Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Online Health Assessments For ELL’s


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.

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.


  1. My newly published book Eden’s Way The Garden’s Path to Wellness discusses the reasons why BMI should not be used as a baseline assessment of weight or as a measurement of success of healthy lifestyle programs. Eden’s Way sorts through all the current information to provide readers with the ability to develop an individualized Health, Fitness, and Wellness program and the valid tests to measure their success. I think your readers will enjoy it.

  2. Thanks for you post Larry. It has led me to some very interesting health assessment sites that I never would have found on my own.
    Here’s one more:
    It was created for students grades 10 to 12 and has a 25 question self-assessment that gives you a score as to how well you are doing with the 5 lifestyle factors that prevent half of all cancers.
    We are told that it is a great site for ESL students.
    This site was created by a team of us at BC Cancer Agency.
    Thanks again!

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