Health & Wellness

ABC Health Matters has created several workbooks that can be used with adult English learners. The workbooks are designed to help individuals develop a better understanding of how to access health care, make decisions about their health, and how to advocate for family members.  Guided workshops are available in some locations. See website for more details.

Workbook topics cover tips for visiting your doctor, how to make a medical history card, your rights as a patient, health vocabulary, and more.

Free access.

21 languages available

Alone in Canada is a 65-page book designed to address mental health needs of newcomers who are alone in Canada and may be struggling with settlement. There are 21 chapters written at an intermediate level; the content is accessible and a comfortable length for the low-intermediate learner. The topics cover a variety of issues, including thinking about the past, present and future, coping with stress, learning the unwritten rules of Canadian manners, developing a routine and celebrating achievements. The chapters contain quotes from newcomers, tips and short exercises to help the reader individualize and apply the content.

Although intended for individuals who are on their own, the content may be helpful to all newcomers who are facing challenges adjusting to life in Canada. In addition, instructors and administrators may find it a useful resource for professional development. The chapters can easily be used or adapted for classroom use.

Free access:

This website is sponsored by the Association of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA). The materials are levelled but do not specifically reference CLBs. Quick Links and Resources for Health & Wellness include videos for visiting a walk-in clinic and making 9-1-1 calls. Lesson plans include healthy eating, healthy minds, family health and trauma-informed practice. Teacher guides are available. There are some B.C. references.

Free access:

This 250-page guide is referenced to CLBs (1–3) and has instructions for adapting units and lessons to PBLA. It contains teaching strategies and language goals for English learners. The teacher’s guide and student materials contain background information, lesson plans and learner activities. Skill building (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and language building (grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary) activities are provided. The objective is to assist learners with trauma to see themselves as belonging to the wider community.

Free access:

Printable health and illness flashcards and worksheets. Created for children but can be adapted to adult learners. Not referenced to CLB.

Free access:

Briding Two Worlds is a resource to address issues of trauma in learners. It was written for elementary and secondary educators but is insightful and informative for teachers of adult learners as well.  Bridging Two Worlds offers curriculum development and instructional ideas that address educational gaps as well as cultural and experiential differences that may interfere with learner progress. Particularly interesting: Signs of distress and ways to respond (pages 218- 220).

The book contains 3 sections. The first deals with issues that relate to school-based learning and teaching to provide educators with an awareness of how trauma and interrupted schooling may affect human development and learning. The second section focuses on educator competency and includes 30 sample lessons  for teacher training. The final section is devoted to student learning outcomes for life/work development for elementary and secondary grade levels, but teachers may find several lessons adaptable for adult settings.

Free access:


This service provides “live” assistance 24-hours a day for mental health, gambling and drug problems. Calls and online webchats are answered by a qualified specialist who is able to provide support and basic information on available services including: locations, how to access the services, and possible wait times.  Calls are confidential and no charge. Service is provided in 170 languages.

Free access:


ESL Library is a commercial website based in Winnipeg, offering high-quality lesson plans for Canadian, American and international educators. The lessons are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced learners, with a large variety of activities, including flashcards, discussion starters on political, social and environmental issues, mini-debates, holidays, grammar, writing, podcasts and a reading series (which includes detective serials). Themes include English at work, the environment, healthcare, everyday English and idioms. New lessons are added monthly. Sample lessons are available but are watermarked.

Subscription is required. Lessons are downloadable PDFs (copyrighted).

Available in 3-month, 6-month and 12-month memberships, from $25 to $55.

Groups of teachers can share memberships; for example 1–5 teachers can share the 1-year $55 membership.

Subscription required:

Photocopy-ready lesson plans with illustrations, target vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking exercises. The audio CD is included.

Free access:

This is a 284-page resource for literacy learners. Instructors are welcome to pull from the activities, worksheets, learning strategies and ideas included in the collection. Clear and easy to use. Numeracy is included.

Free access:

Health Talk: A Health Literacy Curriculum for English Language Learners is published by the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association. The lessons are suitable for CLB 1–2. There are nine health-related modules that include medical emergencies, filling out forms and navigating the hospital. There are some references to Alberta.

Free access:

This webpage on the website contains information for newcomers on a variety of health issues including: finding a doctor, OHIP and health card information, reproductive health and mental health, and what do to in a medical emergency.

Free access:

Healthy Eating is designed for CLB 1 but can be adapted to other levels. Created by Immigrate Manitoba, this curriculum offers classroom activities and a methodology guide: topics include food, nutrition, grocery shopping and budgeting.

Free access:

These easy-to-read activity booklets, written by Joan Acosta and Bev Burke,  have been designed for adult English learners build their own literacy skills while building the habit of reading with with young children. The first book is for reading with babies, the second is for toddlers, and the third is for reading with preschoolers. The booklets can be read online or downloaded and printed.

Free access.

Informative and easy-to-read, this illustrated booklet is for a general audience (not ESL learners). It was written by a group of seniors to provide people heading to hospital (and caregivers) with practical information.

The topics include when to call an ambulance, levels of urgency in the Emergency Room, hospital vocabulary, map of the patient floor, definitions of healthcare providers and their roles.

Free access:

Developed by NorQuest College in Alberta, the interactive lessons can be completed in a computer lab or independently. There are six lessons that focus on one family. The lessons cover health, the workplace and community situations. Each lesson has a short video, reading and vocabulary activities. A teacher guide is provided. This site requires Adobe Flash download.

Free access:

The Language and Skills Training Resource Catalogue of ISANS includes books that cover a wide range of topics for ESL Literacy and SLT classes. For example:

  • Through the Lens helps learners navigate and understand living in a diverse community
  • Workplace Curricula focuses on healthcare, engineers, communication for work and business, pronunciation and communication for work
  • Soft skills focus on professional communication, working with others, workplace writing for levels 1, 2 and 3
  • Language learning strategies
  • EAL computer training

Order form included; prices range from $20 to $300 (plus HST).

Free access:

Suitable for Stage I & II learners.

The links on this site include a wide selection of activities for low-level learners in CLB 1–5. Activities are categorized into 11 themes: people, work, everyday activities, home, our community, our world, food, health, getting around, communication and the basics.

Free access:

This website is written by a British academic and author of books on teaching English using film.  The website contains a large library of short films, cartoons and TV ads. The lessons can be browsed according to theme and language level. Topics cover issues such as bullying,  love, the gold mining industry, and compassion, to name just a few.  Lesson plans are interesting, clear and well presented. The levels are aligned with CFER (Common European Framework of Reference);  A1=’beginner’ ; A2=CLB4, B1= CLB 5,  B2 = CLB 6-7, C1=CLB 8-9.

Free access:

Literacy, Stages 1 & 2. There are currently 13 workbooks. Each workbook covers two benchmarks, literacy, Stage 1, plus CLB 5.

Topics include:
Physical Activity
Dental Health
Mental Health
Canada’s Food Guide
Reading Food Labels
Diabetes Prevention

Free access:

This site is an online picture dictionary with images, audio and text and activities.

Topics: the body, food, the house, numbers, etc.

Free access:

Created by Bow Valley College of Calgary, the podcasts are on a variety of topics including health, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, housing, consumer matters and money. Short podcasts with transcripts and activities. Does not reference CLB. Three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Free access:

This health curriculum guide was developed by Toronto  Public Health for English teachers. The curriculum includes lesson plans and background information. The lessons contain interactive activities for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) levels 1-6.  Topics include:

  • Cancer Prevention and Screening
  • Diabetes Prevention
  • Healthy Eating
  • Mental Health
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Physical Activity
  • Sun Safety
  • Tobacco Use

Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) provide information about in-home assistance and long-term care for those who cannot care for themselves at home:

Dental Health: Posters and educational materials promote brushing, flossing, fluoride, early dental health. The site is sponsored by the North Carolina Health and Human Services:

Dental Services: Healthy Smiles Ontario provides free dental services for Ontario children under 17 for low-income families without dental coverage:

EatRight Ontario: Toll free: 1-877-510-5102. Speak to a registered dietitian for free. Website has personalized menu planner for diabetes, toddlers and families:

Healthcare Connect: Toll free: 1-800-445-1822. This service connects Ontarians with doctors accepting new patients.

Helpline for Mental Health and Addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling:

LanguageGuide.Org is an online picture dictionary with images, audio and text and activities.

OHIP: Public information on the health care system, services forms, card renewal, change of address forms:

Telehealth Ontario: Toll free: 1-866-797-0000. This is a confidential service connecting callers to a registered nurse who gives health advice. Translation support available.

211 Ontario: Call 2-1-1. This number provides free information about Ontario government services and community programs, in over 100 languages.

Vaccinations and Immunization: Information about publicly funded vaccinations and immunization in Ontario:

This is a self-care resource for teachers. It has clearly illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions to help alleviate stress. Developed by ArtReach Toronto.

Free access:

This multilevel curriculum for CLB 2–4 multilevel classes was developed by NorQuest College for rural Alberta learners. The document is adaptable to other contexts and used with higher-level learners.

There are eight units: Getting to Know You, Community, Education, Personal Finance, Health and Wellness, Recreation, Safety and Shopping. Each unit contains five modules with teaching notes, suggested activities and instructional resources.

Free access:

The website provides information to newly arrived immigrants and refugees in Ontario. It lists common questions and answers with relevant links. The main headings are “First Days” and “Services Near Me.” Information is presented in Q & A format at an intermediate level of English. Topics covered include immigration and citizenship, housing, health, education, legal services, community and daily life. Information includes getting a driver’s licence, finding a doctor and dentist, the Canada Child Benefit, Employment Standards information, a guide to elementary and secondary schools.

The website information has been translated into 40 languages, plus there is a forum where users can have their specific questions answered. There is also a sidebar listing events by date.

Free access:

An award-winning British Columbia resource, The Westcoast Reader is designed for beginning adult readers, both ESL and English literacy learners. National and local news stories are adapted from The Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers, in addition to articles on health, safety, law and daily life. The paper is printed on a monthly basis for 10 months of the year, and provides a good orientation to Canadian culture and everyday life.

There are links to videos, photos and maps in the online paper. Each front page article has an audio file, allowing learners to read and listen to the story simultaneously. Teacher notes contain instructional strategies and answer keys.

The articles are not referenced to the CLBs. They are written with three levels of difficulty, suitable for CLB Stage 1 learners and higher level ESL Literacy learners.

The following groups can receive The Westcoast Reader free:

  • Community Adult Literacy Programs (CALP)
  • ESL, EAL and ABE programs provided by public post-secondary institutions
  • Literacy Outreach Coordinators (LOC)
  • Public libraries

$$$ All other groups pay a small fee to receive this valuable learning resource.

Free access: