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Specialist Column

Concentrated Language Encounter (CLE) Project
(By Prof. John W. Oller, Jr.)

The CLE Lighthouse projects in the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in the world demonstrate that meaning-oriented, activity based, learner centered teaching of literacy really works. The two main methods highlighted in previous publications are story dramatization and classroom activities that involve reading as a key component, such as making toast and spreading peanut butter on it. The students learn very fast from both types of encounters. The key is the pragmatic connection between printed words and their demonstrated meanings. The language encounters are concentrated in several ways: for one, the language is rich and varied; for another, the activities and stories are engaging and easily dramatized; and for another, they always address real needs and interests of the learners. Teachers and learners everywhere in the world can benefit from studying and using the CLE methods and materials. I am glad to recommend them.
John W. Oller
Visitors to this web site may also find it interesting to read about the CLE program in the books: Rattanavich, Saowalak, Walker, R. F. & Oller, J. W., Jr. (1992). Teaching all the children to read. London and New York: Open University Press; and Oller, J. W., Jr. (Ed.), (1993). Methods that work: Ideas for literacy and language teachers. Boston: Heinle and Heinle Publishers. I am most happy to endorse the CLE approach and to commend its developers and the Rotary Foundation for their support! For some even more recent developments in reading theory and applications please visit my website at http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~jxo1721/index.html and view the video highlighted there on the front page.


John W. Oller, Jr. holds a PhD in General Linguistics from the University of Rochester, New York. He was accelerated to tenure and the Associate Professorship at UCLA within two years of completing his PhD. From 2004 until 2013 he held the Doris B. Hawthorne/Board of Regents Support Fund Professor IV at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Oller designed and founded the PhD in Applied Language and Speech Sciences at UL in 2001 with core requirements in theoretical semiotics; was one of “100 Stars” honored at the Fresno City College Centennial in 2010; received the MLA Mildenberger Medal in 1984; and his former doctoral students occupy positions of distinction at universities in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas as well as Thailand, Korea, Japan, and Germany.

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