Specialist Language Courses

Lesson Plan: Describing Cardiovascular Conditions

Describing Cardiovascular Conditions

Share This Post

This lesson plan teaches the language used to describe the heart and cardiovascular conditions.

B2-C1 level

Teacher Notes

●    Topic: Describing cardiovascular conditions

●    Timing: 45 minutes

●    Lesson type/focus: reading and writing


●       Reading: develop language associated with the heart.

●       Vocabulary: develop language needed to describe cardiovascular conditions.

●       Writing: consolidate and extend language use through writing.



The focus of the lesson is describing cardiovascular conditions. The speaking activity introduces the topic and gives students the opportunities to share their current knowledge and vocabulary on the topic. The reading activity and subsequent activity develop students’ vocabulary on the heart and associated cardiovascular conditions. The writing activity allows the students to put the vocabulary into practice and describe heart attacks using language appropriate for a patient.

Note: this lesson supports the language introduced in the following:

Teaching Guide & Answer Key

Part 1: speaking

Put students into small groups and ask them to discuss questions 1 – 3. Choose a spokesperson from each group to report back the answers. After whole class feedback, students read the link below to compare their answers.


Suggested answers

  1. What are the risk factors for increasing the possibility of a heart attack? High blood pressure, inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history of CVD (cardiovascular disease), gender, ethnic background, age, gender, diet, alcohol.
  2. What are the symptoms of a heart attack? Pressure, tightness, pain in chest, which may spread to neck, jaw or back. Nausea, indigestion, heart pain or stomach pain, shortness of breath, cold sweat, fatigue, dizziness.
  3. What advice would you give to patients to prevent a heart attack? Cessation of smoking, reduce weight, healthy diet, regular exercise, regular monitoring, reduce alcohol, take medication if applicable.

Part 2: reading

Put students in pairs. Ask them to read the text and choose the correct answer from the two options given. Whole class feedback.


1. organ     2. pump     3. chambers     4. flows     5. lungs     6. oxygen     7. Valves     8. relax     9. fill 

10. hard     11. contract     12. away     13. arterioles     14. capillaries     15. tissues     16. thin     17. lower

Part 3: vocabulary

Students continue to work in pairs and complete the sentences with a word from the box. Students compare ideas with another pair.


1. endocarditis     2. thrombosis     3. electrocardiogram     4. phlebotomist     5. vasoconstriction   

6. muscular layer     7. pericardial     8. myocardial infarction

Download the complete lesson plan and student worksheet:


Want more lesson plans?

Lesson Plans

We have many more available on our partner’s website. EALTHY is a unique international association for
English for Healthcare teachers, writers and researchers. It offers members a growing bank of lesson plans, OET resources, articles and research summaries, as well as free and discounted access to conferences, journals, publications and SLC courses!


Through our partnership, we publish at least three new plans in the EALTHY Members Area every week. So, if you’re a teacher looking for excellent resources, now is the time to join an international English for Healthcare community and take advantage of everything EALTHY has to offer.


Annual memberships are available for teachers and for institutions. We hope very much to see you there!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get your monthly updates and latest materials on Medical English

More to explore