Letter Writing for Literacy

Did you know December 7th is Letter Writing Day? Although some may think the art of letter writing is no longer necessary, it is still used in business correspondence and is a wonderful way to hone writing skills. While the unofficial holiday is focused on handwriting letters, it’s also an opportunity to enhance digital letter writing skills. We are taking this opportunity to discuss and share resources about how letter writing can enhance literacy.

At home

Letter writing at home can be as simple as writing a holiday greeting card to a loved one. Handwriting a card, thank you note, or letter adds a personal touch to correspondence. Also, writing a holiday letter or greeting card helps us practice our penmanship and the motor skills involved with holding a writing implement.

Handwriting, as opposed to typing, slows down the writing process to allow the student to focus on proper grammar and punctuation without the help of spellcheck. Writing an informal letter or note will help students practice skills that will also be helpful in the workplace. For example, learning where the address, salutation and body are placed in a letter will them progress to more formal letter writing.

At work

While emails have largely taken the place of physical letters, the format of letters is mostly maintained. Depending on the job, students may need to learn how to write a formal letter in business English. Whether a requirement of the position or not, knowing how to write a formal letter will impress most employers and serve the learners in their home life as well.

In the Community

If the student has practiced both formal and informal letter writing, this skill will help them to participate in their community. Writing and formatting a letter will help their correspondence reach who it needs to and have a better chance of success in communicating a need. For example, writing a complaint letter may have a stronger impact if it’s written as a formal letter.

Whatever the purpose, learning to write a letter, card or note will help students practice literacy skills and help them connect with loved ones, the community and the business world. Check out the resources below for more information.


Write for us!

Are you interested in contributing a guest blog post? We invite literacy professionals from across British Columbia to write a post for Read All About Lit. Do you want to share a successful program, event or activity with other literacy professionals? Perhaps you have acquired new knowledge to share with the field? Has a resource you’ve used (print or digital) been especially helpful? Reach out to Lea at ledgar@decoda.ca to discuss potential blog topics.

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