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ESL Health Vocabulary: Word List & Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

This lesson contains a few health-related word lists and game ideas to get students actively engaged with new vocabulary and concepts. These ideas will work best if the class is large enough to be divided into groups.

Health Words for ESL Learners

Being able to effectively discuss health-related topics can be vital for ESL students, particularly in foreign environments and unfamiliar situations. As with most new language skills, knowing the correct vocabulary can go a long way in making students more comfortable and confident. These word lists and games can be used with beginning to advanced students and in a variety of different class sizes.

For some, learning a new language can be intimidating, so be sure not to overwhelm students with too much vocabulary too soon. Oftentimes, students focus too much on vocabulary and don't learn the correct usage. It's better to learn how to use a few dozen words accurately than to memorize a long list of terms and be unsure how to use them.

People & Places

This word list relates to the people and places associated with healthcare. When teaching new vocabulary, be sure to check and correct pronunciation.

  • Doctor
  • Nurse
  • Hospital
  • Clinic
  • Pharmacy/Chemist
  • Emergency Room

Symptoms & Ailments

These words relate to describing different symptoms and ailments.

  • Hot/Fever
  • Temperature
  • Ache/Pain
  • Cramp
  • Cold
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Injury
  • Broken
  • Sprained

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