Monthly Archives: June 2014

FAQs in OET Writing – for Medicine

In my time as an OET teacher at Sydney Language Solutions, I have seen many Medicine students take the OET examination. Here are some questions that Medicine students frequently ask me and I will provide the subsequent answers.

What kind of a letter will I be writing?

You will be writing a referral letter based on the patient’s notes provided.

Who will I be writing to?

Most of the time, you will be writing to a specialist for further management of the patient’s presenting problems. However, perhaps it is also wise to be prepared to write a letter to a nurse or an allied health professional. It is very important to keep in mind WHO you are writing to and what their ROLE in the patient care is.

Do I have to include all the information?

No, you do not have to include all the patient’s information. In fact, you shouldn’t because you may exceed the word limit of 200 words. Choose the most relevant and appropriate findings. If possible, write only positive findings. Try to SUMMARISE and write as CONCISELY as you can.

Are the address, date, subject line and salutation (e.g. Dear Doctor) included in the word count?

No, these sections of the letter do NOT contribute to your word count. The word count begins at the start of your introductory paragraph. However, it is still important to include these elements (address, date, subject line, salutation) because they make your letter LOOK like a letter.

All the best!

A word on Culture: You

In the Korean language, the subject is quite often omitted. In one-to-one conversations, both speakers know who they talk to, and so Koreans believe that it is unnecessary to refer who is the subject.  Therefore, the word ‘you’ is not commonly used in conversations, particularly when meeting people for the first time. If you look up  ‘you’ in a English-Korean dictionary, you can find the direct translated word ‘당신’. However, this word is generally used for someone who is in a relationship with or someone who wants to express anger to the other party. Therefore, it is critical not to use this word easily otherwise it could be considered highly discourteous.

The first time you meet someone, after asking him or her for their name, you may call them by his or her full name or only their first name followed by 씨 (ssi) to indicate respect. For example, if you want to call someone, whose name is김민수, which consists of the last name 김(Kim) and the first name 민수(Minsu), you can call 김민수 씨 or 민수 씨. If the person that you meet is a close friend or a child, you usually use the word ‘너’ : it is an informal form of ‘you’. As this word is regarded as very informal, people do not easily use this word – even to someone who is far younger than them – as it is important for Koreans to display respect towards people, especially if they do not know very well the person who they are talking to.

Another way of calling people is by using work position titles instead of calling someone by using the personal pronoun ‘you’. For example if you are with someone at your work place, you can call him by his or her title such as director or manager. You usually attach님 at the end of the title to indicate respect. If you are not sure what his or her title is when you meet someone for the first time, you can introduce yourself with your position or exchange your business cards at the first meeting.

Japanese Diary of Mrs. Toshiko Jackson – 5

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。
My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking/talking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups. My new Pre-Intermediate 1 made wonderful dialogues by pairs or group and performed them in front of class last week. That was terrific, including the language and contexts expressed!
Also, I weekly tutor the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, N1 to a student who has studied Japanese at a major university in Sydney. He is very highly motivated, earnest, diligent and creative, so it is very interesting to teach him. The materials, which we use, are commercially sold books for preparation of the Test N1. That is, for vocab, grammar, reading comprehension and listening. Occasionally I ask his views or experiences in Japanese, in relation to any topics appeared especially the passages for reading comprehension. Apart from going through all the samples questions from those books and use of CDs, we read intelligent, meaningful and inspiring articles which are from magazines etc. The topics are various. (They can be from political, economic, technological, cross culture based, linguistic based, multi-lingual, international trade based, any major cultural topic orientated for Japanese civilization etc.) Last week, we read and went through some vocab and meanings of the Japanese article on the future trade between Japan and Australia, in the Jenta Sydney (11.4.14, p. 22), “Gyuuniku –wa dageki osaete, hikisage” (=As for beef, going to make the impact less hard and make the tariff to be lower and that Japanese car manufactures’ export to Australia will have the helpful wind for the companies).
In my last month’s Blog, I could not include the following (due to time shortage). I just mentioned them briefly since they are great news. They are from NHK TV news (7pm news) during April and early May.
Japan starts sending its space ship for the first time. (The US has been doing that with the joint program with the UK.) The Japanese space ship will go up to about 110 kilometers in the space that is less than the US space ships. The cost for the trip to the space by the Japanese space ship is about ¥25 million. Many people have applied for being the passengers.
In department stores in Tokyo, they began having smart phones which do the roles of  interpreting for 5 languages and up to even 10 languages, for overseas visitors and tourists. The function is very fast and overseas tourists were commenting that the phones are very helpful and they can find out any answers for inquiries. Similarly, department stores in Ginza, Tokyo reported that the numbers of overseas visitors who visited the stores this year so far increased twice of the numbers compared to last year. Very good news.
Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

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June 2014
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