Elizabeth A Edurese, Shannon Marie Hayes, Carina Kelly, Alan E Valadez


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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Low health literacy is an extremely prevalent issue in the United States, not only for native English speakers, but especially for those who are learning English as a second language. Many of the health literature materials provided to patients today are written at too high of a reading level for many of these patients to comprehend.The purpose of this project was to revise an existing text on alcohol for readers in University of Dayton’s Intensive English Program (IEP). We then looked at a document published online by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse, which was written at a reading level appropriate for a freshman in college as determined by the SMOG test, then condensed and simplified it into a brochure form in order for it to be easily understood by the IEP students, who read English at a third to fourth grade level. Cultural literacy became especially important in this process, as all the students we were writing for do not drink alcohol as part of a cultural and religious norm in their society. Overall, our revised end product was a brochure with a reading level of about third grade. The IEP students we presented the brochure to during a field testing experiment reported only a few words that they still struggled with, and these were edited in our final draft. We realized that becoming aware of health literacy issues in the United States, as well as the many different demographics, is essential for understanding and improving patient health.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Ann E. Biswas

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Creating an Appropriate Health Document for Intensive English Program Students