Coping with Stress: A Special Addition to Staying Healthy - An English Learner's Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living (Teacher's Guide and Student Resource Book)
Coping with Stress: A Special Addition to Staying Healthy – An English Learner's Guide to Health Care and Healthy is a special addition to the Staying Healthy: An English Learner's Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living curriculum. This resource is an introduction to stress and stress management. It focuses on the effects of stress on thinking, behavior, and health; discusses different kinds of stressors; and provides suggestions for coping with stress. The Teacher's Guide includes learning objectives and correlation to both Florida Adult ESOL Course Standards and CASAS competencies. The resource is accompanied by student materials that are also available online: http://www.floridaliteracy.org/books/StressSE.pdf.
Coping with Stress is an addition to the earlier resource: Staying Healthy: An English Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living. It uses the same principles as that first guide, which has been used in programs all over the country to rave reviews. The original guide was pilot tested and found to be effective at improving students' knowledge of health issues and intention to interact more fully with the health care system and their healthcare providers (see: http://www.floridaliteracy.org/SHProjectSummary.pdf).
The Florida Literacy Coalition now has the following books in the Staying Healthy series:
- Staying Healthy for Beginners
- Staying Healthy: An English Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living
- Coping with Stress
- Women’s Health
They can all be located on the Florida Literacy Coalition website: http://floridaliteracy.org/health_literacy_curriculum.html.
Coping with Stress: A Special Addition to Staying Healthy – An English Learner's Guide to Health Care and Healthy is an excellent resource for teachers to use in the ABE or ESOL classroom. The resource provides content that will resonate with adult students allowing them to use their lived experience as text to improve language and literacy skills. This is a ready-to-use resource in the classroom or a tutoring session. Written at a 3rd to 5th grade level and supported by pictures and a glossary in a well-designed plain language format, the guide itself is designed for ESOL students and can be used with or without guidance.
The Teacher's Guide allows a teacher or tutor to use the resource as a basis for a variety of teaching activities, which can be adapted for use with low-beginning to advanced level students. The Teacher's Guide lists the correlations with Florida's adult ESOL course standards and the CASAS competencies. The content is also organized in short segments with questions and short statements that serve as headings; these features allow for easy navigation of the document. There are a variety of activities suggested that teachers could utilize in discussing the topic of stress, including three hands-on activities, as well as activities involving pronunciation, math, and technology. Teachers can pick, choose, and adapt the activities that would be suitable for their level of students. There are generous suggestions; teachers are not left on their own to determine how to proceed. The inclusion of a list of resources is also helpful; while there are many Florida resources, there are also national referral sources.
Although the resource indicates that it addresses NRS ESL levels 1 through 6, the material could also be used in a pre-HSE context. Students in these classes could read the material and engage in discussions, debates, and other activities, including writing. One drawback of the guide is the lack of inclusion of a Language Experience Approach (LEA) activity for those students with limited English proficiency in ESL programs. While the use of pictures is recommended by the guide, it seems that this topic lends itself to students telling their stories in their own words and perhaps even discussing it in their own native language. The teacher can then write what students said and use the material as authentic text for the students’ own reading.
Stress and mental health issues are not regular topics in the ABE/ESOL classroom primarily because they are difficult issues for teachers to address. Teachers are not mental health experts, nor are they trained in social work. The availability of this resource could go a long way to assist teachers in addressing the issue.