Fresh Idea:
Health Literacy for ELL Adults
Lincoln Literacy Council
Susan Bockrath, Program Coordinator
Clay Naff, Executive Director
Lincoln Literacy Council
… assist people of all cultures and strengthen
our community by teaching English language
and literacy skills.
 ELL and Basic Programs
 One-one tutor matches
 Groups
 Health Literacy
LLC’s RWJF Funded
Health Literacy Program
 12 week sessions
 All women students so far
 Students share common first language
 Sudanese Arabic, Nuer, Spanish
 Bilingual health education and
 English instruction with LLC trained tutors
 Focus on topics covered during health education
 Clinic partners provide screenings and referrals
Reconciling Goals
Literacy
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Listening
Speaking
Reading
Writing
Health Literacy
 Improving health status
 Basic knowledge
 Communication skills
 Placing in Medical home
 Wise use of healthcare $
 Insurance options
 ER use
Health Literacy: The degree to which individuals have the capacity to
obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services
needed to make appropriate health decisions…
– Healthy People 2010
77 women improve health literacy
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Improve active recall of anatomy terms
Improve description of basic symptoms
Medical and dental screenings (n=40+)
Follow-up completed by all
Medical record vs. medical history
Even fresher ideas…
What we’ve learned so far
 Less is more
 Fewer topics allow for more repetition
 More is more
 Tutors need a range of language activities related to
each content objective
 Supportive service capacities & needs differ
 Case management
 Health mentors
 Tutors benefit from content too
 Tools available to assess health literacy miss the
mark with ELL adults
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Health Literacy Training for Adult English Language Learners