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EDUC-201 Processes & Acquisition of Reading

This course develops an understanding of the reading acquisition process through analysis of reading and written language development, and the study of current issues in reading research. It is organized around current, scientific, research-based theoretical models that account for individual differences in reading. Introduction to language structures including spoken syllables, phonemes, graphemes, and morphemes is included in this course. Participants will apply knowledge of the core areas of language to reading acquisition in terms of first and second language acquisition, typical development and exceptionalities. This course meets the Maryland State Department of Education Reading requirement for an initial certificate or renewal of a certificate in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education Generic Infant/Primary, and Special Education Generic Elementary/Middle.

Credits                         3
Prerequisites               Eligible to enroll in ENGL-121

Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation | Course Requirements | Materials

Overall Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

1. Explain the role of orthographic, phonological, semantic, and syntactic processes in word recognition.
2. Describe the interactions between phonological skills, phonic decoding, spelling, word recognition, reading fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing.
3. Discuss the progression (stages) of reading development.
4. Describe the relationship between the findings of longitudinal research on long-term prediction of reading outcomes.
5. Describe the characteristics of proficient, mature readers: sufficient phonological awareness; automatic, accurate word recognition; passage reading fluency; active construction of meaning, flexibility, and self-monitoring.
6. Discuss the progressive development of phonological and orthographic skill, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension from preschool to mature reading.
7. Explain the contributions of both neurobiological/intrinsic factors and environmental/extrinsic factors to reading success and failure, including genetics, medical history or condition, sociocultural context, family context, educational and instructional history, and language background.
8. State the current definition of dyslexia endorsed by the National Institutes of Health.
9. Summarize current scientifically based research that has identified various types of reading difficulties.
10. Describe a model of cognitive processing in reading acquisition that is supported by scientific research regarding reading and the brain.
11. Discuss how the data discerned in brain imaging (MRI) of reading performance is used by neurologists and researchers.
12. List the print concepts young children must develop.
13. Describe the role of letter name knowledge in reading and spelling.
14. Describe the relationship between language proficiency and reading proficiency.
15. Summarize the historical evolution of the English language and alphabetic writing.
16. Describe language organization: phonology, orthography, morphology, syntax, semantic networks, and discourse structure.
17. Discuss the speech sound system of English.
18. Explain the differences between the English speech sound system and that of one other language and how those may interfere with English pronunciation, phonics, reading, and comprehension.
19. Describe the role of fluency in phonological processing, letter naming, word recognition, oral reading, silent reading, and comprehension.
20. Describe the role of vocabulary development and knowledge in comprehension.
21. Explain the nature and organization of English orthography (writing).
22. Describe the differences between English orthography and that of at least one other language.
23. List Anglo-Saxon, Latin, and Greek-derived morphemes in English.
24. Discuss text characteristics and syntax (phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and “academic language”) that students may misinterpret.
25. Describe the development of writing and its relationship to reading.
26. Utilize key elements of narrative construction and informational literacy.
27. Discuss the influence of language differences on the reading and writing processes of children.
28. Describe the relationship between family literacy and the reading and writing processes of children

Major Course Topics

Literacy Process
Social and Cultural Contexts of Literacy
Reading Research
Theories of Language Acquisition
Early Literacy
Elements of Literacy
The Brain and Literacy
Reading-Writing Process
Reading Difficulties
Course Format

The course format includes but is not limited to the following:

  • There is a lot of material to cover this semester. The key to success is to keep up and submit your work on time. Therefore, this course is not self-paced as an assignment is due every week. Assignments may be submitted early.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • Does require threaded discussions online.
  • The communication in the class will take place through Canvas emails, online threaded discussions and announcements posted on Canvas.
  • The course material is sequential.
  • There is a specific timeline for the completion of each assignment in this class.
  • By electing to take this class online, you are assuming responsibility for your own learning complete assignments in order to learn the course material.
  • This class does not require on-campus meetings.
  • Exams may be required to be completed in the HCC Test Center.

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This course does not have a face-to-face, on-campus orientation.  There is a required orientation that you will complet online.

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Course Requirements

  • Review the “Frequently Asked Question” section of the eLearning Homepage.
  • Online Discussions
  • Literacy Expert Role Play
  • Simulations
  • Case Study
  • Reflective Analysis and Synthesis of Course Concepts
  • Exam

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Text and Materials

There is not a required textbook for this course.  All readings will be posted on the Canvas site.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

The following software/plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.  NOTE: There have been reported difficulties when using internet Explorer with Canvas.
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft Word
  • Windows Media Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Flash
  • Quick Time
  • Real Player

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If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to Hillary Schwartz,

Last updated on 12-May-14

Student Profile - Maribel