessary information to choose the correct format. Basically, we are looking at two different types: formal & informal. We could simplify this saying that a formal letter is a classic letter and an informal letter looks more like an e-mail [we'll talk about informal letters in a different post]. 

When you have these features identified make sure:
  • your letter is concise and brief, this is not a literary text. 
  • is organized in paragraphs, the information is accurate and solid. 
  • you use full sentences and your vocabulary is polite and precise. DO NOT use abbreviations. 
  • the punctuation is correct. Periods and commas are good fellas, give them an opportunity to show off. 

Resumen carta formal:
  • saludo formal y despedida /( Estimado Sr/Sra... / Atentamente)
  • Fórmula de encabezamiento (Me dirijo a usted con el objeto de ... )
  • Cierre adecuado antes de la despedida (Espero su respuesta...)
  • Firma (tu nombre)
  • Registro formal (uso del usted y formulas de cortesía)

Use these online activities to double-check you understood everything you need to know about this type of text:
Expand your boundaries:
  • ¿Cómo escribir una carta? Icarito [web]
  • ¿Cómo escribir una carta? WikiHow [web]
  • ¿Cómo redactar una carta formal? Universia-Chile [web]
  • Tipos de cartas [web]

If you are interested in more tips and ideas on IB text types swing by here.

I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.
Abraham Lincoln

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Different content different perspective

Teaching at a High School is always interesting and dynamic. Most of it has to do with all the changes and adjustments our students have to deal with throughout this crucial stage of their lives. Puberty is not an easy stage to go through. So, why don't we try to be a bit more realistic, why don't we try to adjust our content to their interests. In a language class we have to talk about physical appearance, personality, descriptions... why don't we give a try to a more teenager-centered texts instead of the boring classical ones.

This worksheet can be used as a regular reading comprehension activity but also follows the IB format for IB classes.


  • Reading Comprehension activity [pdf]

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
Albert Einstein





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