General Information on Health Literacy

A student readingThe following resources offer general information on health literacy as well as information on teaching health literacy to adults.


The SABES Web Site

This Web site contains information on making connections between the fields of health and adult basic education, and it provides hands-on resources to help strengthen those connections through learner-centered work. Visit the SABES Web site and search resources.

Focus on Basics

Focus on Basics, a publication of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), devotes an entire issue to the topic of health literacy.

Health Literacy and Adult English Learners

This article from the Center for Applied Linguistics addresses health literacy for adult English Language Learners and explains how programs can use a participatory approach to health literacy instruction.

ERIC Digest No. 245

Educational Resources Information Clearinghouse (ERIC) addresses health literacy issues that go beyond basic skills. These include health information communication; literacy and health as cultural and social practices; the relationship among health information, literacy, and behavior; and the impact of the Internet on the use of health information.

ERIC Practice Brief

This ERIC Practice Brief explores the health-literacy connection and describes practices for embedding health education and promotion into adult literacy programs.

The California Health Literacy Initiative

The California Health Literacy Initiative, a project of California Literacy, offers a Web site with links to many articles, resources, and information to learn about health literacy and health care.

California Health Literacy Initiative—Low Literacy, High Risk: The Hidden Challenge Facing Health Care in California

Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)

The OTAN Web site offers a large number of health literacy resources and educational materials. OTAN is supported by the California Department of Education.

To access health literacy information through OTAN, log in to the OTAN Web site. After you are logged in, click on the following links:

  • Research and Reference and
  • choose Library link, then
  • click on the Online Documents link, then
  • click on the Health Education link.

The list of resources includes Child Safety: A Healthy Start Student Workbook; Health Promotion for Adult Literacy Students: An Empowering Approach; Health Literacy and Adult English Language Learners; and Health and Literacy: An Annotated Bibliography. Continue your search at OTAN by browsing the Document Library using "health" as the search term within the Adult Education Links section.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Health literacy and Communication: ODPHP develops and curates evidence-based health literacy and communication resources, practices, and research.

US Department of Education: Health Literacy in Adult Education

Links to Health Literacy Resources.

Teaching Health Literacy to Adult English Language Learners

This Web-based training provides strategies, information and resources that will help teachers to help their English language learners take care of their health.

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