Teaching ESL Medical Vocabulary: Hospitals & Doctors

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

This lesson will provide teachers of English as a second language (ESL) students with common medical vocabulary related to doctors and hospitals. Additionally, in this lesson, teachers will learn activities for implementing the vocabulary into instruction.

Learning About Hospitals

Most people will visit a hospital at least once in their lives, whether as a patient or visitor. It's important to teach your ESL students common vocabulary words associated with hospitals and doctors in order to successfully prepare them for life in the U.S. The following are some vocabulary words you may want to introduce to your students.

Around the Hospital

  • Room
  • Floor (first, second, third)
  • Wing
  • Ward
  • Waiting area
  • Elevator
  • Cafeteria
  • Gift shop
  • Bathroom
  • Emergency Room (ER)
  • Pharmacy

People at the Hospital

  • Patient
  • Nurse
  • Doctor
  • Lab technician
  • Physician
  • Surgeon
  • Visitor
  • Pediatrician
  • Anesthesiologist

Medical Supplies and Equipment

  • Bandage
  • Stitches
  • X-Ray
  • Thermometer
  • Stethoscope
  • Ointment
  • Syringe
  • Antibiotic
  • Medicine
  • Stretcher
  • Tongue Depressor
  • Cast
  • Wheelchair
  • Pain killer

Illnesses and Symptoms

  • Injury
  • Illness
  • Ache
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Pain
  • Temperature
  • Wound
  • Headache
  • Infection
  • Sore
  • Itchy
  • Stomach-ache
  • Disease
  • Bruise
  • Weakness
  • Inflammation
  • Vomit
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse
  • Dizzy
  • Allergy

Activities

You can help your ESL students practice their new vocabulary by incorporating some of the following activities into your instruction:

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