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EDUC-201 Processes and Acquisition of Reading

This course is designed to assist pre-service and in-service teachers in understanding the reading acquisition process through observation and analysis of reading and written language development, and the study of current issues in reading research. It is organized around current, accepted, 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. Participants will be introduced to current scientific research. This course meets the Maryland State Department of Education requirement for initial certification or renewal of a certificate in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education Generic: Infant/Primary, and Special Education Generic: Elementary/Middle.

Eligible to enroll in ENGL-121 (College Composition)
Cheryl Dzubak

Overall Course Objectives

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 (fMRI) of a 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 at least 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

  • Overview of the Literacy Process
  • Social and Cultural Contexts of Literacy
  • Reading Research
  • Psychology of Reading
  • Theories of Language Acquisition
  • Early Literacy
  • The Brain and Reading
  • Elements of Literacy
  • Reading-Writing Process
  • Stages of Spelling Development
  • Reading Difficulties/Special Populations
  • Motivation
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. Because there will be no instructor-led lectures or demonstrations, you will need to read and complete assignments in order to learn the course material.
  • This class does not require on-campus meetings


This course does not have a face-to-face, on-campus orientation.  Please log-on to the course during the first week of the term to begin the on-line orientation that is available for enrolled students.

Course Requirements

  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the eLearning Homepage.
  • Log in to participate in the online orientation and/or go to the Technical tab on the online website and find a printable copy of the online orientation.
  • Review the syllabus and all material in the Modules section of Canvas.
  • Active participation in all aspects of the course
  • Weekly Assignments
  • Short papers
  • Exam
  • Simulations

Texts and Materials

Readings will be posted on the Canvas site. Additional readings appropriate to the area of specialization may be required.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

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

  • Internet Exployer
  • Windows Media Player
  • Word Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft Word
  • Adobe Acrobas Reader
  • Flash
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don't have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoing
  • Quick Time
  • Real Player

 Difficulty Logging on to Canvas

Students and faculty may call 443-518-4444 between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to report problems or they may send an e-mail to the Help Desk at  After hours, students and faculty may leave a message at the same number. The Technology Help Desk staff will handle the problem or direct it to the correct person to handle. When leaving a message, be sure to leave your name, the course you are enrolled in, your course instructor's name, your phone number, your e-mail address, and a description of the problem. Be sure to speak slowly so staff may easily take down your message.

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for maintaining copies of all of their written work on your computer or on floppy disk in case of the need for retransmission. Students are responsible for keeping the instructor informed in the event of emergencies or unusual circumstances leading to extended absence from class participation.

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

last updated on April 2, 2012 © Howard Community College

Student Profile - Maribel