IELTS General Training Task 1:
An email to colleagues
This is an example of a letter to your colleagues in the company you work for.
This kind of letter/email can be difficult because it often depends on where you work. Are you on first-name terms with all your colleagues? If you are, then a formal email would be inappropriate. But if you work for a huge company where you don’t know anyone in the other departments, it’s important to keep the tone polite and formal.
The main thing is that your tone is CONSISTENT throughout. This is a criteria for a Band 7 in Task Achievement.
So it doesn’t matter which level of formality you choose. Just keep it the same throughout.
Here I show 2 examples of the same letter (one formal, one informal).
Listen to the Podcast Episode 204.
You have been asked to organise a social event for your company. Write an email to your colleagues. In the email say:
- What suggestions have been made
- What you think about the suggestions
- What you have decided to do.
We haven’t been able to have a social event for the past two years due to our limited funds. This year, however, the company has agreed to support an end-of-year party. We’ve discussed various options as you will see below.
Firstly, we considered an office party held on the premises. The main advantage of this would be that it avoids any need for people to make special travel arrangements. On the other hand, the building doesn’t really have a space that is suitable.
We therefore looked at a meal out. There are a number of suitable restaurants and hotels close to the office. One argument against this was that sitting at table is not a very good way for us to mix and get to know people from other departments.
Finally, we discussed a day trip, for example to a local tourist spot. The main drawback of this is the cost. In addition, it’s difficult to find somewhere that caters for all of our needs and interests.
Taking all of the points into consideration, we propose an office party for all staff, to be held in the main reception area. Date and time to be confirmed.
Please let us know your opinion, preferably before the end of next week,
Less formal version
As you know we haven’t had a Christmas party for the past two years because of a lack of funds. But this year, the company has said that they’ll pay for some kind of get-together. I’ve asked around the office, and this is basically what we’ve come up with.
First of all we thought about having an after-work party in the office. This would be the easiest option because everyone would already be there, though it’s not ideal because there’s not much space.
So then we looked into a meal out. There are loads of nice restaurants not too far away from the office but some people thought it probably wasn’t the best way to mingle because everyone would be sitting at a table all evening.
Finally, we considered something like a day trip to somewhere nice and local. The only problem with this would be the cost and also it’s quite difficult to find somewhere that suits all of our needs and interests.
So after a lot of thought, we’ve decided that an office party in the main reception would be the best bet. Date and time to be confirmed.
Please let us know what you think before the end of next week if possible.
In the podcast episode I talk about using the Present Perfect in letters and how important it is for you to understand when and how we use the Present Perfect.
You can see some examples here:
‘We haven’t had a Christmas party for the past two years.
‘The company have offered to pay’.
‘I’ve asked around the office’.
For the full lesson about using the Present Perfect in IELTS (for both Speaking and Writing) come and join us in the Members Academy – everything you need for IELTS in just one place.
Find more ideas for General Training here (there’s also a full course on Writing Letters in the Members Academy).