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Clinics, Classrooms, and Communities
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Clinics, Classrooms, and Communities: Contexts for Researching Health Literacy as Social Practice in Applied Linguistics

Maricel G. Santos
Associate Professor of English (TESOL)
San Francisco State University

Abstract:

Health literacy is conventionally defined as the reading and writing skills individuals need to make healthcare decisions. Applied linguists have championed alternative views, whereby reading and writing are part of the dynamic array of communicative practices embedded in specific socio-cultural contexts; health literacy is a shared resource, not a marker of individual risk. Panelists discuss efforts to expand health literacy conceptions, and ultimately, mitigate sources of health disparities. Panelists aim to inspire reflection and action in response to a basic premise:The health literacy field cannot advance without applied linguists. What contributions can we make in clinics, classrooms, and communities?

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