Teaching Speaking: On the treatment table
This lesson focuses on speaking skills and vocabulary to describe illnesses and injuries. There are language tasks and activities for your students, a focus on pronunciation, a main speaking task and extension activities.
Find the full lesson plan and all the worksheets you need in the downloads section on the right-hand side of this page.
Many learners enjoy roleplay and this lesson gives students a chance to immediately use the language they learn. Students read and listen to a variety of language used to describe illnesses and injuries. The lesson focusses on speaking skills, but learners are also introduced to a wide range of extreme adjectives and they have the opportunity to focus on reading and pronunciation.
A2 / B1 (strong pre-intermediate to intermediate)
Teenagers and adults
45 mins + 45 mins
This lesson is flexible and can be used over two different classes or one 90-minute class. You can also extend or shorten some of the steps depending on the level and needs of your students.
- Picture 1: Setting the scene
- Worksheet 1: Read the commentaries
- Worksheet 2: Detailed reading questions
- Worksheet 3: Definitions
- Cut-outs: Cards for injuries/illnesses
You can find all the materials in the download section on the right-hand side of this page.
- Why are treatment tables needed at sports events?
- What different injuries could sports stars have?
- Can you think of any famous sports stars that have been injured during a match, game or race?
2. Task 1
Tell students that they are the team doctor and there is an injury crisis at the club. They will need to help the players recover.
Note: Useful collocation: injury crisis = lots of people in the same team are injured at the same time
3. Reading for general understanding
Give out Worksheet 1 – Reading illnesses and injuries and ask students to read the three dialogues. Set a time limit of 60 seconds.
Ask students: Who has the worst injury? Who should be ok to play next week?
4. Reading for more detail
Give out Worksheet 2 – Detailed reading questions. Students answer the comprehension questions.
As an alternative, you could make this more competitive. Make copies of the questions for each team of three or four students and cut them up into slips of paper. Give students one question. They have to write the answer on the slip of paper and return it to you before you give them the next question.
5. Guessing meaning from context
- a virus
- a cold
- the flu
- food poisoning
- a dislocated (knee/ shoulder/ ankle)
- a bruised (leg/ ankle/ foot)
- a broken (leg/ toe/ foot)
- a sore (leg/ shoulder/ ankle)
Discuss the difference in usage between the illnesses and injuries.
Illnesses we say ‘I’ve got a (bad) cold’, or ‘I’ve had (terrible) food poisoning for x days’
Injuries we use the adjectives before a part of the body. ‘I’ve got a broken + ankle.’
Highlight that dislocations can only happen in joints (shoulder, ankle, knee etc)
Shout out the different problems – students jump left for illness, right for injury.
- I’ve got a broken ankle.
- I’ve got a dislocated shoulder.
- I’ve had terrible food poisoning for 3 days.
8. Controlled Practice
- light jogging
- getting a massage
- taking medicine
- drinking cola
- going to the cinema
- playing on your phone
9. Task 2: Preparation
Tell students that it’s a week before the big match, but there’s a big problem – some of your best players have injuries or illnesses. You need to help them recover before the big match.
Tell students they will play the roles of both the doctor and the player.
Students have to make notes on their injury (as a player) and give recommendations (as a doctor).
10. Task 2: Delivery
Students take turns role-playing the doctor/ player conversation.
Feedback – ask the doctors which players will be ready to play the big match at the weekend.
Alternatives and Extensions
- A list of injuries and illnesses
- Recommendations for each injury or illness
We hope you enjoy the lesson!