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Multi-Cultural Educational Services: Medical Literacy Learning Activities

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, speakers, printer

Activity Description

Use the Web site's interactive listening activities and reading quizzes when teaching about medicine labels. The Example Web Site (above) will help students learn about over-the-counter medicine labels in particular, with two follow-up quizzes. This is one of the four parts of this page of activities on medicine labels (see also Prescriptions, Warning Labels, and Side Effects).


  1. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school.
  2. Activities on the site require Java and Flash, so make sure that they are installed on the computer(s) you plan to use.
  3. Go through the activity/activities you plan to have students do yourself and note vocabulary words that may be unfamiliar to your students to ensure that the level of listening and reading is appropriate to their English abilities, and to anticipate difficulties they may have.
  4. If you plan to use the print materials (PDF files), download them, print, and photocopy for students.
  5. Decide if you will use the Web activities as a whole-class task or as an individual task with students studying using the site individually.


  1. Open the Example Web Site (above).
  2. Make sure that the computer speakers are turned on and set at an adequate volume.
  3. If you are using the activities as a whole-class lesson, project the Web site. If not, demonstrate for students how to navigate the activities.
  4. In the Online Medical Literacy Learning Activities table, Introductions section, select English (the activities are also available in Arabic, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish). The students can watch and listen to the topic. There are audio buttons to go back, go forward and stop. The audio has an image to correspond to each part, and it advanced itself automatically.
  5. When students have finished listening to the audio, select Quiz 1. Immediate feedback is provided on the answers selected. If the student answers incorrectly, a "Try again" link is displayed. When the student selects it, they will be routed back to the question for another try.
  6. Continue to Quiz 2.
  7. Follow up by reviewing questions students answered incorrectly or, optionally, with the print quizzes available for download.

Teacher Tips

  • You may choose to introduce the topic of medicine labels by using the print materials and having students use the interactive listening and quiz activities on the Web site as a follow up.
  • There are printable copies of the online versions of the materials and two quizzes that check listening/reading comprehension available for download, with an answer key (PDF files).

More Ways

The site offers many more interactive literacy and life skills listening exercises, also with print PDF files for download and audio spoken in other languages. (To see these, select the Web Site URL immediately above these instructions):

  • The Language of Math - vocabulary exercises are grouped by basic math, fractions, and algebra and geometry
  • Story by Story Phonics Lessons - contextual phonics program that includes listening, typing, and pronunciation
  • Listening to Prepositions - practice with simple prepositions "in, on, at" and others used for location and time
  • LaRue Environmental ESL Exercises - explain what happens to the garbage with examples of how to reduce, reuse, and recycle; also explain household hazardous waste and how to read product labels and how to dispose of waste properly
  • Nutrition, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure - health literacy exercises on understanding food and reading a nutrition label, understanding basic information about diabetes and basic information about high blood pressure
  • Basic Literacy Skills - writing a check, filling out a timesheet, filling out a basic form and reading a simple map (Editor's note: I had difficulty getting the Java files to run on this section, but the printables are fine.)
  • Listening to Immigrants - practice listening to conversations with immigrants



  • Beginning Low
  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High


Basic Communication

  • (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information

Basic Communication

  • (1.3) Understand methods and procedures used to purchase goods and services
  • (1.2) Use information to identify and purchase goods and services
  • (1.1) Use measurement and money

Basic Communication

  • (3.6) Understand basic health and medical information
  • (3.5) Understand basic principles of health maintenance
  • (3.4) Understand basic safety measures and health risks
  • (3.2) Understand forms related to health care
  • (3.3) Understand how to select and use medications

Basic Communication

  • (4.1) Understand basic principles of getting a job

Basic Communication

  • (5.2) Understand historical and geographical information

Basic Communication

  • (6.2) Compute using decimal fractions
  • (6.3) Compute using fractions
  • (6.1) Compute using whole numbers
  • (6.6) Demonstrate measurement skills
  • (6.0) Demonstrate pre-computation skills

Basic Communication

  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology

Basic Communication

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.