Susan Kuhn / / Mt. Hood Community College


The Classes: 

ESL 88B Listening/Speaking – This is an intermediate level class which focuses on improving students’ listening and speaking skills.  CASAS SPLs 4-6


CC Episode/CA Objective:

Unit 7 – Fish Out Of Water

Themes: Culture shock, restaurant management

CA Objective 28: Health/Health Care

10) Explain medicine labels and medical warning labels.

11) List basic first aid procedures.

17) Identify healthy and unhealthy lifestyles.

19)  Locate affordable sources of healthy food in the community.


Resources Used:

Crossroads Café Video Unit 7, Crossroads Café: Video Transcripts A


Supplementary Materials Used:

Teacher-developed materials


CASAS Competencies:

2.1.1  Use the telephone directory and related publications to locate information
2.1.2  Identify emergency numbers and place emergency calls (see also 2.5.1)

2.1.7  Take and interpret telephone messages, leave messages on answering machines, and interpret

          recorded messages (see also 4.5.4)

2.5.1  Locate and utilize services of agencies that provide emergency help
2.5.3  Locate medical and health facilities in the community (see also 3.1.3)

3.1.1  Describe symptoms of illness, including identifying parts of the body; interpret doctor's directions

3.3.2  Interpret medicine labels (see also 3.3.1, 3.4.1)

3.4     Understand basic health and safety procedures
3.4.1  Interpret product label directions and safety warnings (see also 1.7.3, 3.3.2)

3.5.8  Identify practices that promote mental well-being
3.5.9  Identify practices that promote physical well-being

7.3.1  Identify a problem and its possible causes


Primary Activities:

This unit carried over a 4 week period.  Every week short clips from the video were shown and Ss completed activities that directly related to the video and helped with their understanding.  Additional activities focused on speaking skills.


1)  Health Themes:

A major theme within Unit 7 was how Victor’s brother, Nicolas, dealt with his culture shock.  A minor theme within the unit was Mr. Brashov’s illness.  We focused on these two themes as examples of physical and mental health.


a.  Physical health:  The students completed several activities focusing on their physical health. 

1)  As an introduction to the topic of health, students researched a booklet distributed by our local

     Head Start office called, “Where to Turn.”  Students worked in pairs to find information related

     to emergency food and medical services in the Portland area.

2)  Students discussed their own personal habits related to health.

3)  Students completed an information gap using prescription labels.

4)  Students discussed the Cultural Norms for Health (attached) in groups.  This activity focused on

     using the grammar point (supposed to be) and the differences between cultures in dealing with

     health related issues.  One example is, “Are children supposed to have immunization?”  In this

     activity, Ss discussed healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and how they were different in different


5)  Students completed a second activity using the grammar “supposed to be.”  Working in pairs

     they completed an information gap that focused on dealing with a sprain, and whether the sprain

     was handled correctly, as it was “supposed to be.”

            6)  For homework, Ss called 2 pharmacies and a dental office to listen to phone messages.


bMental health: The theme of mental health addressed culture shock.  Students completed one activity that addressed culture shock.

            1)  In small groups Ss discussed issues related to culture shock and evaluated which stage they were             

                 currently in.


2)  Homework: Vocabulary from the video

Every week students were given new vocabulary, phrases, and idioms to practice which helped them in understanding the clips that they watched the following week.


3)  Conversations based on the homework: Vocabulary from the video

Every week students had group conversations around 4 questions that included vocabulary, phrases, or idioms from that week’s homework.  This improved their understanding of what they had learned and allowed them the opportunity to put their new language into use.


4)  Video viewing: While You Watch worksheets

Students had three viewings of the video clips each week.  The first time they watched the video clips with few pauses.  The major emphasis was on understanding the big picture rather than small details.


Students were then given a While You Watch worksheet which usually had 10-15 questions.  Students watched the video a second time without pause and answered questions on their worksheet as they watched.

Students then watched the video a third time.  This time, there was a pause after each clip or 3-4 questions, and the answers to the questions were written on the board.  Pauses were also taken to explain, clarify, and ask questions about pertinent conversations and body movements in the video.


6)  Student responses

Ss had mixed responses to the activities.  In terms of the activities related to physical health: Ss felt that reading the prescriptions was too easy and boring.  They were thankful, though, to receive the “Where to Turn” booklets and felt that they learned a lot working together to answer questions about the information in the booklets.

In relation to the activities on mental health: they really enjoyed learning about culture shock and discussing it with their classmates.  They wanted to spend more time on this aspect of the unit and less on the physical health.


            Cultural Norms for Health                  


Read the questions about health and culture below.  For each one, answer what a person is supposed to do in your native culture, and what a person is supposed to do in the U.S. culture.  Answer for the majority of people from one culture, not for just one person. Discuss the answers with your group.


What is a person supposed to?


 Physical Health:

1.   Are adults supposed to exercise every day?

2.  Are children supposed to have exercise or physical health classes in school?

3.   Are people over 50 years of age supposed to exercise?

4.   Are people supposed to have a physical test if they go for a manual labor job?


1.   What kinds of food or drink are people supposed to avoid?

2.   What kinds of food or drink are people supposed to eat or drink?

3.   Are people supposed to take vitamins?

4.   How many times a day are people supposed to eat?


1.   How often are people supposed to brush their teeth?

2.   How often are people supposed to have their teeth cleaned at the dentist?

3.   Are children supposed to go to the dentist?

4.   Are older people supposed to get dentures?


1.   Are people supposed to have their eyes checked?  If yes, how often?

2.   Are people supposed to pay for their own medicines and prescriptions?

3.  Are children supposed to have immunizations?

4.   Are people supposed to visit a doctor if they have a cold or the flu?