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Page history last edited by Geane Poteriko 12 years, 4 months ago












Two thousand and five hundred years ago, in Greece, the news were delivered by messengers that ran long distances and much time was spent on arriving in their destinations.


Pheidippides was one of these messengers. Have you ever heard about his legend? He was a soldier that, according to the legend, was in charge of delivering the news about the Greek victory over the Persians, in 490 b.C.


He ran  the equivalent of 40 km from the town of Marathon to the Olympic Stadium of Athens. The route he chose became famous and set the beginning of marathons.




Nowadays, time and distance aren’t a communication problem. With the event of the computer, news is transmitted in real time and distance is shortened by the internet. However, this technological advancement brought some problems, such as the excess of mail and information, not always desirable – spam mail – and a more serious problem, digital exclusion.


Despite the computer, letters written on papers are still being used at work, for business and in people’s personal lives.


Get the picture!





Snail mail is how the letters carried out by conventional postal delivery are named.


Can you imagine why?


From the papyrus to the computer; we have gone a long way! It is interesting to know now things evolved. During this chapter you are going to find out a little about the history of mail and writing tools.


*♥. TASK 


What types of written documents do you and your family receive at home?


(    ) personal letters           (    ) bank statements

(    ) business letter            (    ) leaflets

(    ) bills                              (    ) advertisements

(    ) postcards                    (    ) other: ________


- Bring letters or other written mail to the classroom that you and your family have received lately. If possible also bring some old ones.


- Discuss in Portuguese with your classmates the form and language of these writings. Note the format, the beginning and ending of letters, the greetings. Observe if the language used is formal or informal, if it tries to convince you of something or inform you and so forth.


- Write wall charts in Portuguese and in English with the main features you have found in these documents.


*♥. In the English language as in Portuguese, the form of a letter varies depending on age, degree of formality etc. But the beginning and ending of a letter are as you will be able to note similar somehow. Note it!


LETTER II: (A pen friend letter)


55 Pinson Road  

Bognor regis

WU 12 2PR


July  17th, 2005


Dear Guilherme


My name is Jackie S. I’m 15 years old and I have been taken your address from International Pen Friend. I hope you will write back to me.


I’ll talk about myself. I live with my parents and I have a dog and three fish. I enjoy listening to music, reading and playing basketball. I live in a small town, but I like it. What about you?


Best whishes,




PS: I’ve enclosed a picture of me





Have you imagined how important is the writing in our lives? Thoughts, feelings, facts, etc. are the history of civilization itself. We are in the computer generation, but the writing history began with the cave man. They used symbols to represent events of their daily lives, such as the planting of crops or hunting victories. They also drew pictures to leave messages and to honor the spirits. Their writing instruments were stones, sharp sticks, rocks and bones, painting and, of course, the walls.




Approximately 8000 b.C., clay made portable records possible. Early merchants used clay with pictographs to record the quantities of materials traded or shipped. About 3500 to 2000 b.C., the Sumerian people who lived in the Middle East used a writing system, with special symbols, carved by reeds on wet clay tablets to represent things. It was called Cuneiform.



LETTER III: (A business letter)



Import and Export

(London Office)

78, Princess Street EC6 8DK

Telephone: 01-875-1329


9 June 2002


Dear Mr. Melville


I am writing to ask for more information about your new summer clothing. Unfortunately, I could not go to your trade fashion show last weekend, it seems people became impressed by the selections of dresses displayed.

Could you send us your latest catalogue and price list, quoting your most competitive price?


We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Yours sincerely,


Christopher Rock

Chief Buyer.


Paul Melville

Sales Manager

Lowe Ltda

356, Street-Oxford M58 2LG








56 martin oak

London EC3V 6BH

Telephone 01-588 3784

e-address: lookmagazine@diginet.com


18th July 2005


Dear Mr. Brown


Thank you for your letter with the suggestions and complaints about our magazine. We are really sorry for the disruption that the delay in the delivery could have caused you. Our business administrator is taking the adequate actions in order to improve our delivery services.


We are honored that we are your preferred magazine and hope to continue receiving your suggestions.


Yours faithfully,

S. Grants


General Sales Director






Look at this!


Other forms of beginning and ending a letter:




Dear Sirs –>

To a company

Yours very truly,

Dear Sir/ Madam –> To a person if you do not know his/her name

Yours faithfully,

Dear Mr/ Mrs/ Ms+surname – > To a person you know the name

Yours very sincerely,

My dear… – >

To a friend or someone you know well



*♥. TASK 


The following expressions were used in the letters. Decide if you think they are more formal or informal and how you would say the same thing in letters in Portuguese.


- Dear…

- I‘ll talk about myself…

- Best wishes

- I am writing to…

- Could you send…

- We are really sorry…

- We look forward to hearing from you soon.

- Thank you for your letter.

- Sincerely yours

- We are honored…

- Yours faithfully

- Please do not take long to answer back.

- Love

- Would you mind…


Now it’s your turn. Answer back the Letter I. before writing the letter, answer the following questions in English.  


- What do you like to do in your free time?

- How would you describe yourself?

- What places in Brazil would you like to show your foreign friend? Why?






*♥.  Choose one of the following ads and write a letter similar to LETTER III, asking for more information about one of the courses:






4 WEEKS English Course with accommodation

The Univertsity of Oakland

New Zealand





English Course with accommodation from US$ 2.468,00

Melbourne College of English




4 WEEKS English Course with English Course with accommodation from US$ 2.468,00

Melbourne College of English


FONTE: Livro Didático Público de Língua Estrangeira Moderna/ Língua Inglesa do Estado do Paraná. SEED. 2ed. Curitiba: SEED, 2008.





GOOD WORK! Teacher Geane Poteriko



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