Development of an ESL Curriculum to Educate Chinese Immigrants about Physical Activity
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Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many chronic conditions. Multiple studies have shown that Asians in North America engage in less physical activity than the general population. One area for strategic development in the area of health education is the design and evaluation of English as a second language (ESL) curricula. The PRECEDE model and findings from focus groups were used to develop a physical activity ESL curriculum for Chinese immigrants. In general, focus group participants recognized that physical activity contributes to physical and mental wellbeing. However, the benefits of physical activity were most commonly described in terms of improved blood circulation, immune responses, digestion, and reflexes. The importance of peer pressure and the encouragement of friends in adhering to regular physical activity regimens were mentioned frequently. Reported barriers to regular physical activity included lack of time, weather conditions, and financial costs. The ESL curriculum aims to both promote physical activity and improve knowledge, and includes seven different ESL exercises. Our curriculum development methods could be replicated for other health education topics and in other limited English-speaking populations.
KeywordsChinese immigrants English as a second language (ESL) Health education Physical activity
The authors would like to thank the following community-based organizations for their assistance with this project: Immigrant Services Society, Richmond Continuing Education, and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. In addition, we would like to thank Ming Berka, Flaury Bubel, Jill Collingwood, Michael Khoo, and Diana Smolic for reviewing the physical activity curriculum. We also thank Jennifer Walsh Marr for her invaluable assistance with curriculum development. Finally, we thank the individuals who participated in the focus groups. This work was supported by grant CA113663 and cooperative agreement CA114640 from the US National Cancer Institute, as well as cooperative agreement U48-DP-000050 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The contents of the article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Cancer Institute.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited
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