Take a Letter‏‎ – business dictation

Lesson Plans & Activities

Take a Letter is a simple dictation practice which allows your business English students to practice the form and style of business letters.

Business letters are often formulaic, using set words and phrases and layouts. This exercise gives your students practice with these and familiarizes them with the usual content and form of these letters.

As a bonus, the students get practice in speaking and listening as well.


You need to download a number of standard business letters. A simple Google search will give you plenty to choose from.

Rather than simply print them off and use them, you should adapt them to suit the level and needs of your students.

For example, if your class is involved in customer service, make sure the letters are relevant to this. You can also change company names and so on to make them more realistic.

Likewise, if you know some of the students are looking for work, the letters can be application letters and so on.

Running the Activity

Put the students into pairs. One student is the “boss” and the other is the “secretary”. They sit back to back while the boss dictates the letter to the secretary who must write it.

At the end of the exercise they look over the dictation together and check the result then swap roles, dictating another letter.

Useful Links

Dictation‏‎ in English Language Teaching – a look how to best use dictation and make it really productive for you students,

Image © Rossco

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