Formal language: leatherback turtle

2 - The Grammar Bit

The Grammar Bit!

When you interact with your family and friends you will most likely be using an informal speaking (or writing) style. However, there will be times in your life when you will need to adopt a more formal style in the way that you communicate your thoughts and ideas. With your talk partner, discuss when you might need to use a formal writing style.

The letters opposite (by Poppy and Leo) were written in response to an advert that appeared in the National Geographic magazine. The advert sought to attract dedicated volunteers, who would be tasked with helping to protect leatherback turtles on the tiny island of Tobago.

Poppy chose to write her response using an informal writing style, whilst Leo chose a more formal style. With your talk partner, compare and contrast the language used. Whose letter stands the best chance of success and why?

Scintillating Sentences

Informal Writing Style


I’d love to help the turtles out as they’re such cool critters.

You’d be a fool not to choose me, as I’ve got a degree and have written a whole heap of stuff on the leathery monsters.

I love all of the fab animals in the sea, and I hope that my kids (and their kids too) will be able to see what I’ve seen. Please don’t forget to write back!

Speak soon,


Formal Writing Style

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to express my interest in the Leatherback Turtle Conservation Project on the island of Tobago.

I feel that I am well-placed to become a volunteer, as I have a degree in Marine Biology. Furthermore, I have written several essays on the many threats leatherbacks face in their fragile marine environment.

I am deeply passionate about safeguarding the world’s oceans, and their incredible biodiversity, for future generations. I look forward to hearing back from you,

Yours faithfully,

Leo Masters


Did you know?

Leatherback turtles have been on the planet for 100 million years. They were here when dinosaurs roamed the earth.