Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Life Expectancy Calculators

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I know this probably sounds like a strange “The Best…” list. However, it fits into my perspective of teaching English — find a high-interest topic that students want to learn about, and then they need (and want) to develop the language skills to learn about it.

And, I have to say, it’s hard to find a topic of higher interest than having students try to discover how long they are going to live.

These calculators aren’t precise, obviously. In fact, it would be good for a teacher to review an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about some of the problems with them. However, there are also a number of benefits, including challenging students to reflect on some of their lifestyle choices.

These are the life expectancy calculators that I think are most accessible to English Language Learners, though they vary in degrees of difficulty. All can be taken without registration, except for the last one:

The Longevity Game

Virtual Age

Years You Have Left to Live, Probably is from Flowing Data.

Life Expectancy Can Vary by 20 Years Based on Where in the U.S. You Live is from TIME.

Does where you live affect how long you live? is from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The website Blue Zones has a short survey called “Vitality Compass” which, once completed, gives you an indication of how long you’ll live (and, interestingly enough, what portion of that time you can expect to be healthy). You have to register for the site, but doing so is quick.

You might also be interested in Living Longer in America, an interactive from MSNBC which shows you how long you are likely to live — depending on which area of the country you call home.  In addition, it has a timeline where you can learn how life expectancy has increased over the years and for what reasons.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Hi Larry,
    I was fascinated while completing the first calculator (helped by my projected outcome!). But more to the point, I was intrigued by your comment: “it’s hard to find a topic of higher interest than having students try to discover how long they are going to live.” This flies in the face of behaviorists who claim that education will not change behavior; that kids live in the here and now with little care for the future. My own experiences tell me that this is only partially true. Nice to see students interested in longevity as it may help them to change their lifestyle.

    Relatedly, my sense is that the longevity calculation is missing out on offering a thoughtful feedback at the end explaining the most important changeable components and how they could make a difference. I did the first one, “Living to 100,” and did not see this as an option. Perhaps others do.

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