Video 04 : Homeopathy + Alternative Medicine
This lesson consists of a debate, a video and follow-up conversation questions. It is aimed at Upper Intermediate and Advanced students. You may like to introduce the topic of alternative medicine by asking your students if they have heard about the UK Parliament’s recent report on homeopathy.
Step One : Debate on homeopathy
It’s probably best to set up the debate during the previous class by putting your students in two groups (pros and cons) and asking them to research the arguments in favour and against homepathy for homework. Here are some useful web pages, but obviously encourage them to do their own research.
- The case for and against homeopathy (Daily Mail)
- The pros and cons of homeopathy (Ezine Articles)
- Wikipedia article on homepathy (especially part 4)
On the day of the debate, put your students in groups of four (2 in favour, 2 against) and let them thrash it out.
Step Two : The video
Show your students the video below and ask them whether the two experts mentioned the same arguments as they did during their debates. You could then show it again and ask them to take notes on any further arguments that they used to support their views. You might like to focus on vocabulary (e.g. to withdraw funding, to dilute, like cures like etc) before or after showing the video.
Note : The BBC doesn’t seem to allow embedding of its videos, so here’s the link.
Step Three : Speaking practice
The idea of this activity is to give your students the opportunity to give their own opinions on alternative medicine. They may end up repeating or paraphrasing (which is good) some of the arguments that they used during the debate, so it is a good idea to organise them in different groups (or pairs). Give out the worksheet below and ask them to go through the questions.
If your students are interested, here are some more links to videos on the subject of alternative medicine.
- Richard Dawkins on homeopathy
- BBC Horizon documentary on homeopathy : Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
- Here Be Dragons documentary on pseudoscientific claims
Hope you find the lesson useful!