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Concentrated Language Encounter (CLE)

(By PDG Dr Saowalak Rattanavich)

For more than a decade, the Board of Rotary International and the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation have made the alleviation of mass illiteracy in developing countries, a major emphasis within…

Rotary’s Health, Hunger and Humanity (3H)
Program by far the most successful Rotary mass literacy project has been in Thailand, where the literacy program for elementary schools that was developed through a 3-H Grant turned gross educational failure into high success in the most difficult region of that nation. As a result, the Ministry of Education adopted that literacy program for use throughout the whole nation. The success of the project was built on a major strategy known as “Concentrated Language Encounter” (CLE) for literacy teaching and for developing and implementing literacy programs in different contexts.

learn & read
About CLE Programs
Concentrated Language Encounter (CLE) techniques for literacy are in particularly effective in educationally difficult circumstances, such as are found in developing countries. This was first proven in several large-scale Rotary literacy projects in Thailand, led by PDG Dr. Richard Walker of Australia and PDG Assoc. Prof. Dr. Saowalak Rattanavanich and PDG Noraseth Pathmanand of Thailand.

The 3 underlying principles of CLE Teaching
Concentrated Language Encounter (CLE) programs are “immersion” programs in which students are constantly involved in doing new and ever more difficult things with language in the course of group activities.

What students are expected to do is first modeled by the teacher who then provides less and less support as students become able to take on more responsibility for what they need to do.

All language is activity-based experience
The reading of a starter book, or perhaps the making of something at the beginning of a program, and all that is said or written as a result, is intermeshed with what is going on in a well-understood activity

The 3 stages of a CLE Program


The 3 Stage of a Cle Program

Stage 1
: For less language experienced learners or beginners
Overall teaching objectives are for less experienced learners and beginners. CLE can be used for illiterates, adults, and young children.

The Structure of a Program Unit

Text-Based Unit
Activity-Based Unit
Phase 1: Read the Starter Book
Phase 2: Review the Story, carry out role plays
Phase 3: Negotiate a group text
Phase 4: Make a group Big Book
Phase 5: Use the big book for language activities through games
Phase 1: Demonstrate a structured activity
Phase 2:
Students review the activity, step by step
Phase 3:
Negotiate a group text
Phase 4:
Make a group Big Book
Phase 5:
Use the big book for language activities through games

Stage 2
: For those who can read and write a little (intermediate grades)
The overall strategy for stage 2 is for students to analyze a model text of a particular type; develop an understanding of its characteristic and uses, and compose and use a text of that type of themselves.

The Structure of a Program Unit
Phase 1:
Analyzing the Starter Text

Phase 2:
Sharing personal experience of such a text

Phase 3:
Negotiating a text of the same genre with different content

Phase 4:
Critical analyzing the new text

Phase 5:
Enjoying language activities and elaboration

Stage 3: For advance learners
The functions of the stage 3 program are to develop the ability to use written language to generate and structure new knowledge, and to broaden further the range of texts that students have learnt. Students need to learn how to organize knowledge for themselves in ways that are conventional to subject areas.

The Structure of a Program Unit

Phase 1: Orientation
1.1 Contextualization
1.2 Mapping the topic
1.3 Surveying the text organization
1.4 Establishing the genre of the text being read and the text to be written
1.5 Dealing with unfamiliar vocabulary

Phase 2:  Reflection
2.1 Students need to produce a writing plan from reflecting on both what is required of them in the writing task, and what is available from the text.

Phase 3: Note-taking
3.1 Each student fills in an individual writing plan with information that was noted down from reading the text.
3.2 Groups reconvene to negotiate a common set of notes for the group.

Phase 4:  Synthesis
4.1 Students write a first draft of a text that aims to realize the writing task goal.

Phase 5:  Editing
5.1 Reviewing student examine their texts for adequacy and suitability in relation to the task goal.
5.2 Re-drafting: students redraft their texts, in the light of the review.
5.3 Polishing: the teacher may lead the whole group to polishing a group text, discussing ways of eliminating surface weaknesses.

Phase 6: Final copy and elaboration
6.1 Final copy: students discuss what physical properties are needed to best serve the text purposes and then produce a final copy
6.2 Elaboration: the teacher organizes independent activities for groups of students or individuals in some aspect of reading and writing.

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