Crossroad Café Lesson Plans

MiraCosta College was an early adopter of the Crossroads Café program. The DVDs/videos, with companion textbooks, are excellent tools to help students learn English. The program consists of 26 DVDs/videos and books for two levels of English. Crossroads Cafe Photo Stories A and B are for Beginning students and Crossroads Cafe Worktext A and B are for intermediate and advanced students. We use the Crossroads Café materials in our distance learning program. It is also the primary curriculum for our afternoon multi-level class and Saturday school.

The six central characters in the story are:

Rosa Rosa is the cook. She was born in the United States, but she grew up in Mexico. She wants to own her own business someday.
Jamal Jamal is the handyman. He is from Egypt and was an engineer in his country.
Mr. Brashov Mr. Brashov is the owner of the cafe. He is from Romania.
Henry Henry is the delivery person. He was born in China but came to the United States when he was young. He dreams of becoming a rock star.
Katherine Katherine is the waitress. She is from the Midwest United States and is a single mother of two children.
Jess Jess is the first and best customer. He is from the South United States and a retired postal worker.

These very diverse characters in age, ethnicity, needs and lifestyle tell a continuous story about newcomers and native speakers who work together to create a neighborhood restaurant. The episodes highlight their successes and failures, joys and sorrows, and what they learn from each other. The Crossroads Café Program provides a rich opportunity for ESL students to share common experiences while they learn English and learn about the culture. The episodes do not have to be used sequentially except for units 13 and 14 and units 25 and 26.

Most of each 30-minute DVD/video is dedicated to the six main characters. However, there are two additional segments.
• Word Play – This is a short segment that presents a key grammar or function used in the DVD/video segment.
• Culture Clip – This segment discusses some aspect of North American culture as it related to the DVD/video segment. We also have a video library of all the Culture Clips if you want to teach cultural issues in the United States.

To support the use of the Crossroads Cafe program, I have develped multi-level lesson plans for the 26 episodes. The lessons provide:
• a model for instructors to use the Crossroads Café program as core texts for multi-level classes.
• a vehicle to begin planning multi-level lessons using the video and print materials.
• ideas for using video clips such as Word Play for effective whole group activities.
• activities that involve all learners (beginning through advanced) in meaningful language practice.
• separate components to develop writing and tutoring skills among students.

A complete set of DVDs/videos is available in the bookroom including a class set of Worktext A and B. You may print out individual lesson plans below. I have listed the lesson and a brief synopsis of the plot for each lesson. If you teach a leveled class, select activities designed for beginning or intermediate/advanced levels.

Lesson Plans: Crossroads Café Worktext A and Photo Story A

Unit 1 Growing Pains Victor Brashov is ready to open a new restaurant, but the restaurant doesn’t have a name or workers.
Unit 2 Growing Pains Henry has problems with working at the café. A health and safety inspector visits the café.
Unit 3 Worlds Apart Rosa’s boyfriend arrives from Mexico, and she must make a difficult decision. Mr. Brashov has trouble sleeping.
Unit 4 Who's the Boss? Jamal sees two old friends. They think he’s the owner of the café.
Unit 5 Lost and Found Katherine’s son has behavior problems in school. Jess and Carol’s house is robbed.
Unit 6 Time is Money An efficiency expert comes to look at the café. Rosa has problems with her night school class.
Unit 7 Fish Out of Water Mr. Brashov’s brother arrives from Romania. He finds that life in the United States is different from life in his country.
Unit 8 Family Matters Katherine takes a second job to make more money. Rosa teaches Henry to dance.
Unit 9 Rush to Judgment Jamal is a suspect in a robbery. Henry’s grandparents get lost in the city.
Unit 10
Let the Buyer Beware
Mr. Brashov meets a woman who promises to improve the café’s business. Katherine goes out on a date.
Unit 11 No Vacancy Rosa wants to move into a new apartment, but she has problems. Henry works on a journalism project.
Unit 12 Turning Points Someone breaks into the café. Rosa learns to drive.
Unit 13 Trading Places The café employees change jobs for a day. Jess and Carol have problems at home.

Lesson Plans: Crossroads Café Worktext B and Photo Story B

Unit 14 Life Goes On Mr. Brashov is in the hospital because he had a mild heart attack.
Unit 15 Breaking Away Henry’s parents are not happy he is dating Sara because she is not Chinese. Sara’s parents aren’t happy either. There is a new business next to Crossroads Café.
Unit 16 The Bottom Line Mr. Brashov needs a bank loan to buy a new stove for the café. The bank says he needs to cut his expenses or make more profit.
Unit 17 United We Stand Rosa has a plumbing problem. The building manager doesn’t respond. She helps organize the tenants.
Unit 18 Opportunity Knocks Jamal is offered a job as an engineer. He finds out that the company is using old and unsafe materials.
Unit 19
The People’s Choice
Jess decides to run for a city council office. He gets support from some people with special interests.
Unit 20
Outside Looking In
Rosa’s teacher asks Rosa to help him translate at a party. Rosa thinks her teacher likes her. She finds out he already has a girlfriend.
Unit 21
Walls and Bridges
Rosa is a “big sister” to Maria Hernandez. She is an honor student but drops out of school to help her parents.
Unit 22 Helping Hands A man named Frank comes to the café. He is unemployed and the workers think he is trying to rob them. Mr. Brashov helps Frank find a job.
Unit 23 The Gift The employees at Crossroads Café plan a surprise birthday party for Mr. Brashov. Mr. Brashov is sad because he thinks everyone forgot his birthday.
Unit 24
All’s Well that Ends Well
The employees at Crossroads Café give Katherine a party because she is going to get married. Everything goes wrong, and she locks herself in the bathroom.
Unit 25
Comings and Goings
Katherine quits her job. Henry tries to get a music contract. Jamal gets offered an engineering job in Egypt.
Unit 26
Winds of Change
Mr. Brashov decides to sell the café. Jamal returns to Egypt. Henry and Katherine go to college.