Course Title: Critically read and write formal letters and complex prose texts for professional purposes

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: LANG5620

Course Title: Critically read and write formal letters and complex prose texts for professional purposes

School: 360T Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4244 - Certificate IV in ESL (Employment / Professional)

Course Contact : Baia Tsakouridou

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4488

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Dianne Dell’Oro-Morgan     94.3.22      Dianne.Dell’
Wendy Joseph                      94.3.22
Ceyhan Kurt                           94.3.22

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit is part of a program that focuses solely on the preparation for the OET for Health Professionals.

This unit of competency describes reading and writing performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required by adult learners with langauge backgrounds other than English. The focus of this unit is on reading and writing skills in English to participate effectively in a professional context.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU521 Critically read and write formal letters and complex prose texts for professional purposes


1. Critically read formal letters in a professional conetxt

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Describe the structure and conventions of a formal letter
1.2 Outline the purpose of the message or letter
1.3 Identify the register and explain the writer's attitude and tone
1.4 Identify the main points, supporting details and expected outcomes
1.5 Identify specialised vocabulary related to the profession


2. Write formal letters for professional purposes

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify the purpose and conventions of formal letters used by the profession
2.2 Use planning, drafting, proofreading and editing processes
2.3 Apply the conventions of formal letters appropriate to the audience
2.4 Use a range of vocabulary and cohesive devices appropriate to the task with suitable nuance
2.5 Use jargon and professional terminology as appropriate


3. Critically read complex documents related to the profession

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify distinguishing linguistic structures and features of required text
3.2 Scan text for main ideas or contentions
3.3 Identify key vocabulary items and their meaning
3.4 Identify the key information and supporting details accurately
3.5 Identify any inferred meaning
3.6 Comment on the information presented in the text


4. Write complex prose based on a detailed text

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Identify distinguishing linguistic structures and features of
required text
4.2 Identify the purposes of reproducing information from texts
4.3 Locate, record, paraphrase and synthesise complex information
4.4 Sequence information into cohesive paragraphs
4.5 Use planning, drafting, proofreading and editing processes
4.6 Evaluate effectiveness of writing

Learning Outcomes

The outcomes described in this unit relate to the ISLPR (International Second Language Proficiency Ratings) descriptors for Speaking and Listening. They contribute directly to the achievement of ISLPR Speaking 3 /3+ and Listening 3 /3+  and the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). They contribute directly to the achievement of ACSF indicators of competence in Oral Communication at Level 4.

Details of Learning Activities

This unit is part of Certificate IV in ESL (Employment/Professional) which is an integrated program. This means that you will study this unit with several other units on the same day. Your program consists of Face to Face teaching and Directed Study. Your program will have a minimum of 8 hours Directed Study per week. You are not required to attend to complete Directed Study, however you are expected to complete all work given and will at times be required to show evidence that the work has been completed in this unit. This is a very important part of your program and we ask that you do 4-5 hours on your non attendance day and at least 1 hour each evening to cover all the units in the program. An outline of your Directed Study is published each week in the Weekly Program Delivery Plan.

This unit covers in part the reading and writing macro skills addressed in the whole certificate. Examples of how you will practice and study the units

You are encouraged to read a wide range of texts relevant to the study context. You will:
• read , analyse and review complex texts for professional purposes
• read formal letters (in a health/professional context) 
• read opinion and informative texts 
•  read newspaper and journal articles and fact sheets
• study items in the news every week and compare television and newspaper news.

In a variety of writing activities, you will improve your sentence structure (e.g.complex structures) and learn how to use different writing styles. This will include formal letters, essays, short reports and summary writing. You will:
• write formal letters (in a health/professional context)
• take notes from a range of complex texts    
• learn to plan, draft and proofread your work.
• construct formatted texts for professional purposes
• become familiar with academic/professional discourse 
• become familiar with register specific/formal vocabulary and expressions 
The revision of important grammatical structures will be incorporated into each activity.

Teaching Schedule

Program Dates: Tue 14 February – Fri 29 June 2012
Term Break: Mon 2 April – Fri 13 April 2012 Public holidays: Mon 12 March (Labour Day), Fri 6 April (Good Friday)Wed 25 April (ANZAC DAY) Mon 11 June 2012 (Queen’s Birthday)
Teachig Schedule: This course will be delivered weekly. The times will be outlined in the program delivery plans which are updated each week.
Your program is made up of:
• Orientation
• Learning activities
• Mid semester review  

All students will be inducted. The induction includes
• Program Guide & Student Diary
• Student Rights and Responsibilities
• Explore RMIT ( an orientation to the university and its services)
• Orientation to RMIT Libraries (library tour & on line catalogue introduction)
• RMIT Online Systems Information Session

Library Orientation & an RMIT Online Systems Information Session will be scheduled during the first two weeks of your program. Information about student services, rights and responsibilities is contained in your student diary.


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

There are no set texts in this course, but it is recommended that you bring
• English-English dictionary (We ask that you do not use a translation dictionary)
• Thesaurus
• Display folder with plastic sleeves
• Highlighter pens
• Notebook or loose leaf paper
• Headphones (use your own or they can be purchased from the Carlton Library very cheaply)
• USB (Memory stick)

Overview of Assessment

You must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of the competencies in order to be deemed competent. Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of each competency in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks. Assessments may include written assessment tasks such as writing an essay and referral letters and written questioning.

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

An assessment charter ( summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your courses assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc

Assessment Tasks

Assessment will take place throughout the course. Your work is assessed on a competent (CA)/not yet competent (NYC) basis – it is not graded. You will be given written feedback on all assessment tasks. There will be individual and group projects completed both in and out of class.
Assessment is ongoing and its purpose is to develop your skills. You will be given assistance in redrafting and editing written assessment tasks because developing your ability to identify and correct your own mistakes is an important part of the learning process. It is important that you read the specific elements each assessment task addresses on the cover sheet for each task. At the time of setting assessments you will be given clear guidelines about which course, elements and performance criteria you will need to meet in order to successfully complete the task. Submission dates & deadlines will also be clearly explained.

Assessment tasks:
• Reading/Writing Formal Letters in a health context
• Proofreading/editing formal letters
• Reading a Fact Sheet (medical context) and taking notes, writing a summary report 
• Formative assessments: ongoing observations, summaries and review of student work
Please note:
Assessments tasks will include other courses (Units of competency) from the program.
All Assessment tasks should be submitted by the deadline. If an extension is required you must ask your teacher for one before the due date.

Assessment Matrix

Each assessment cover sheet clearly outlines the competencies being addressed in the task in relation to performance criteria. The sum of assessment tasks will cover all units and their elements over a range of occasions. You will be given opportunities to demonstrate competency in a variety of ways throughout the program. You are encouraged to discuss any problems or concerns with your teacher or student co-ordinator. An assessment matrix will be available on myRMIT.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview