Tips:

  • Always include date and location (eg. Sydney, Sabato 2 maggio 2011) at the top right hand corner of your letter. Forgetting this small detail will lead to loss of precious marks in criterion C of the marking scheme.
  • Start your letters with the following:

Caro + name, (male) OR Cara + name, (female)

  • Your first line could be “spero che tu stia bene” ( I hope you are well)
  • Then you must refer to the writing task you’ve been given. The easiest way to do this is to write In your last letter you asked me to describe….

Nella tua ultima lettera mi hai chiesto di descrivere.…” and add what it is you have to describe. Eg. “…la mia famiglia” “che cosa faccio nel tempo libero” “…la mia scuola” , “…il mio carattere”

  • Make sure you have CLEAR paragraphs, leaving a line between each one. This makes the reading easier for the marker and is rewarded with marks in Criterion C of the markingh scheme. In the family letter you could, for example, write one paragraph for each family member.
  • Before ending your letter, you could ask your pen pal some questions relating to the topic or to your content, along the lines of Do you also have a big family? (if you’ve described a big one)”. Do you  get along well with your siblings?  What do you (all) do in your free time?

Anche tu hai una grande famiglia? Vai d’accordo con i tuoi fratelli? Che cosa fate nel tempo libero?

  • End your letter with one or more of the following:
  1. salutoni
  2. con affetto
  3. un bacione ( a big kiss)
  4. un forte abbraccio (a “strong” hug)
  5. tanti saluti
  • You may want to add “scrivimi presto” (write soon)
  • If appropriate, you could say “non vedo l’ora di vederti/conoscerti” (can’t wait to see/meet you) or “non vedo l’ora di ricevere tue notizie” (can’t wait to hear from you)
  • take care when writing to more than one person as all the expressions above change to the VOI form (eg. cari mamma e papa`; spero che voi stiate bene; scrivetemi presto; non vedo l’ora di vedervi/ non vedo l’ora di ricevere vostre notizie)
  • in some writing tasks expressions such as “in bocca al lupo” (good luck) or “Buon Viaggio” (Bon Voyage) or “Guarisci Presto” (get well soon) may be appropriate at the end of the letter.
  • If you are aiming for very HIGH marks, try going on the net to find some more useful expressions (use key words such as “letter writing in Italian” or “con affetto, un bacione” etc) and create YOUR OWN LIST
  • Finally, get some practice with the games on the link
    http://www.education.vic.gov.au/languagesonline/italian/sect18/
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