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  • Writer's pictureBose Learning

OET Speaking Tip 4

What's the very first thing you do when you look at your role play card? Here's an example for you. Take a look. Where does your eye go to first?

So, what did you look at first? Your role? The task? If so, you’re missing out on something really important, and that’s the setting. It’s right at the top. Don’t forget it - it’s there for a reason!


Well, it helps you understand the situation and gives you an idea about your patient and how they are feeling.

This role play is set in a hospital. You are a doctor on a paediatric ward in a hospital. So what? What does that imply?

Well, is it likely that you know the patient and the patient’s carer - in this case, her father? No. You’re not their GP; you may not have met them before, and even if you have, you’ve probably only met them as part of the medical team performing the surgery and post-op care. You don’t know them well. Think about what this means for you and your patient / carer in terms of relationship building. Do you have to introduce yourself? If so, how should you do so?

Then, think about how the patient / carer may be feeling in this setting. The child may be uncomfortable, and the father may be projecting that and feeling the same way. He may be worried or anxious. Get ready to respond to him in an appropriate way. Think about how you can reassure him and advise him about his daughter’s care.

In our Udemy on-demand course for the medicine speaking sub-test, we’ll look a little more at how you can do this and look at useful language for roleplays. But in the meantime, let’s keep focusing on the importance of the setting.

Here are some typical settings for role plays. How will they affect the relationship you have with the patient.

By looking at the setting, you’ll be given clues on how to proceed, so make sure you make a note of it and use it to your advantage by preparing appropriately and getting ready to start your roleplay effectively.

To find out more about our on-demand speaking course for Medicine, click here.

And for our on-demand writing course, click here.

See you again next time!


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