Monthly Archives: March 2013

OET Writing: Treasure Vs. Trash!

The writing task of the OET is a test of your resource of English language skills as well as your ability to comprehend the situation presented to you.

It is this comprehension of the stimulus material that is vital to helping you determine what to include (in other words, TREASURE) in your letter and what NOT to include (i.e. TRASH).

So how should you decide what’s treasure? Consider the following:

  1. Your purpose/reason for writing the letter –for example, if you are writing a referral letter for a patient with a SPECIFIC condition (e.g hip replacement) then you should only include the relevant, important details regarding that complaint (e.g. aspirin given, dressings applied daily, etc.)
  2. Your audience – think about who you are writing to and WHAT they already know. For instance, if you are writing to the parents of a young patient, then they will already know her medical background/family background, etc. so you don’t have to include it! However, if you are referring them to a new medical professional, then the medical/family background should be outlined.
  3. Your current situation –always keep in mind what is going on with the patient/situation at the moment and what role your letter plays in the situation. This will help you to choose the appropriate language and tone to express your letter.

Sometimes you may get 3 pages of case notes and this can seem quite overwhelming. By considering the things I have mentioned above, I hope you can confidently break the case notes down into a well-written letter.

Carol, OET teacher

Some Stories About Our Japanese Course 17

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included the practices to develop speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, constructing and performing dialogues or speech apart from cultural and social issues and concepts. As usual, we used textbooks, pictures, ads, children’s books, magazines (including cooking ones), CDs, videos, DVDs, songs etc.

As for performing their own dialogues, the class, Beginners 2, esp. James and Yvonne did very well. The dialogue was at a shop and the contents were funny or distinctive. And they used an apple for the play. James perfectly spoke the dialogue from his memory and Yvonne relatively well spoke from her memory. Well done.

One of the books that I got excited and used in classes was “Raion –no Kazoku”. That is a beautiful and educational picture story book of a lion family (big family with many relatives!) that are in Fuji Safari Park). The whole book was made with pictures taken at the above large Park with the experts. All the lions shown are gorgeous. They look more neat, content and relaxed than lions in Africa or somewhere else. I said to my classes that those lions were ones of the luckiest lions in the world. I checked websites of Fuji Safari Park. There are many websites. The Park is in Shizuoka prefecture and about 2 hours taken from Tokyo. The huge park is right facing Mt Fuji and all those animals can enjoy exquisite Mt Fuji in daily life and are fed with well balanced food. (What great animal life!) One of the website, Images of Fuji Safari Park has “many” pictures of plenty of kinds of animals. If you like animals (like me), you will greatly enjoy them. The Park is open 24 hours/day. It has night time ride (about 50 minutes will be taken per course) and you can see the night time life of many animals. The Park is very scientific minded and there are many species of animals that are not heard in general. If you visit Japan, it will be one of excellent places to visit (seeing Mt Fuji and enjoying the Park in one package!) Last year the Park had 4 gorgeous lion cubs’ births. That took many Japanese people’s hearts.

In recent media, I heard the current Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s (the Liberal Democratic Party) earned 70% at the opinion poll. That is excellent. You have never seen such positive one in recent years among Japanese political leaders.

Related to a film, Japanese NHK TV news recently reported that the foreign film, Les Miserable earned the highest ticket sales (highest record) at cinemas in Japan, among foreign movies. Later, when I was watching “Late Show” of D. Letterman, Hugh Jackman was the guest speaker. He mentioned his trip to Japan. He said he climbed Mt Fuji with his son. (He said climbing the mountain takes two days.) When they almost reached the top, his son was asleep and Jackman had to carry his son to go to the top. What an amazing man and actor of young, challenging spirit! (I respect Jackman enormously as well as D. Day-Lewis!) I am sure there must be a big number of Jackman fans in Japan without a doubt.

There were a few delightful emails from previous students about my course and what they learned was very useful to their trips in Japan that included having learnt Hiragana script. That was very encouraging and nice to hear.


Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson


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March 2013
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