Technical and Medical English Definitions Game Lesson

Aims: Technical English and/ or Medical English vocabulary, countable and uncountable, articles (A/ the), words that are commonly plural

Skills: Speaking skills- fluency- talking around words you don’t know

Preparation: (Optional) If you have suitable vocabulary from your textbook, before photocopying you might want to fill in the few gaps in the worksheets and maybe replace some of the vocab that is there with words that are revision for your students.

Resources: (PG= per group, PS= per student)

PS: 1 x Worksheet 1 (Words to define)- Technical English or Medical English version depending on your class

PS: 1 x Worksheet 1 (Useful Language)

PG: 1 x Worksheet 3 (Board game board)

Several objects for the Warmer stage, e.g. scissors, goggles, staples, washing up liquid- preferably including something uncountable and something commonly or always plural.

Time: Approx 50 minutes (not including optional tasks)

Stage 1
Warmer- Fetch!  5 minutes
  1. Before or at the beginning of the class, spread some objects all around the classroom- including all the whiteboard pens.
  2. Towards the start of the class go to write something on the board and act surprised that there are no pens. Ask someone to pass you them, but not using the words ‘white’, ‘board’ or ‘pen’, e.g. “Can you pass me the things I usually write on the big square thing at the front of the classroom with?” If students can’t find them, define the place where they are, e.g. “One of them is under the place where Mr Gonzales is sitting”
  3. Continue asking for all the rest of the things you have placed around the room. With a good class, students can take over your role and ask each other.
  4. At this point you could do the language presentation (Stage 3 below), but it is usually better to wait until students start asking you grammar questions.
Stage 2
Pre-language-presentation speaking  10 minutes
  1. Give out the copies of Worksheet 1 and ask students to do them same thing, defining words from the list for the rest of the class to guess but making sure they don’t use any parts of the words being defined, e.g. for “fire exit” they can’t say “fire” or “exit”.
  2. After a few examples or if student get stuck give out the copies of Worksheet 2 (useful language) and get them to define a few more words using the sentence stems. At this point there will almost certainly be language questions, e.g. the difference between “stuff” and “a thing”. With classes that are more interested in fluency practice, however, it might be possible to skip Stage 3and go straight to Stage 4.
Stage 3
Language presentation  7 minutes
  1. Ask students to turn over their copies of Worksheet 2 so they can’t see them and elicit explanations for the language with the following gapped sentences:

l         This is ________  ________ where you wash yourself. (a, or possibly the/ place- a/ the bathroom)

l         This is _______ ___________ (that) you write with (a/ thing- a pen)

l         This is _________ ____________ who walks and cycles from house to house carrying letters (a/ person- a postman)

l         This is ___________ _______________ who is top of the American government (the/ person- the President)

l         These are ______________ (that) you insert in your body when a factory or building site is very noisy (things- ear plugs)

l         This is ______________ (that) you need to breathe to stay alive (stuff- air)

  1. Points that are likely to need more explanation include “stuff” for uncountables, the use of plurals for trousers and pants etc, and “the” for things that are unique/ the only one. Some objects on the list could go in more than one place, e.g. a glove/ gloves and a/ the bathroom.
  2. Ask students to guess what the things being defined above are. If they need more practice they can do the same with the example sentences from Worksheet 2.
Stage 4
Controlled practise and vocabulary check  5 to 10 minutes
  1. Go through a few more examples from Worksheet 1, asking students to define things with the example sentences. Take questions about unknown vocabulary, using the example sentences on Worksheet 2 to define your answers. Do not allow dictionaries.
  2. If you have time, ask students to go through Worksheet One labelling the words as a thing, things, stuff, the, place and person with the relevant numbers on Worksheet 2. This should be fairly quick once they realise the words are arranged in rows. Alternatively, this task can be given as homework.
Stage 5
Speaking Practise Board Game  15 to 25 minutes
  1. Arrange the students in groups of three or four and give out one copy of worksheet 3 per group. Make sure each student has something to use as a counter (e.g. an eraser) and the team can see something to time with.
  2. The students work their way around the board by defining words that fit in with the category of the box they are on for the other students to guess, e.g. any words beginning with “A” for the first box or just uncountable stuff for the “stuff” square. These can be words on Worksheet 1 or their own ideas. They have one minute. At the end of 1 minute that can move the number of squares of the number of words they defined. The people who first correctly guessed each word can also move on one square for each correct guess.
  3. Either when the first person in the class is finished or everyone in one of the groups have finished, stop the game and congratulate the winners.


PDF version for easy printing: TechnicalEnglishDefinitionsLPs


Technical and medical definitions game worksheets

Technical English articles definitions game Version 2


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