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Question

You have received the following letter from your Englishspeaking friend.
...We're doing a project this month at school
on eating habits and customs around the
world. Will you be able to help me by telling
me what the traditional meals are in your
country, what people typically eat and at what
time of day?
Thanks very much!
Love Alison

Write a letter to your friend giving her the information she


needs (around 140-190 words).
(Checklist
Writing Paper Part 2. Task Type: Informal Letter
Content
Should give an account of the traditional meals in the
country in question, including details of what is eaten
and when. May also give a brief account of personal
habits but the main focus should be on the country as
a whole.
Communicative achievement
Informal. Contracted forms (e.g. 'don't' instead of 'do
not') are acceptable, as are exclamation marks. The
friend would be informed and have enough
information to add to the project.
Organisation
Should have the layout of an informal letter, with
appropriate beginning and ending (e.g. 'Dear Alison',
'Best wishes' or 'With love'). Should acknowledge the
friend's letter in the first paragraph and mention which
country is being described.
N.B. In the exam there is no need to write

addresses.
Language
Language of description and explanation. Vocabulary
related to food and meals (e.g. breakfast, brunch,
lunch, dinner, tea, supper, snack, fast food, etc.)
Present simple tenses for describing habits and
customs. (e.g. Most people eat.... NOT*are eating...)
Should not contain major errors that lead to
misunderstandings or that irritate the reader.)

Ideas for writing


Ask yourself the following questions to help you get started:
What are the main meals that people eat in your country?
Make a list of the meal, what is typically eaten and the time of
day.
E.g. Breakfast - not much, coffee and bread, 7am
Do you yourself eat something different?
E.g. Me - just fruit
How are you going to combine these notes into a
paragraph? Look at the example below for help, which is
written in an informal style because the letter is for a friend.
Breakfast is usually something very light - a large cup of coffee
and maybe a bread roll. Most people eat fairly early at around
7.00am. However, as you'll find out if you come to stay with
me, I can't face anything other than fruit before 9 o'clock!
Is there anything else worth mentioning in your letter?
(Drinks that are served with each meal? Changes in eating
habits over the last decade?)
How would you normally end a letter to a friend? Finish off
with a friendly remark.
Drafting and proofreading your work
You should look at your first draft of the task and decide:
Have you answered the question? Have you remembered
to state which country you are writing about?
Is the letter organised in a clear and logical way?
Is the language correct with a good range of structures?
Will your friend enjoy reading your letter?
Is the style OK?

If the answer to any of these questions is 'no' you will need to


do some more drafting!

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