"History is past politics, and politics present history." John Robert Seeley

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see." Winston Churchill

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle


Writing Formal Letters

Anchor Phrases for Formal Writing


You are the Secretary of the English Club at an international college. The club would like to see some improvements made to the English Language Library. You have been asked to write a proposal to the Director, Ms. Barnes, with recommendations for improvements to the library.

Outline the current problems, suggesting what changes you would make and explain how these changes would benefit the students.



  • Large selection of books (but none for beginners)
  • English-language (only) films (very old)
  • Quiet area for self study (uncomfortable chairs)
  • Computer programs for language practice (computers always busy)
  • Mon – Fri 9am – 6 pm





You are the secretary at an international college in Ireland. A social event is held annually to celebrate  the end of the academic year and the college Principal, Dr. Masters, has written to you about this.

Read the Principal’s e-mail below. Write a proposal addressed to the Principal describing which event you think would be best, explaining why you think it would be the most suitable event and suggesting how it could be organised.


  • Popular events in the past were:
    – disco & barbecue in the college
    – visit to the local theatre & meal in the restaurant
    – coach trip to Dublin – shopping / sightseeing
  • Which of these do you recommend for this year?
  • Remember, the students don’t have much money but will want something memorable. How could we organise it?
  • Let me have your ideas, Dr. Masters. (Principal)


 International School End of Year Event Proposal


You are an international student on a ‘stage’ (internship) in Ireland for the last six months. Your course director has requested some feedback describing the advantages and disadvantages of working in Ireland, the cost of living as well as the difference in work culture between your home country and Ireland. Using the following information appropriately, put forward some recommendations to your director on the suitability of your host city for international working students.


  • Long hours, but interesting work
  • Very different pub culture (& weather!)
  • Challenging accents in the workplace
  • Unusual work practices (norms & etiquette)
  • Pleasant & engaging housemates (various nationalities – non-native English speakers)



Last summer, you went on an English course at a language school in Ireland. Your friend Paul, has written to you asking about it. Using the information below appropriately, write a letter to Paul describing your time in Ireland,saying whether or not you would recommend it. Support your opinions with reasons and experiences which you had in Ireland.

English Language Course in Ireland 

  • 10th July – Friendly & approachable students/ pleasant surroundings/ wide range of shops & stores
  • 13th July – Useful Conversation classes/ tedious grammar classes/ interesting games
  • 20th July – Visit to Cliffs of Moher/ dangerous/ exciting/ landscape/ tourists/ small country roads
  • 25th July – Trip to Dublin/ Stadia/ Museums/ Shopping Centres & Restaurants/ Crowds/ GAA match



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