Monthly Archives: September 2015

Part 1: How to Succeed in Reading Part A of the OET Exam

Part A of the reading section of the OET exam can seem impossible to finish and many students dread this part of the test. Time seems to be everybody’s worst enemy as you only have 15 minutes to complete the section but fear not! I have compiled a number of tips that have significantly helped my students improve their score for Reading Part A:

  1. When you are given the paper do not waste time by trying to read each of the texts. You only have 15 minutes, do not waste time.
  2. Instead read and underline the headings of each text, but more specifically the key words. For example below are four titles of texts on vasectomy and I have underlined the key words:“Vasectomy: a patient’s story

    “A retrospective cohort study of vasectomy and the risk of prostate cancer

    “Vasectomy: procedure, cost and effectiveness

    Fact sheet for patients undergoing a vasectomy

    Now that these key words are underlined, it will be easy for you to identify which text you need to skim through to find the answer for each blank space.

  3. Now the key is to try and MATCH each paragraph (with missing words) to one of the four texts. Go to the first paragraph and skim read only as much as you need to be able to identify which text you need to look at to find the answers. Generally each paragraph can be matched to a specific text and most of the answers to the blanks can be found in this text.
  4. However, sometimes one or two of the words you need for a particular paragraph will be in a different text to the one you have used to find most of the answers. Watch out for this and try and identify this as soon as possible so you do not waste time reading the same paragraph.

This concludes Part 1 of How to Succeed in Reading Part A. More tips can be found in Part 2 of How to Succeed in Reading Part A.

Hope you find this helpful and good luck!

Nadishi Athulathmudali, OET Tutor.

 

Tenses in OET Writing – Part 2: Present Tense

Incorrect use of tenses is a common grammatical error that I encounter when I mark the letters that students write in my OET classes. This series of blog posts will provide a simple outline for using the correct tense in your writing. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out Part 1, which discussed the simple past tense. This blog will discuss the present tense.

You should use the simple present tense for the following situations in your letter:

  • To describe the patient’s current social background
    • Mr Smith smokes 20 cigarettes and drinks 2 bottles of wine daily.
    • Ms Rollinson is overweight and has a BMI of 27.8.
    • Mr O’Connor lives in Lake Park with his 70-year-old wife, Mary.
  • TO describe anything that occurred during hospitalization that is STILL continuing
    • Mr O’Connor (still) needs assistance with dressing, toileting and transferring.
      • *NOTE: There is no need to include the word ‘still’ in this sentence. However it still makes sense if you do or don’t include it.
    • Ms Simms consumes a low calorie diet in order to maintain her weight.

A particular form of the present tense called the present perfect tense (has/have + past participle) can be used for the following situation:

  • To describe ongoing, CHRONIC CONDITIONS in the patient’s medical background
    • Mr White has had hypertension for 20 years and diabetes since 2000.

I hope this clears up some confusion for students. Use internet resources to revise grammar if there are parts you still don’t understand!

 

Tenses in OET Writing – Part 1: Past Tense

When I mark the letters that students write in my OET classes, there are several major grammatical errors that I see repeatedly. One of them is the incorrect use of tenses. So this series of blog posts will provide a simple outline for using the correct tense in your writing.

You should use the simple past tense for the following situations in your letter:

  • To describe anything YOU previously did whilst the patient was under your care
    • We performed daily dressings on Mr Smith’s surgical wound.
    • Panadol was prescribed for the patient.
      • *NOTE: In this example, we have used the passive voice. If you don’t recall the difference between passive and active, be sure to revise this grammar point as well!
    • Jamie presented with tonsillitis, for which I instituted penicillin.
    • During her visit, I discussed healthy dietary regimes and gave her brochures.
  • For anything else that occurred during the patient’s stay in hospital
    • A family meeting was held to discuss possible nursing placement for the meeting. However, the family refused.
    • Therefore, a home assessment was conducted and modifications were installed.
  • For any past SURGICAL history in the patient’s medical history
    • Mr O’Connor had two bypass grafts in 2004.

I hope this clears up confusion for students. Look out for further blog posts about other tenses. As always, keep practicing!

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself and learning Japanese used in travelling in Japan. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Jenta, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc. Also, understanding and analyzing Japanese culture are important part of the course.

My Intermediate 3 is studying with Japanese for Busy People Book 2 (currently the middle of Unit 2). Also, I give handouts to increase vocab and simple sentences with use of the vocab for practical language learning for travelling or staying in Japan with use of other relevant books. Their Japanese linguistic level is improving progressively, so it is exciting to see that. For example, in discourse writing for homework, such as dialogue with a particular situation for travellers (the situation was at a restaurant and the dialogue was to start with a courteous waitress’ customer service phrases that were from the handout we had gone through in class), the students wrote their own impressive and distinctive dialogues and read them out in class. That was delightful.

As for my students for weekly tutorials, they have been studying and exploring the learning with their deep interest and creativity. So, teaching them is very fun too! One of them, who is a company executive, wishes to take a 2 weeks’ Japanese course in Tokyo a few months later and he is very excited about that plan too. For his lessons, we use Japanese for Everyone (currently, its Unit 2). He enjoys using that book as the main book for the tutorial lessons. Just as the above Intermediate 3, I give and use materials of other books, esp. ones for travel or life in Japan based reference books for practical language teaching.

Another tutorial student too, she is studying very actively and keenly. With her preference, we use Genki Book 1 (currently, its Unit 3) for the main textbook. As the above teaching, I give other reference materials for increase of vocab (with simple sentences making by applying such vocab) and other sentence making exercises for creative and realistic language learning and Japanese language usage.

to 2 students separately; both are in the stage of Beginners 2. One (a company executive in the major industry) began using Japanese for Everyone (with my recommendation) since its main topic is not university student’s life but working people (non-Japanese speakers) and the book is excellent in vocab, grammar, discourse/dialogue teaching, script teaching, interesting/stimulating presentations of exercises and beautiful pronunciation of the speakers. Only and major weakness of that book is that it was published many years ago. I try to use and increase teaching more of the language used in travelling in Japan and non-Japanese people’s life in Japan plus plain forms of verbs etc as the supplementary teaching so that the teaching will be practical and more useful.

As for culture etc and news reported from Japan in the recent month and weeks, I spoke about the following in lessons. Most of the information is from NHK TV News (shown on SBS TV).

Regarding the voting rights, until the recent time, the age that people can vote for elections was 20 years old. However, recently, through the Diet, it legally became 18 years old (just like many other advanced countries).

Japanese share market price was continuously improving and about 2 weeks ago, it reached the level of the one 18.5 years ago. Similarly, the prices of land esp. Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya as the main examples. The highest one is 14%  higher than before.

Japan has been absolutely excited with the brilliant performance of its female soccer team Nadeshiko, in the World Soccer, week after week. The delegate of one of the other countries that played with Nadeshiko and lost against the latter said something like the following. Nadeshiko team, its girls are shorter than his/her team players, but Nadeshiko’s athletes have many more skills and their own strategies to use during the match. –  That comment reminded me of Japanese car manufacuters!

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

5.7.15

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own dialogues by japanese coursepairs/groups or by oneself and learning Japanese used in travelling in Japan. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Jenta, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc.

My Intermediate 2 has finished the course. The clients’ satisfaction level was very high, so it made me quite happy. They like to go to the next level. If everything is fine and the new, higher level/class is made for them, the level will be the highest level in Japanese for the first time at SLS; many congratulations to the students’ great and valuable enthusiasm and efforts given and pursuit in learning Japanese and its culture. As the example of their unique keenness, one of the students has recently planted 2 maple trees in his/his family’s garden and other student began trying reading a Japanese novel of a highly known writer, which the student is very interested in, after her reading English translation of the novel.  Wonderful.

The above mentioned class, Intermediate 2 finished Unit 1 of Japanese for Busy People Book 1 and its Workbook in the final lesson a week ago. They had used Genki Book 1, up to Unit 8 earlier, so Japanese for Busy People Book 2, Unit 1 was not difficult and Kanji introduced at the back of the book for Unit 1 was too easy. At the start of the next level, if the class will be made, they will take the open exam of Unit 1, Japanese for B. People, Book 2. That will include questions on Kanji, esp. idioms/words introduced in Unit 8, Genki Book 1 that the class went through in April and early May. Also, as I said in my past Blog, I teach Japanese for travellers or those (non-native Japanese speaking) who live in Japan. One of the books I have been using is Real Life Japanese (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, UNICOM, Tokyo, 2001, with cd).

My other teaching is weekly tutorials to 2 students separately; both are in the stage of Beginners 2. One (a company executive in the major industry) began using Japanese for Everyone (with my recommendation) since its main topic is not university student’s life but working people (non-Japanese speakers) and the book is excellent in vocab, grammar, discourse/dialogue teaching, script teaching, interesting/stimulating presentations of exercises and beautiful pronunciation of the speakers. Only and major weakness of that book is that it was published many years ago. I try to use and increase teaching more of the language used in travelling in Japan and non-Japanese people’s life in Japan plus plain forms of verbs etc as the supplementary teaching so that the teaching will be practical and more useful.

The other tutorial student strongly likes to continue using Genki Book 1, so we are doing that. I also have been using other books/materials for supplementary teaching that is for non-Japanese people travelling or living in Japan, esp. for vocab. in simple sentences at the moment since she wants that element in the lessons too. Both of the above tutorial students are very keen and knowledgeable, so teaching them is very interesting.

Regarding news from Japan, I missed including my Blog that was early last month (May). The contents are significant, so I like to refer here.

During April, NHK TV News (shown on SBS TV), it reported: Japanese organizations finished completing building a a huge bridge “Tsubasa-bashi” in Cambodia. It means a great infrastructure development; Cambodia and neighbouring countries and cities will have huge benefits and development in economic activities, people’s better life etc out of use of that bridge. Wonderful news and achievements!

Other news reported in April is that: Mitsubishi Agricultural Machinery and an Indian conglamerate and automobile manufacturing Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) made an business treaty of exchanging technology and other resources to promote farming machinery. It said Asian countries have actively used the Japanese styled farming methods in the post-war period, called “Nihon-shiki noogyoo”. It was well appreciated, but in Japan, its farming industry is weakening increasingly. Many other Asian countries are increasing export in agricultural products. So, above M&M will offer marketing resources and Mitsubishi A. M. will offer its excellent farming machinery and expand and increase more of farming machinery trade in Asia regions. – What great innovative and Asian ecomony improving way! Another regional cooperation and technological advancement for the needs of people’s life and lives apart from improving economy/-ies concerned.

Also, NHK TV reported about a month ago that a Swiss well established organization gave a survey report. That is the international travellers’ grading about which destinations in the world (many cities/coutries) are great etc. Japan was in the top 10.  For customer services, security control/management, hygines, technology developed and facilities that have those etc, Japan was graded as No. 1, but its lack of competitives of prices in some products was grade low (somewhere well below the 100th in the world). Still overall, it is a delightful news as a whole.

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

5.6.15

 

Part 1: How to Succeed in Reading Part A of the OET Exam

Part A of the reading section of the OET exam can seem impossible to finish and many students dread this part of the test. Time seems to be everybody’s worst enemy as you only have 15 minutes to complete the section but fear not! I have compiled a number of tips that have significantly helped my students improve their score for Reading Part A:

  1. When you are given the paper do not waste time by trying to read each of the texts. You only have 15 minutes, do not waste time.
  2. Instead read and underline the headings of each text, but more specifically the key words. For example below are four titles of texts on vasectomy and I have underlined the key words:“Vasectomy: a patient’s story

    “A retrospective cohort study of vasectomy and the risk of prostate cancer

    “Vasectomy: procedure, cost and effectiveness

    Fact sheet for patients undergoing a vasectomy

    Now that these key words are underlined, it will be easy for you to identify which text you need to skim through to find the answer for each blank space.

  3. Now the key is to try and MATCH each paragraph (with missing words) to one of the four texts. Go to the first paragraph and skim read only as much as you need to be able to identify which text you need to look at to find the answers. Generally each paragraph can be matched to a specific text and most of the answers to the blanks can be found in this text.
  4. However, sometimes one or two of the words you need for a particular paragraph will be in a different text to the one you have used to find most of the answers. Watch out for this and try and identify this as soon as possible so you do not waste time reading the same paragraph.

This concludes Part 1 of How to Succeed in Reading Part A. More tips can be found in Part 2 of How to Succeed in Reading Part A.

Hope you find this helpful and good luck!

Nadishi Athulathmudali, OET Tutor.

 

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

Japanese courses in Sydnety

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking, reading, listening, writing (including essays), interacting, and constructing/performing students’ own  dialogues by pairs/groups or by oneself and learning Japanese used in travelling in Japan. Speaking practice sometimes used the pictures, concepts or topics from the brochures of the Japan National Tourism Organizations, Nichigo Press, Daily Telegraph etc. Also, understanding and analyzing Japanese culture are important part of the course.

My Intermediate 3 finished the course on 20 August. All the students expressed their wish to continue to go on to the next level after some break. (That is nice to hear!) By the end of Intermediate 3, they finished Unit 3, Japanese for Busy People Book 2. Also, I used a few units of a travel and life experiences orientated textbook, Real Life Japanese + cd (by C. Dibble & S. Matsumoto, 2001, UNICOM) and for application, the students were able to speak similar sentences introduced in the dialogues in that book (the same applies to the learning with Japanese for Busy People, Bk 2). In addition, they enjoyed Japanese traditional bon-odori, bon-dance with use of a cd of a collection of exciting and beautiful songs for bon-dance. (I taught this bon-dance with use of cd in other lesson too that was very useful and fun!)

As for my students for weekly tutorials, one of them, who is a busy company executive who is very committed in learning Japanese, finished Unit 3, Japanese for Everyone (he likes that book). Also, he studied up to the middle of Unit 4, Genki Book 1 (esp. for the preparation of taking a Japanese course for 2 weeks late September. I used a few units of above mentioned textbook/cd, Real Life Japanese.

Another tutorial student is currently studying early Unit 7, Genki Book 1 and a few practical units of Real Life Japanese. She is so active in thinking about the concepts of Japanese culture and she has many experiences with Japanese people. If I talk about something, her responses and analytical observations are sometimes thoughts-provoking and quite interesting. And she loves kimono! (So do I!)

Japanese Teacher, Toshiko Jackson

1.9.15

 

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