I think the best way to teach English is to find-out what people want to learn about, and then help them develop their language skills in the process of learning about that topic. Even though I’ve found that teenagers from all ethnic groups feel that they’re pretty indestructible, I’ve still found that using interactive online health tools for them to learn about their well-being (or the well-being of family members) have been pretty high-interest to them across the board.
And, so — another “The Best…” list is born.
This is sort of a companion list to The Best Life Expectancy Calculators. Readers might also be interested in The Best health sites for English language learners.
All the sites listed here have self-assessments for health risks or other kinds of calculators that are accessible to Intermediate English Language Learners. They’re free, and don’t require registration.
Here are my picks for The Best Online Health Assessments For ELL’s (not in any order of preference):
Your Disease Risk is a great site for both teenage and adult English Language Learners. It’s from the Siteman Cancer Center, and leads you through simple questionnaires on various illnesses to determine…your disease risk.
Cold Aid is an interactive application designed to help parents figure out if their child has a cold or a more serious illness. It has audio that is closed-captioned (be sure to click it on). It asks you a number of questions about the child’s symptoms, and then reaches a conclusion and offers a recommendation.
WebMD has a lot of interactive tools. Click on the ones you want to use and then, right under “What Does This Tool Measure?” you see “click here.”
Quality Health has a lot of accessible Health Risks Assessments.
Health Line has many similar tools.
Revolution Health also has many health calculators.
The extraordinary Measure of America website has a feature that lets you calculate your “human development level.” It’s called the Well-O-Meter.
Is It A Cold Or The Flu? comes from ABC News.
CNN has a number of health-related interactives.
MSN Health and Fitness has several similar health tools.
Better Health Conversation is an interactive from Web MD and General Electric that helps you prepare for your next doctor’s visit. It’s accessible and engaging.
A note of caution — some of the sites include Body Mass Index (BMI) calculators. There are real questions about its accuracy or usefulness. If students are going to use those, please explain some of those concerns. We certainly don’t want kids to get obsessed about their weight if their BMI reading says they’re overweight even if they are not.
The Healthy Living Assessment from the BC Cancer Agency is a good and accessible self-assessment interactive.
As always, feedback is welcome.