Top 5 Ways ESL Health Science Students Benefit from Digital Curriculum

Health science instructors face a wide range of diversity among their students. Specifically, English as a Second Language (ESL) students often enter the health science career cluster.

You want to help every student in your class reach their highest potential to become a health care professional. But it’s difficult to reach these goals with your ESL students without putting in hours of extra time.

On top of that, you already have to create differentiated lessons for ESL students. Reworking every part of your curriculum for them seems impossible.

Thousands of health science teachers have found that digital curriculum can help solve this issue.

Using digital health science curriculum helps ESL students learn, comprehend, and succeed – even when it comes to earning certifications!

But how does it work?

Here’s how health science teachers use digital curriculum to help their ESL students succeed.

1. Audio Helps Struggling Readers


ESL students often struggle with textbooks. This makes it harder for students to learn, and it requires teachers to spend extra time with the students who fall behind the rest of the class.

When a student is reading their non-native language, even mixing up a few words can be devastating -- especially in the health care field.

Patricia Smith from Hamilton Career Center in South Carolina faced this challenge in her classroom until she started using HealthCenter21.

Because HealthCenter21 includes audio in the digital lessons, Patricia’s ESL students can hear the content as they read. In other words, they learn the content while learning the language itself.

“My ESL students have particularly benefited from the audio part. Being able to listen to the audio is really good for those students.”

Shurene Major from West Port High School in Florida had a similar experience when her ESL students used digital curriculum.

“I like that HealthCenter21 has audio. We have a lot of freshmen for Medical Skills that are English as a Second Language learners and they don’t read well. Listening to it helps them actually comprehend the words that they’re seeing on the screen.”

When ESL students hear and read at the same time, it helps them better comprehend the content.

Hearing audio lessons will also help them learn to pronounce words -- something that is very important in the health care field.

2. Visual Demonstrations Ensure Skills Are Learned Properly


A challenge very specific to ESL students in health science classes is the hands-on skills work.

Trying to read about a procedure or skill in your non-native language makes it very difficult to apply the skill properly.

A digital curriculum provides images, interactions, and videos that accompany the text and audio within the digital lessons.

Before using HealthCenter21, Janet Fabra from Royal Palm Beach High School in Florida was at a loss helping her ESL students learn detailed medical skills.

“I’ve had students that were just coming into the country. They had only been here six months and could barely speak English. I would have to wrack my brain and come up with ideas. At that time I didn’t have anything like HealthCenter21 where I could put them on the computer and they could see it visually. If you see a skill being done visually, you can put two and two together and teach yourself.”

Now that she has a digital curriculum, Janet’s ESL students can read about skills, complete interactive lessons, and then practice them in the lab.

The results are better practice sessions and grades during assessments.

3. Translations Made Easy


Many health science teachers know that if only they could provide translated lessons to their ESL students, it would make a huge difference.

Unfortunately, no teacher has the time to manually translate every textbook page, worksheet, and student resource to other languages.

That’s where a digital health science curriculum can be a huge help!

A web-based digital curriculum includes lesson transcripts for all lessons that students can translate into their native language using Google Translate.

ESL students can also translate assessment questions as they take a test by using a special feature in Google Chrome.

Hollie Cunningham from West Port High School in Florida encouraged her students to use these features whenever needed.

“I show the students how to use Google Translate for everything. That checks a lot of boxes for the administration, in having to modify and differentiate their instruction with ESL learners. Now I can say our whole curriculum translates to Spanish - even tests and quizzes.”

These abilities can open up a whole new world for helping your ESL students succeed, all without spending extra time planning and preparing. Plus, it’s nice to get some of the pressure from administrators off of your shoulders!

4. Students Work at Their Own Pace


With a digital curriculum, ESL students can work at their own paces to ensure they learn and recall crucial information.

This leads to a lot of benefits over a conventional classroom.

By allowing ESL students to work at their own pace, they won’t feel pressured to rush, helping them learn and removing the need for extra remediation. When your ESL students know it’s okay to spend the time they need to learn, they won’t feel like they’re holding back the class or taking up your personal time.

A bonus with digital curriculum is that all of your students work independently when going through the digital lessons. That means every student can work at their own pace without waiting for the whole class!

This removes a lot of pressure from your ESL students, who may otherwise feel self-conscious about needing extra time.

Tyler Page at Brantley County Middle School in Georgia experienced this first hand in his classroom.

“One thing I like the most about HealthCenter21 is it being self-paced for students. Everyone’s at their different spot. I get such a variety of students in here, and they’re not affecting each other one way or another. No one’s waiting for someone else to finish.”

Last, because the curriculum is accessible from any Internet-connected device, your ESL students can spend extra time going through the lessons outside of the classroom and remediate themselves.

Whether it’s at home, in a coffee shop, or at the public library your students can continue reviewing information until they’re comfortable.

5. Increased Certification Pass Rates for ESL Students


So what do all of these benefits of digital curriculum ultimately do?

If your ESL students understand health care concepts and hands-on skills, you should see it in their course and certification exam scores!

Janet Fabra from Royal Palm Beach High School in Florida has experienced this first hand.

“HealthCenter21 was very beneficial for a student who had just come over from Haiti. She couldn’t pass a written test, which is where a lot of the ESL students struggle. When she took my class before using HealthCenter21, she failed it and decided to come back and repeat it.

Her second year we had HealthCenter21 and she started getting 80s and 90s on her tests. It was helping her grades and boosted her up. So she sat for the CNA test and she passed. She hung in there and she stuck with it and she passed.”

It makes sense: If you understand the concepts better and you’ve practiced the hands-on skills, your exam scores will improve as well.

Help Your ESL Health Science Students Learn

HealthCenter21 is a digital curriculum you can try with your health science students right now.

With it, you can meet the needs of your diverse students -- all without spending extra time planning and preparing resources.

Thousands of teachers are using HealthCenter21 to make their lives (and their students’ lives) easier.

Want to find out if HealthCenter21 is right for your classroom?

Check out a free HealthCenter21 demo!

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