Quick Video Tutorial Language Lesson: Requests & Instructions

Apr 20, 2020

Language: Requests & Instructions

Subject: The elderly

Length: 7:31 (mins)

In this quick video tutorial, we look at the topic of the elderly and the language of requests and instructions. The right language can make the difference between being polite or impolite. 

Click here to download a worksheet to practice the language of requests and instructions. 




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Quick Video Tutorial Language Lesson: Drug abuse and past tenses

Mar 23, 2020

Language: Simple past, present perfect or present perfect progressive? 

Subject: Drug abuse

Length: 7:41 (mins)

In this quick video tutorial we use the topic of drug abuse and the use of the grammar tenses simple past, present perfect or present perfect progressive. 

Watch the video and then test your knowledge with this short quiz. 

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The 9 OET speaking criteria explained

Mar 16, 2020

There are 9 criteria OET uses to decide your score when you do the speaking test. Knowing the criteria can help with your preparation. A study partner is an excellent way to prepare or with an expert OET speaking practice coach who can give you honest feedback, strategies and an estimated OET grade. 


  1. Intelligibility (6 points)
  2. Fluency (6 points)
  3. Appropriateness of language (6 points)
  4. Grammar and expression (6 points)
  5. Relationship building (3 points)
  6. Incorporating patient perspective (3 points)
  7. Providing structure (3 points)
  8. Information gathering (3 points)
  9. Information giving (3 points)

1 Intelligibility (6 points)

It is expected that you will have an accent. However, your pronunciation, word
stress and rhythm should still be clear and easy to understand.

  • Many words in English sound similar but not exactly the same (e.g. share, chair) Your pronunciation should not cause a strain to understand your word choice. e.g. ...
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Depression - Simple past vs. present perfect

Mar 12, 2020

Language: Simple past or present perfect? 

Subject: Depression

Length: 5:56 (mins)

In this quick video tutorial we use the topic of depression and the use of the grammar tenses simple past vs. present perfect. 

Watch the video and then test your knowledge with this short quiz.

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Useful Language For OET Writing: Requesting Further Management

Mar 11, 2020

Concluding your letter

Thank you for continuing the care of ... (patient name OR this patient)


I would appreciate your further assessment and management OR treatment...

  • regarding ... (specific condition)
  • of suspected/potential (condition)

I would be grateful for your opinion regarding ... (e.g. future management)


I would appreciate if you could see ... (this patient OR name) as soon as possible for further manage.

I would appreciate if you could keep me informed about his further management.

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OET Writing Criteria: Language

Mar 10, 2020

The OET Candidate considers aspects of language proficiency such as vocabulary, grammar, spelling, punctuation. 

Health professionals are concerned with linguistic features only to the extent that they facilitate or obstruct retrieval of information. This criterion examines whether the language is accurate, used appropriately and whether it interferes with reading comprehension or speed.

The language of a professional letter need not be elaborate. However, overly simplistic sentences usually do not relay information as efficiently as possible, nor do they convey the appropriate tone and register. Additionally, too many errors in structure, spelling and punctuation can distract from efficiently retrieving information.

  • Use correct grammar e.g. correct tenses in relaying timelines.
  • Beware of spelling of similar sounding words, as this can confuse meaning
  • Use correct punctuation, as this assists in understanding flow of information

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OET Writing: Outlining Treatment, Response and Follow up

Mar 03, 2020

Language for mentioning prescribed medications and other treatment, describing surgical procedures, effects of treatments. 

Pay attention to the tenses and how the sentences are structured.

Mentioning prescribed medications and other treatment

Mr. St. Paul was prescribed OR was treated with ... (medication + dosage)
He was given ... (treatment 1 + treatment 2 +...)
I prescribed ... (treatment 1) followed by ...  (treatment 2), in addition to OR combined with... (treatment 3)

I advised him on ... (management of problem OR action to take)

Describe surgical procedure

An arthroplasty was performed


He underwent ... (surgery OR procedure)

Describe effect of treatment

Initially he responded well to ...(treatment)
Unfortunately his (symptoms) flared up again.
After (event or reaction), his medication was changed to ... (medication)

Mentioning recovery

Good outcome

He has been able to...(activity e.g. shower) without assistance


His post operative recovery was...

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OET Writing Criteria: Organisation and Layout

Mar 02, 2020

Health professionals can more quickly retrieve information from letters that are structured and logically organised.

  • Your letter should have a clear structure with recipient information, introduction, details of background (in paragraphs) and closing remarks.
  • Key information should be prioritised, with most important points early and supporting points later
  • Information should flow logically within and between paragraphs

38 y.o Regina Alton developed type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. Referred to the endocrinologist.


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Taking A Clinical History: Language For Common Symptom Areas

Feb 26, 2020







  • Have you had a temperature?
  • I think I'm running a fever
  • The patient has a high (elevated) temperature 
  • His temperature has come down (lowered) 
  • Doctor, I am burning up
  • We are here at the hospital because my son is running a temperature

He was all right when I left him, two hours ago, with no sign of a temperature






All of these are common for patients to use and can be turned into questions.


  • Do you feel queasy?
    • I feel queasy (nausea) 
  • Do you feel sick to your stomach?
    • I 'm feeling sick to my stomach (likely to vomit)
  • Do you feel like vomiting?
    • I think I'm going to vomit
  • Do you feel dizzy?
    • I feel dizzy (vertigo)
  • Do you feel lightheaded?
    • I am feeling lightheaded (vertigo)

Phrasal Verb

keep (sth) down - to be able to eat or drink something without vomiting:

  • On the day after her operation she couldn't keep anything down.


  • I can't see...
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OET WRITING: Describing Routine Medications And Risk

Feb 25, 2020

Commonly accepted abbreviation

  • immediately - stat (latin: statim)
  • twice daily – BD, bd, b.i.d
  • three times daily - tds., t.i.d.
  • four times daily – qds, q.i.d. orally – p.o., po
  • at night– nocte
  • sublingual – s.l.; sl
  • subcutaneous – s.c., sc

Describing routine medications

Her current medications include / are ...
She also uses ... (medication) for ... (symptom OR illness)

Mentioning effects or side effects of medication

(Patient name or He / She) has OR has not responded to.. (medication)
(Symptom) was (not) relieved by (oral medication e.g. Zantac)

Her complaint usually settles with... (medication OR activity)

The medication caused significant ... (symptoms)

Mentioning risk factors

He has significant risk factors, such as...


His (cardiovascular) risk factors include ... (e.g. smoking, obesity, family history of...)


She has smoked 15 cigarettes a day for the past (time)


Other risk factors include...
Please note that she is...

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