Ask Dr. Google

Stefanie - author of the Lesson   Stefanie | February 02, 2023
General English, Speaking Lessons
B2 Upper-Intermediate, C1 Advanced
Mixed Grammar
Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
30 minutes
Illustration depicting students engaged in a discussion about looking up advice online during an ESL online lesson.

Lesson Overview

Don’t believe everything you read online! In this lesson, students will discuss the topic of seeking online advice. This lesson features a video of a qualified doctor talking about the issues that may arise when googling symptoms online. Students will learn and practice vocabulary relating to the topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Listening: Students will enhance their listening skills by engaging with a video featuring a doctor discussing the implications of using Google to diagnose health issues. They will focus on understanding the doctor’s main points and the specific examples she uses to illustrate the risks of misdiagnosis through online searches.

  • Speaking: Students will participate in discussions and debates about the reliability of online health advice. They will use vocabulary and phrases learned in the lesson to express their views on the topic, share personal experiences with online health information, and respond to the opinions of others, thus improving their spoken English in a health-related context.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson will introduce vocabulary related to online health searches, including "misconceptions," "cyberchondria," "symptom checkers," and "misdiagnose." These terms will be utilized in various activities to help students articulate thoughts about the accuracy and dangers of online medical advice more clearly.

  • Homework: Learners will complete tasks that involve identifying true and false statements about online health information, rewriting phrases for clarity, and using vocabulary related to the lesson. These activities aim to reinforce their understanding of the topic and ensure they can apply the vocabulary and concepts discussed in class in correct and meaningful ways.


Have you ever asked Google a crazy question about yourself or something you heard? Do you have cancer; are you dying? Watch this video to listen to a qualified doctor explain the problems that may arise from using “Dr. Google” too much.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

diagnosis [noun]: the identification of an illness or other problem by examining symptoms
consult [verb]: to seek information or advice from (someone with expertise in a particular area)
cyberchondria [noun]: a clinical phenomenon in which repeated Internet searches regarding medical information result in excessive concerns about physical health
take as gospel [idiom]: to believe something to be true
condescending [adjective]: having or showing a superior attitude toward others; snobby
utilize [verb]: to make use of something
fall for something [phrasal verb]: to be deceived by something, esp. a lie
misconstrue [verb]: to interpret (something, especially a person's words or actions) wrongly
suspicion [noun]: a feeling or thought that something is possible, likely, or true
debunk [verb]: to expose the falseness (a myth, idea, or belief)
misconceptions [noun]: a view or opinion that is incorrect because based on faulty thinking or understanding
collaboration [noun]: the action of working with someone to produce or create something
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