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Teaching English by the BBC: Doctors & Patients

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, Microsoft Word (if you print sheets)

Activity Description

This site has ideas for activities—there is no computer component for students. Students role-play interactions between a patient and a doctor.


  1. Review symptoms and giving advice.
  2. Print activity sheets and treatment cards (found below under "More Ways") if you decide to use them.


  1. Divide your class in half, half are doctors, half are patients.
  2. Put the patients in an area of the class which becomes the waiting room. The patients should either come up with their own symptoms, or you can give them a few ideas.
  3. Every patient should visit every doctor and get advice from that doctor. Be careful to set a time limit for each consultation with the doctors.
  4. Once the patients have visited each doctor— they may want to make notes of the advice given— they return to the waiting area and decide which doctor's advice they are going to follow and why.
  5. Meanwhile, the doctors all get together and compare the advice they gave.

Teacher Tips

  • This activity can be used for both vocabulary and structures—you can use it for reported speech 'he said ... he told me…', you can use it for practicing modals like 'should' or 'must', or for practicing verb patterns such as 'he said I should ....' or 'he told me to ...' etc.

More Ways


  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (3.6) Understand basic health and medical information
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.