Literacy Specialist

Literacy Specialist Course Offerings

Literacy Specialist course offerings will be found under the 4 letter code of EDLS in the course listings.  

540 – Psychology of Literacy (3)

This course investigates the sociological, cultural, cognitive, and psychological bases of the reading process. Emphasis is placed on developing a working knowledge of current research in literacy, brain development, adolescent literacy, and psychology to support decision-making. Course topics include comprehension strategies to develop questioning skills, understanding of the dimensions of word meaning, the teaching of summarizing and retelling skills, and guiding students to understand meaning beyond the text. Participants develop strategies in literal, interpretive, critical, and evaluative comprehension and demonstrate an understanding of child and adolescent psychology, including personality and learning behaviors and the special needs of diverse student populations.

541 – Linguistic Foundations of Literacy (3)

This course provides an up-to-date understanding of how learners acquire language as well as thorough coverage of the linguistic aspects of the reading process including phonetics, syllable structure, phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary, semantics, and discourse. Participants develop skills in linguistic analysis needed to instruct and assess learners’ development of phonemic awareness, concepts of print, construction of meaning from text, and the writing process. The course also focuses on the cultural contexts of language and on the similarities and differences between oral and written language, between standard English and other dialects, and between native and nonnative language proficiencies.

542 – Literacy Curriculum and Instruction I: Emergent-Elementary (3)

Recommended prerequisite: EDLS 541. This course explores early literacy development and the implementation of the language arts curriculum through the elementary grades. Topics include emergent literacy, language development through word analysis, vocabulary strategies, creative thinking, expression, guided reading practices, and family literacy. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of reading and language arts supported by strategies directly applicable to classroom situations. Participants engage in activities to foster an appreciation of a variety of genres, including fiction and nonfiction, and to promote creative thinking and expression such as storytelling, drama, and choral/oral reading. The course also covers selection and use of quality literature to support early literacy  instruction.

543 – Literacy Curriculum and Instruction II: Adolescent (3)

Recommended prerequisite: EDLS 541. This course explores literacy and the language arts with an emphasis on the knowledge, skills, and processes necessary in teaching the adolescent. Topics include language development through word analysis, vocabulary strategies, creative thinking, expression, guided reading practices, and family literacy. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of reading and language arts supported by modeling and explicit instructional strategies in reading comprehension and study strategies across the curriculum. Participants engage in activities to foster an appreciation of a variety of genres, including fiction and nonfiction. The course also covers selection and use of quality literature to support adolescent literacy.

544 – Literacy Assessment and Evaluation (3)

Recommended prerequisite: EDLS 541. This course focuses on individual and program assessments and evaluation. Emphasis is placed on experiences that enable candidates to contribute to literacy assessment in instructional contexts, i.e., assist in the development of formal and informal assessment and screening instruments, conduct assessments for individuals or groups of students, assist in interpretation of test data, and share results of assessment with school personnel and parents. Topics include strategies for planning, evaluating, and revising literacy instruction to meet the needs of all students.

545 – Writing Process and Instruction (3)

This course focuses on the knowledge, skills, and processes necessary for teaching writing. Topics include the stages of the writing process, elements of a model writing program, invented spelling and spelling development, discourse forms, writing across the curriculum, and the assessment and evaluation of writing. Emphasis is placed on promoting the thinking and expression of K-12 students through imaginative and expository writing and enhancing writing instruction through the use of technology.

546 – Leadership in Literacy Education (3)

Recommended prerequisites: EDLS 542, 543, 544. This course provides experiences that enable participants to serve as literacy leaders in instructional contexts, including serving as a resource to teachers, developing curriculum, coordinating the literacy program, selecting or identifying literacy material, and providing professional development. Topics include the roles of the reading specialist, special reading teacher, administrator, and supervisor as they relate to the reading program. Participants explore effective communication skills and the use of technology to enhance instruction.

547 – Literacy and Diverse Student Populations (3)

This course focuses on a wide range of instructional practices, curriculum approaches,  and assessment tools, including technology-technology-based practices for learners at differing stages of development and cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Emphasis is placed on tailoring instruction using flexible, skill-level grouping options (individual, small-group, whole-class, and computer-based) to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Topics include language acquisition, instructional technology, print and nonprint materials representing multiple levels, broad interests, and diverse backgrounds.

548 – Internship: Applied Literacy Research (3)

Recommended prerequisite: EDLS 546. This course focuses on employing research-based practices that directly address the literacy needs of all students. Emphasis is placed on utilizing current research, literacy theories, and instructional practices in developing sound instructional models and materials for students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse needs. Participants focus on implementing research-based literacy programs to address the needs of the local school divisions.