Internet Basics for ESL Students
Lesson 5
Using Email

Animated Email


keywords: mail program, @, reply, forward, etiquette

Dialogue 1: Email
Internet TESL Journal

Pair work. Practice the conversation.

Paul: Did you get your email address yet?
Jim: Yes I did. How do you say "@" and "."?
Paul: "@" is pronounced 'at' and "." is called 'dot'.
Jim: I see. What's your favorite email program?
Paul: I like to use Eudora.

Using Email
Email: Email is the most popular Internet tool. To use it you will need a mail program such as Pine for UNIX or Eudora for Macs and PCs. You will also need to know about addressing and etiquette.

Addresses: Look at the following address: The first part schweiz is the account or user's name. This can be a person's name, numbers, letters or any combination. For example PXQ00640 or sam23. There can be no spaces and only a few punctuation marks are allowed. @ is read as "at". The last part is the computers address on the Internet. po is the post office computer at Harenet, harenet is the name of the Internet provider, or means it's an organization, jp stands for Japan

This is an E-mail message.

Where are these parts of the mail: the header, the message?

Who sent this Email, and who received it? What is the mail about?

From: (Jim Schweizer)
Subject: Re: Continuation of TEST

Hi Bob,

Your first E-mail lesson:
An electronic message is just words. It does not convey body language or speech inflection that provides clues to your mood when you speak face to face. Since E-mail tends to be less formal than paper mail, people are not as careful about what they write. There are ways to show how you fell when you write. Here are a few of them:

- Use emphasis. Doing this with just ASCII text can be difficult. A good way to show emphasis is to use an asterisk to make words look more important. The phrase 'I *need* you to pick up that package today' is much clearer.

- Use boldface (or BIG letters) to convey even stronger emotion. Usually boldfacing means you are ANGRY AND SHOUTING. While this should not be used often, it can be good sometimes.

- Use symbols to show your mood. Most of these are a variety of the sideways smiley face. The symbol: :-) means the person is joking or something was not serious. See, it looks like two eyes, a nose and an upturned mouth.

Other symbols are:

;-) winking smiley face
:-( frowning face
:-)> smiley face sticking its tongue out.

Here are a lot more.

You may also see abbreviations of some commonly used phrases. Examples of these are:

It is easy to be misunderstood when you send E-mail, don't get angry if you don't know what someone said.

Include the old text in a new message by using a > symbol. This helps you remeber the mail conversation. Most mail programs do this for you when you choose the 'reply' function. This can be *really* important if you send and receive a lot of mail.

Take care,


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