Queens Library Health Literacy Curriculum for ESOL Learners

This health literacy curriculum was developed through Queens Library for use with ESOL Learners.

Judy Trupin
David Ford
Maryann Shabaaz
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Queens Library
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Target Audience

Written for a library-based class to improve English language skills in the context of learning about health, this can be used in ESOL classes as well. There are beginning and intermediate curricula, each containing 20 units with lesson plans, worksheets and mp3s. These are suitable for varying levels and a variety of learning types. The lessons are participatory and use a variety of teaching styles, including listening activities for most of the lessons. This can be used as a complete curriculum, or used lesson by lesson as needed. The range of topics covers many practical skills people need to master, such as taking a temperature, making a doctor’s appointment, filling out forms, and finding and evaluating health information on the internet.

Intermediate Level is availble as well: http://www.queenslibrary.org/services/health-info/english-for-your-healt...

What the experts say

This is valuable to the field of adult education because it is a comprehensive health literacy curriculum for ESOL teachers and learners. It provides guidance and background information for teachers, step-by-step lesson plans, student worksheets, and a listening component for almost all lessons. Each lesson includes teacher notes, web links, learning objectives, list of needed materials, warm up activity, multiple core content activities, and home work. The lesson plans are easy to use and are on vital topics.

When tailored to meet the needs of each classroom, each student, this curriculum could be especially useful for ESOL teachers or tutors working with students at beginning and intermediate levels.

There are accompanying materials (work sheets, activity sheets, sound bytes) for almost all of the units. Therefore, visuals, activities and a speaker’s voice are readily available for the teacher/tutor and the learner.

The fact that this curriculum includes three lessons on using the Internet to find and evaluate health information is a particularly significant and useful feature. It is one of a very few curricula designed for adult education that includes lessons that develop health information literacy skills, the skills that enable learners to critically evaluate the accuracy and reliable of health information found on the Internet.

These materials are grounded in adult learning theory, and use many of the research based methods that we know work with adult learns, both English speaking and second language learners.