B1 Lesson Plan

An ESL Lesson Plan on How to Discuss Health and Medical Matters

Created by ALULA | March 22, 2024

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- Vocabulary, Speaking -

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Dealing with health issues and visiting a healthcare provider is a vital life skill that can be challenging for ESL adult learners. This lesson plan is designed to equip students with the necessary vocabulary and practical speaking skills to confidently discuss health problems and communicate effectively with medical professionals in English.


In this lesson plan, ESL students will learn and practice using important vocabulary and phrases related to health and medical topics. The interactive activities such as role-play scenarios, listening to doctor-patient dialogues, and targeted vocabulary exercises are all aimed at improving students' communication skills in healthcare settings.

Lesson Focus

The primary focus of this lesson is to empower students with vocabulary and practical speaking abilities. By the end of the lesson, learners will be better prepared to describe symptoms, understand medical advice, and navigate conversations with doctors and healthcare staff in English.

Lesson Content

Activity 1: Medical Vocabulary Building

Approximate Time Needed: 20 minutes

Objective: To enhance students' familiarity with common medical terms and health-related vocabulary.

Materials: Flashcards with medical terms and their definitions, which can be created by the teacher or sourced from educational websites.

  1. Introduce medical vocabulary using flashcards.
  2. Split the class into pairs and distribute the flashcards.
  3. Have students quiz each other on the vocabulary terms.
  4. Lead a class discussion with example sentences using the new terms.

Activity 2: Listening to Doctor-Patient Dialogues

Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes

Objective: To develop listening comprehension skills related to medical situations.

Materials: Audio recordings of doctor-patient dialogues and corresponding scripts, which can be found online or created by the teacher.

  1. Play the audio recordings of the dialogues and ask students to listen carefully.
  2. Distribute the scripts after listening to the dialogues twice.
  3. Review the dialogues together and clarify any unfamiliar vocabulary or expressions.
  4. Discuss the dialogues and ask comprehension questions.

Activity 3: Role-Playing Doctor-Patient Interactions

Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes

Objective: To practice practical speaking and interaction in medical contexts.

Materials: Role-play cards with different health scenarios, available for download from various ESL resource websites or prepared by the teacher.

  1. Distribute role-play cards to students, assigning doctor and patient roles.
  2. Instruct them to prepare for the role-play by reviewing relevant vocabulary and phrases.
  3. Have students act out the scenarios in pairs or small groups.
  4. Encourage other students to observe and provide feedback.

Activity 4: Describing Symptoms and Ailments

Approximate Time Needed: 20 minutes

Objective: To enhance descriptive language skills for discussing symptoms and ailments.

Materials: Visual aids depicting various symptoms, symptom description worksheets, and vocabulary lists. These can be made by the teacher or found online.

  1. Show visual aids and review the names of common symptoms.
  2. Pass out the symptom description worksheets to students.
  3. Ask students to write down descriptions of symptoms they see in the visual aids.
  4. Facilitate a discussion in which students share their descriptions and receive feedback.

Activity 5: Understanding Prescriptions and Advice

Approximate Time Needed: 10 minutes

Objective: To familiarize students with the language used in medical prescriptions and advice.

Materials: Samples of prescriptions and doctor's advice notes, which can be gathered from healthcare websites or created by the teacher.

  1. Present students with samples of prescriptions and advice notes.
  2. Discuss the common language and terminology used in these documents.
  3. Quiz students with comprehension questions related to the samples.

Wrap Up

Throughout this lesson, students have built up their knowledge of health-related English vocabulary and had the chance to practice speaking in medical contexts through role-plays and interactive activities. By engaging with real-life scenarios, they can now visit a doctor or discuss their health concerns with more confidence in English.

Outside the classroom, it's essential for students to continue practicing and reinforcing their learning. ALULA, an AI-powered ESL app, is a great tool for this purpose. With conversation exercises on health topics and grammar lessons tailored to speaking scenarios, ALULA can extend the reaches of this lesson into students' everyday lives. They can use the app to practice conversations with an AI tutor, go over the lesson's vocabulary, and tackle new grammar points at their own pace—an ideal way to solidify their classroom learning and become more fluent in English.

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