I am a head teacher at an international school in Belgium. This method of literacy education was suggested to me by another professional as a potential program, and thus I am thoroughly researching the possibility of implementation.

As we are an international school, we have a high percentage of “true beginner” English speakers that attend our school (for example, this year we have approximately 20% of our students who have never spoken, read, or written in the English language).

Admittedly, I have NOT yet finished reading the CAFE book, though I am avidly reading it at the moment. I’ve looked through this forum briefly, but haven’t found a topic that addresses the burning question of:

Without a bilingual speaker in the room, how can one implement CAFE in a year-level class in which you have both native English speakers and true beginners?

Obviously, the materials are not a problem. Finding differentiated and enjoyable reading is not a matter of great concern for us. However, how does a true beginner even start to understand the concepts of CAFE? How can you conference with that student? The general consensus on language education for EFL students is the mastery of confident speaking skills (especially as the child gets older - say a Year 4 or Year 5 student), and thus that student knows (presumably) how to read in his or her native language. The emphasis is naturally on speaking, and so the needs of those students are vastly different than a native speaker of the same age level.

Solutions? Suggestions? I’m “all ears”!






As you read through the launching lessons of Daily 5, I think you’ll begin to see how this format will allows so many ways for your students to build both oral language and book language skills in both English and their native language.
In Read to Someone, partnering native English readers with non-Englsih readers will give them then chance to hear the language from peers. You might even add a time in R to S where they talk about the story and ask about words they don’t understand with their partner.
In classrooms I visit, I see some teachers make Work on Writing a partner activity once a week. This again is a great time for building peer oral language interaction.
When you say reading material is not “a matter of great concern”, I assume you have an abundance of materials–lucky you!
I think if you look at all the areas of Daily 5, so you imagine how oral language comes in to play.
Through mini-lessons, you share oral language through your sharing of books and fostering discussions.
BTW, I don’t know what languages you have in your school, but have you seen that the CAFE menu is also available in French and Spanish?
As you read through the website and the CAFE and Daily 5 books, please post your successes and questions here, and many of our members will share their thoughts and ideas.

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