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Tutor Tip of the Month

Making Card-writing Easier

It’s holiday time! That means it is time for postal carriers bags to get heavy and  for family and friends to send their holiday cheer. If your learner is excited to send holiday or New Year cards this season, you can help keep it fun.

1) Brainstorm with your learner what kinds of things he or she will want to say in the greeting cards.

If he or she is not sure of what kinds of phrases to use, etiquette books are a useful reference. The library shelves will include classic etiquette guides, as well as those with a more modern perspective. Searching online will also reveal tips and sample text.

2) Take this list and encourage your learner to pick his or her favorite phrases. Encourage him or her to think in terms of two groups: (1) close friends and (2) family and more casual friends or business acquaintances.

3) Together develop a template message for these two audiences. Collaborate on the wording and discuss any grammar or usage points that come up in the process. Messages do not need to be long. A sincere few words do the trick.

If your learner is ambitious and wants to do a holiday letter to send out to everyone, be sure to start this project well in advance. You can then incorporate it into your weekly meetings and lesson plans, using the letter writing to practice skills and items on your priority lists.

Cards sent online are another way to practice without the cost of a stamp or card. (It’s also a gift to the earth.) Many web sites offer free cards, and many email account providers have their own e-card collections. A few starter sites are: (free trial for 30 days)


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