Staying Healthy for Beginners: An English Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living (Teacher's Guide)

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Staying Healthy for Beginners is a curriculum that seeks to enhance students' understanding of health information, while at the same time improving their English language and literacy skills. The resource is a beginner’s addition to the original Staying Healthy: An English Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living. 
Resource URL:
Sabrina Kurtz-Ross
Gregory Smith
Claire Valier
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
Florida Literacy Coalition
Health Literacy, Health Education, English as a second language (ESL), English language learners
Number of Pages: 
Product Type: 
Instructional Material
Target Audience: 
Skill Level: 
NRS EFL 3--ESL High Beginning ESL

Staying Healthy for Beginners is a beginner’s addition to the original Staying Healthy: An English Learner’s Guide to Health Care and Healthy Living. The original Guide is listed separately in the LINCS Resource Collection.

This 2014 publication, Staying Healthy for Beginners, is aimed at high beginning level English Language (EL) learners and, like the original, uses health as a content area for literacy and ESOL instruction to improve student motivation and the acquisition of literacy and language skills. The Staying Healthy for Beginners resource includes a Teacher’s Guide and a Student Resource Book. The Teacher’s Guide includes ideas for lessons and activities, as well as suggestions for presenting the health information in a way that facilitates learning. The Student Resource Book provides easy-to-read information about things like talking to your doctor, taking medicine and eating healthy food. Used together, the Teacher’s Guide and Student Resource Book seek to enhance students’ understanding of health information, while at the same time improving their EL and literacy skills.

Staying Healthy for Beginners uses the same principles as the original 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:

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:

Benefits and Uses: 

There is a standard format for both the student guide and the teacher guide. 

Each chapter in the teacher guide includes:

  • Learning objectives
  • Language focus
  • CASAS competencies addressed
  • Activities using the Student Guide
    • Suggestions for using the theme picture story to start discussion
    • Suggestions for using the reading, writing, speaking, and listening sections
    • Suggestions for teaching the health content
  • Practice, Action, and Tehnology Extension
    • Suggestions for the practice activity
    • Activities for taking action and applying knowledge to a real-life situation
    • Additional online resources
  • Additional Practice and Worksheets
    • Any additional practice activities
    • Printable student worksheets

For Chapters 1-4, there are two additional types of information:

  • Cultural Notes contain discussion topics you may want to engage students in to elicit their perceptions and prior knowledge of that chapter's topic. These discussions are intended to encourage students to share their experiences and cultural beliefs.
  • Good to Know contains additional information related to items introduced in the chapter that may be helpful to share with students.

The 2014 Staying Healthy for Beginners Teacher Guide does not contain state-specific references and can be used and individualized by any program or instructor to suit their purposes.

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