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A Health Literacy Curriculum for ESOL learners (Beginner Level)

This is the curriculum of the Queens Library Adult Learner Program. It is used as a standalone class at the library, but designed so that you can pick individual lessons appropriate to your class, or follow the full curriculum.

Notes about the curriculum

The objectives of this curriculum are to increase Beginning English Language Learners’ English, and to improve their knowledge of health. You may notice that there are some differences in approach from a typical ESOL curriculum. There is minimal emphasis on grammatical functions, except as they relate to the health topic. Additionally, in order to properly address the health aspects of the curriculum, certain vocabulary is needed that normally would not be introduced at the beginning level. To facilitate this, there are times when the plan will suggest that you allow learners to work with native language dictionaries, or work with other students who speak the same language.

Tips for working with materials

  • Encourage learners to bring a three ring binder to keep all their handouts, as you may want to have them refer to information from previous lessons’ materials.
  • Try to recycle vocabulary — and concepts — frequently. Some of this recycling is built into the curriculum, but you may discover that your learners need more reviewing than is built into the lesson plans.
  • If your class is very low level, you may need to supplement the materials with additional beginning activities.
  • Some of the lesson plans also include background information on a health topic. These plans are marked with

Below is the list of lesson plans, accompanying student worksheets and audio files. You can download the audio files, or play them directly from your computer. Some lessons also have online activities for students. They are listed here as a reference for teachers; students can access them directly from the Student Activities page as well.

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Beginner Topics

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheets

Listening

1. Parts of the Body
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2. Describing Ailments and Symptoms
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“Hi, this is Sally Chen calling...”

“Hello, this is Rick Jones...”

“Mrs. Greene? This is Arturo Ramirez.”

“I heard that Lisa is sick. She has a...”

“You don’t look so good...”

3. Colds and Flu
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“Do you have a stuffy nose?”

“Should I call the doctor?”

“Many people can get a flu shot.”

4. Taking Temperature
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5. Making a doctor’s appointment
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6. More practice making doctors’ appointments
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“Hello? Appointment desk…” (Vera Flores)

“Hello? Appointment desk…” (Alberto Alvaro)

“Hello? Doctor’s office…” (Ben Akhter)

“Hello? Appointment desk…” (Chris Romero)

“You have reached the NY Dental Infoline…”

7. Filling out a Health History
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What’s your name?” (Jenny Leong)

“What’s your name?” (Jasifa Gonzales)

“What’s your name?” (Ben Miller)

“What’s your name?” (Carlos Ramirez)

“What’s your name?” (Joan Walker)

8. Medical Screenings and Tests/Talking to the Doctor/health care worker
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“What brings you here today?” (rash)

“Hi, Ms. Sanchez.  I’m Dr. Kang.”

“How are you feeling today?”  (throat hurts)

“We need to do some special tests.”

“I’d like to schedule a colonoscopy for you.”

“Please come back on Friday at 10.”

“Here is a prescription for some medicine.”

9. Following Directions in the Hospital (part 1)
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“Excuse me, where’s the elevator?”

“Excuse me, where’s the pediatric clinic?”

“Excuse me, where’s the gift shop?”

10. Following Directions in the Hospital (part 2)
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“Excuse me, can you tell me where the radiology…?”

“Excuse me, can you help me find the dental clinic?”

“Excuse me, where’s the elevator?”

11. Taking medicine/reading medical labels(part 1)
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“I’m giving you a prescription for penicillin.”

“Here’s your prescription. You should take it...”

“Here is your prescription for an acid blocker.”

“Here is your prescription. The doctor wants you...”

12. Taking medicine/reading medical labels(part 2)
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13. Health Goals
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14. Maintaining a healthy weight
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“You need to lose some weight, Mr. Smith.”

“Mrs. Brown, how tall are you?”

15. Healthy foods
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“What should we buy?”

16. Eating Healthy and the Food Pyramid
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“What do our bodies need?”

“Carbohydrates give our bodies energy.”

“Some carbohydrates are not healthy.”

“Sugar is also a carbohydrate.”

“Healthy carbohydrates...”

“Our bodies need protein.”

“Our bodies need some fat.”

“Some fats are healthier...”

17. Reading food labels
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18. Medical emergencies
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“Emergency services…” (“My mom fell…”)

“Emergency services…” (“A woman has a gun…”)

“Emergency services…” (“There’s been a car accident…”)

19. Health Plans (part 1)
(Computer-based Session)
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20. Health Plans (part 2) (Computer-based Session)
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Risk assessment (online surveys)
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Internet search for health information
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