ESOL Wt/L1.4a Choose language suitable for genre, purpose and audience

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Wt/L1.4a: Use language suitable for genre, purpose and audience

  • Identify the appropriate register for genre, audience and form of communication, and use appropriate lexis, mode of address and type of structures suitable for the situation.
  • Know and use a range of lexical phrases, and use collocation appropriately. Example: ‘I am interested in applying...' ‘I would be grateful if you could send me...' ‘..opportunities for promotion..' (
  • Consider register and begin to consider the connotation of lexis when selecting from words of similar meaning 
  • Develop understanding of the need to be more explicit in written English than in speech, detailing important information as appropriate to the situation. to compensate for being unable to point, show, etc. 
    Example: To start the machine, press the start button, which you will find on the right hand side of the front panel, immediately below the button marked ‘OK'…

Related Adult Literacy link: Wt/L1.4 Use language suitable for purpose and audience
Related Functional Skills English link: FE L1.24 Use format, structure and language appropriate for audience and purpose

Examples of application and level

  • Write texts using language appropriate to the form of communication and situation.
    [postcard] Hello everyone! Arrived home on Tuesday - all my family were at the airport to greet me! Food and weather fantastic!! Having a great time. See you all back at college, Juana 
    [formal reply to invitation] Dear Ms Peters, Thank you very much for your kind invitation. Unfortunately, my family and I will not be able to accept as we have a prior engagement. With very best wishes, Mary Carad

Sample activities

  • Prior to starting a writing task, learners discuss the purpose, audience and appropriate register. Learners can evaluate each other’s writing and redraft as appropriate.
  • Learners identify the purpose, audience and register of a range of texts and identify the key features of the text that indicate the register, e.g. type of vocabulary and collocation; mode of address; type of structures. Learners compile lists of key features for each type of text, e.g. phrases for making requests in a formal letter, an informal letter, a note.
  • While following the transcript, learners listen to someone giving instructions, and then read an instructional text on the same subject. They identify the similarities and differences, focusing in particular on the way the writer has had to be more explicit than the speaker and how they have achieved this. In pairs, learners are then asked to give instructions to each other orally, then write the instructions.

Source: Department for Education and Skills (2001) Adult ESOL Core Curriculum, DfES (2001)


Two add-on tasks for Susanne Jones's E3-L1 Hobbies and Free Time resource.

  1. Plan and deliver a 3 minute presentation for a recruitment fair, encouraging attendees to sign up for a course at Hanley College.
  2. Write an article about Hanley College for your local newspaper.

Editor's notes

Level 1
Level 2
FS Eng L1.4 Communicate information / ideas / opinions clearly & accurately on range of topics
FS Eng L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
FS Eng L2.5 Communicate information/ideas/opinions clearly/effectively with further detail/development if required
FS Eng L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
FS Eng L2.7 Use language that is effective, accurate and appropriate to context and situation
FE L1.22 Communicate information, ideas & opinions clearly, coherently & accurately
FE L1.23 Write text of appropriate level of detail & length to meet needs of purpose & audience
FE L1.24 Use format, structure & language appropriate for audience & purpose
FE L1.25 Write consistently & accurately in complex sentences, using paragraphs where appropriate
FE L2.23 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly, coherently and effectively
FE L2.24 Write text of appropriate level of detail & length to meet needs of purpose & audience
FE L2.25 Organise writing for different purposes using appropriate format & structure e.g. standard templates, paragraphs, bullet points, tables
FE L2.27 Use language & register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words) to suit audience & purpose
FE L2.28 Construct complex sentences consistently & accurately, using paragraphs where appropriate
ESOL Sc/L1.4a Present information and ideas in a logical sequence
ESOL Sd/L1.2a Express views and opinions
ESOL Sc/L2.5a Present information & ideas in a logical sequence and provide further detail and development to clarify or confirm understanding
ESOL Sd/L2.2c Express views, opinions, feelings, wishes
ESOL Sd/L2.4a Support opinions and arguments with evidence
ESOL Wt/L1.1a Apply genre-specific planning strategies as appropriate
ESOL Wt/L1.1b Make notes to aid planning
ESOL Wt/L1.2a Select how much to write and the level of detail to include
ESOL Wt/L1.3a Structure texts sequentially and coherently according to genre
ESOL Wt/L1.4a Choose language suitable for genre, purpose and audience
ESOL Wt/L1.5a Select format and appropriate structure for different purposes and genres

Set of 12 sentences to complete. The 12 missing words are 6 pairs of synonyms such as sorry / apologise, need / require, etc. Makes a good starting point for further discussion and/or further speaking and written work.

Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2
Adult Lit Wt/L2.5 Use formal & informal language appropriate to purpose & audience
Adult Lit Wt/L1.4 Use language suitable for purpose and audience
AL Rw/L2.3 Vocabulary (language features, synonyms, formality)
ESOL Wt/L2.5a
ESOL Wt/L1.4a Choose language suitable for genre, purpose and audience
ESOL Sc/L2.1c Use formal language and register where appropriate
ESOL Sc/L1.2a Make requests
ESOL Sc/E3.2a Use formal language and register when appropriate
ESOL Rw/L2.3a Recognise & understand vocabulary associated with different text types