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Preparation and English Advice

Word of the week supplement
By Language Tips No Comments

What do you think of supplements?

Word of the week supplement

Many people take a supplement these days. You may even take one yourself.

Common supplements include multi-vitamins, iron, calcium and vitamin C but there are hundreds available. They are often available in supermarkets and chemists as they don’t require a prescription.

Did you also know supplement is a verb form? It is a regular verb meaning ‘to add something on’ to what already exists e.g.

I supplement my diet with daily iron tablets.

Key facts about the interlocutor
By Test Tips & Study skills No Comments

How much do you know about the interlocutor?

Key facts about the interlocutor

Before they sit the test, candidates often ask questions about the role of the interlocutor in the Speaking test.

The interlocutor will take the role of the patient, carer or family member of the patient in the role play. Interlocutors are not healthcare professionals. This means they will respond authentically to you during the role play in a similar way to the patients, carers and family members you will communicate with in real life.

Here are some other key facts about the role of the interlocutor:

  • You can ask them questions during the preparation time. For example, if there is anything you do not understand on your role card, you can ask for a definition.
  • They will tell you when to start and stop the role play.
  • If the interlocutor does not understand something you have told them about their treatment, they will ask you for clarification.
  • They may not be a native speaker but will have excellent English and a clear voice that you will find easy to understand.
  • The interlocutor will tell you their name when they welcome you into the test room. You can use this name when starting the role play, you can ask them to repeat their name during the preparation time or, you can ask them their name once the role play has started.
  • They will record the role plays. The recordings are then sent to Melbourne for marking by highly trained assessors. The interlocutor cannot give you any indication of your grade at the end of the Speaking test as they are not trained to do this.
Avoid exclamation marks in your writing
By Language Tips No Comments

Do you know how to replace an exclamation mark in a sentence?

Avoid exclamation marks in your writing

Avoid exclamation marks in your writing as they are a sign of informality.

Instead, use adjectives to show the level of emotion felt by the reader.

In the example above, we can use an adjective for extreme pain instead of the exclamation mark:

He reported his pain was excruciating.

Here is another example:

 Miss Linney was advised she must change her diet!

Miss Linney was advised it was essential she change her diet.

When you don't understand, ask
By Inspiration No Comments

When you don’t understand something, ask for help

When you don't understand, ask

It’s OK to say you don’t understand when you are speaking with a patient or colleague.

Some of my ex-students share their concerns with me that they can’t properly understand the people they work with or they are caring for. They forget that they are working in a new environment and, often, in a new country. Instead, they think the difficulty must come from their lack of English. Sometimes, they even suggest to me they need to take more general English classes to overcome the problem. Read More