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Families Caring & HIV/AIDS

by Bob Gettings

As the AIDS pandemic spreads, it increasingly affects families the world over. This unit begins with a focus on the families of some of the 27 HIV positive individuals and seven of their family members and friends living in the United States as seen through the eyes of Masayuki Dobashi in the CD-ROM photo-essay LIVE LOVE LIFE AIDS (1995), distributed by the Moon Corporation, Tokyo.

One of the characteristics of most English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes is that, for the most part, they are taught in the students' home country. For the content-based EFL teacher, this may mean that there is a scarcity of materials in English in most content areas. On the other hand, there may be a wealth of content information in the student's native language or in translation. This lesson plan uses the students first language (L1), Japanese, as well as the target language (L2), English.

Students' L1 is used for input only. Students read or listen to information in L1. Following this, they identify key ideas and vocabulary necessary to convey the information to another. They read or listen to the same information in English, searching for the necessary vocabulary and key information. Following input in both languages students communicate in the target language using writing and speaking skills. The goal is 100% production (output) in English.


Following the unit students will be able to identify basic facts about HIV/AIDS and relate some of the difficulties faced by people involved with the AIDS pandemic and their own feelings about AIDS in written and spoken English.


Dobashi, Masayuki, photography and text. (1995). LIVE LOVE LIFE AIDS. [CD-ROM for Macintosh and Windows] Tokyo: The Moon Company. Distributed by Voyager

Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Japanese Foundation for AIDS Prevention. AIDS: The first step against AIDS is to understand it. [Available in English, Japanese and several other languages]

(or "What is AIDS?" by Louise Haynes available from JAPANetwork (Japan AIDS Prevention Awareness Network http://www.japanet.gol.com)

Worksheets produced from the above.

Part 1: Information about HIV/AIDS:

1. Pre-test: Students answer a twenty question true/false test based on the English text of AIDS: The first step against AIDS is to understand it (advanced level) or "What is AIDS?" (intermediate). The test is set aside and will be returned to at the end of the unit. The teacher can design the test to match the information that s/he wants to focus on in the lesson and vocabulary level of the students.

2. Preparation: Worksheets based on the English text of AIDS: The first step against AIDS is to understand it or "What is AIDS?" Students receive one of four worksheets, numbered from 1 to 4, which contain only part of the text of the brochure in both Japanese and English. After reading the Japanese, each student does a written brainstorm to identify important information in preparation for a pair work activity. They then read the English translation and add key words and concept in English and Japanese to their brainstorm paper.

3. Information gap group work: Each student receives a worksheet with a list of questions related to the brochure. All students stand up and find a partner. After asking the partner one question, they move on to a new partner for the next. If the partner can answer the question the information is recorded on the student's worksheet.

Questions and answers should be in English and focused on important information and vocabulary. ("Can you catch AIDS from a mosquito bite?" "How do you say 'symptom' in Japanese?" "How do you say 'byoki' in English?) To avoid all of the students asking the same question at the same time, more than one version of the sheet with questions in different order could be produced.

Part 2: Pair work: Families caring about people with AIDS:

1. Pair work on 4 situations. Students have one of four worksheets. Each has a description in English of a different hypothetical situation for people who find that they are HIV+: a 14 year old boy, a pregnant mother, a mother whose ex-husban had AIDS, and a newlywed couple. The students are asked "What would you do?" after listening to their partner's description of the situation.

Each student find a partner with a different number worksheet (1 to 4) and after listening to their partner's brief summary of the situation on the worksheet, asks questions for information and discusses the question "What would you do?". Students change partners so that they get to discuss all four situations.

2. Pair work on stories from LIVE LOVE LIFE AIDS. Students have one of four worksheets. Each has a story in Japanese and English of one of the people in the photo essays on the CD-ROM. Students read the story in Japanese, brainstorm important points, read the English for vocabulary and key concepts and then discuss the story with a partner who has read a different story. Students change partners so that they learn all four stories.

3. Values clarification: small group discussion: Students discuss questions posed by the teacher on a worksheet in groups of three or four. The questions can be values clarification/situation questions that parallel some of those questions asked in earlier worksheets. What could you do if your brother or sister had AIDS? Your friend? Boy/girlfriend? Classmate? Doctor?

Questions could also be more action oriented. What message would you like to give to other young people with AIDS? to people who are HIV+ or have AIDS? What could you do in your school or community?

Part 3: Project work:

Students view one or two of the stories on the LIVE LOVE LIFE AIDS CD-ROM outside of class and report to the class in small group/pairwork discussions.

Other Projects: Explain the AIDS Quilt to students and ask them to design a square in a "paper quilt" that expresses their feelings about HIV/AIDS. The class quilt can be displayed in a public place in the school for all students to see. See "Paper Quilt: An AIDS Awareness Lesson" by Lauren Scharf, available from JAPANetwork http://www.japanet.gol.com/teachers/quilt.html)

Poster presentations, research projects, Wear a Red Ribbon Campaigns, or community education projects could also be initiated by the students.

Part 4: Post test:

Students receive the pre-test quiz or write an essay about what they see as the most important thing that they learned from the unit.

This page found at: http://www.japanetwork.org/teachers/lllcd.html

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