Alternative Medicine

A reading and discussion lesson plan for higher level students that focuses on alternative medicine: what it is, what it does, whether it works, and who uses it.


I’ve been working on the TESOL Core Certificate program for the past 6 weeks and the culmination of the course is to design a lesson plan. I decided to make it a lesson that I was thinking about for a student I’m teaching right now. Thought I would share the lesson plan here to get some feedback. Don’t worry, I’ve already submitted it for grading so it won’t be cheating if you give suggestions.

This lesson is designed for a young professional I tutor one on one. He has medical training and works in a medical company, so he knows a lot about health terminology and needs to know more. His level of English is upper intermediate/advanced. The lesson could easily be adapted for lower level students by making the readings easier.

Because the lesson is already typed up nicely I won’t copy it here, I’ll just link to the word doc. But the lesson hinges around giving the student a variety of readings on different aspects of alternative medicine: What are they? Why do people use them? Do they work? So it promotes learner autonomy by allowing the learner to decide what area of the topic he or she wants to read about and discuss. The lesson also has a component teaching how to talk about other people’s opinions and giving judgments on other people’s opinions.
AltMedLesson: The lesson plan itself.
Opinions: Statements of opinion for the student to study.
Health_problems (from to be used in discussing the effectiveness of Alternative Medicine.

Also note that the heart of the lesson, having a student chose a reading and read and discuss it, could be used for any topic. You could bring in a bunch of articles or magazines on a certain topic and have students pick their own readings, then lead a discussion on what they read.

Feel free to take a look, borrow it, and critique away!

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