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Integrating Health Literacy and ESL : An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Hispanic Immigrants
Health Promotion Practice (2012)
  • Francisco Soto Mas

Adult Hispanic immigrants are at a greater risk of experiencing the negative outcomes related to low health literacy, as they confront cultural and language barriers to the complex and predominately monolingual Englishbased U.S. health system. One approach that has the potential for simultaneously addressing the health, literacy, and language needs of Hispanics is the combination of health literacy and English as a second language (ESL) instruction. The purpose of the project was to evaluate the feasibility of using ESL instruction as a medium for improving health literacy among Hispanic immigrants. Objectives included the development, implementation, and evaluation of an interdisciplinary health literacy/ESL curriculum that integrates theories of health literacy and health behavior research and practice, sociocultural theories of literacy and communication, and adult learning principles. This article describes the curriculum development process and provides preliminary qualitative data on learners’ experiences with the curriculum. Results indicate that the curriculum was attractive to participants and that they were highly satisfied with both the format and content. The curriculum described here represents one example of an audiencecentered approach designed to meet the specific health and literacy needs of the Hispanic population on the U.S.–Mexico border. The combination of ESL and health literacy contributed to a perceived positive learning experience among participants. Interdisciplinary approaches to health literacy are recommended.

Publication Date
September 14, 2012
Citation Information
Francisco Soto Mas. "Integrating Health Literacy and ESL : An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Hispanic Immigrants" Health Promotion Practice Vol. DOI: 10.1177/1524839912452736 (2012)
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