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Teaching ESL Vocabulary: First Aid

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

First aid vocabulary includes objects in a first aid kit but also situations that require first aid. This lesson includes both types of vocabulary along with practical activities for your ESL students.

Students Participate

First aid is a great topic to involve ESL students actively in class. To begin, ask your students this basic question: What is first aid? This elicits answers from students as they use the knowledge and language skills they already have.

Next, have your students participate in a brainstorming activity about why first aid is important. Begin by telling your students a story about how first aid saved a life. You can make it up or find a short clip on the internet. Next, record students' ideas about why first aid is important. Students might say that it saves lives, it immediately helps a sick person, it is good for emergencies, etc.

With this introduction, you can now teach two different sets of vocabulary as follows:

  • First aid kit items
  • First aid situations

First Aid Kit Items

With this vocabulary, students not only learn new words; they also get to identify items in a first aid kit.

First, ask your students if they have ever seen a first aid kit in your school, and do not hesitate to add any of the following questions:

  • What color is it?
  • How big is it?
  • Where have they seen it?
  • Who can use it?
  • Why does the school have a first aid kit?

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