Course Schedule Information

Session Topics, Readings, and Assignments

Introduction to Language Acquisition:  This session provides an overview of language acquisition theories.


Otto Chapter 1 and Chapter 2


Zero to Three Babies Brain
Starting Out Right


Self assessment: Complete the Language Development and Literacy pre and post test.

2 Responsive, Reciprocal, Respectful Relationships: An Infant’s Introduction to Language and Learning
This session will focus on how children develop language over the first years of life and provide participants with strategies for fostering language and literacy development for infants and toddlers.

Otto chapters 3, 4, and 5


View 5 Videos explaining how to promote intellectual development


Language Development, Preschool and Early Elementary Years: This session will provide an overview of how young children’s language skills continue to grow during preschool and early elementary school.  This session will focus on the importance of building children’s vocabulary and helping children use language to foster their cognitive development.



Otto chapters 6, 7,8, and 9
Kalmar, C., 2008. Let’s Give Children Something to Talk About! Oral Language and Preschool Literacy. Young Children Vol. 64. No. 1.  88-92.
Christ, T., and Wang, C., 2010. Bridging the Vocabulary Gap: What the Research Tells Us About Vocabulary Instruction in Early Childhood.  Young Children Vol. 65. No. 4. 84-91.


Blackboard discussion question:  Story Reading
Macquarie Children’s Language Videos


Supporting All Children’s Language Development: This session will provide participants with strategies for supporting and enhancing young children’s communication skills.  Participants will explore strategies for supporting dual language learners and children with language delays or so that all children can participate to their full potential.  In addition, the group will explore the role technology can play in supporting young children as they become speakers, writers, and readers.


Otto chapter 3 and 13
Cheatham, G.,  and Ro, Y., 2010. Young English Learners’ Interlanguage as a Context for Language and Early Literacy Development.  Young Children. Vol. 65. No 4. 19-23.
Hall, K., 2008. Reflecting on Our Read –Aloud Practices The Importance of Including Culturally Authentic Literature.  Young Children. Vol. 63. No. 1 80-86.


Teaching Our Youngest


Assignment: Moving forward


Listening and Comprehension: This module will provide participants with strategies for developing young children’s listening skills and comprehension. Participants will review current research and apply key concepts in developmentally appropriate ways, drawing upon appropriate guidelines.


Otto chapters 5, 7, 9, and 11
Harris, K., Pretti-Frontczak, K., and Brown, T., 2009. Peer-Mediated Intervention: An Effective, Inclusive Strategy for All Young Children.  Young Children.  Vol 64. 2. 43.
Stahl, R. Using “Think-Time” and “Wait-Time” Skillfully in the Classroom ERIC Identifier: ED370885 Publication Date: 1994-05-00


Assignment: Listening and comprehension apply instructional strategies


Phonemic and Phonological Awareness: Participants review the development of phonemic aware/phonological awareness and identify the difference between the two.   Current research will be reviewed and applied to practice.  Examples will be provided illustrating how infant and toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary school children develop phonemic awareness along a developmental continuum.  Linkages will be made to appropriate curriculum guidelines and classroom practices.


Otto chapters 5, 7, 9, 11
Yopp, H., and Yopp R., (2009). Phonological Awareness is Child’s Play. Young Children.
Steinhaus, P., Nurturing Awareness and Alphabetic Knowledge in Pre-Kindergarten.
Early Literacy: The essentials of phonological awareness and the alphabet  Texas Child Care


Book Reading: In this session participants will review the importance of interactive book reading with young children. Strategies for engaging children in book reading and supporting related skills such as book handling and concepts of print will be illustrated. Participants will explore principles for selecting developmentally appropriate literature for young children from birth to 8, across literary genres.


Home Storybook Reading in Primary or Second Language With Preschool Children: Evidence of Equal Effectiveness for Second-Language Vocabulary Acquisition
Theresa A. Roberts, California State University, Sacramento, USA

McKeown, M., and Beck, I., (2003) Taking Advantage of Read Alouds to Help Children Make Sense of Decontextualized Language.

Websites: Doing What Works
Chris Lonigan Interview:
Using Interactive and dialogic Reading:


Assignment: Shared Reading


Facilitating Rich Conversations to Promote Language and Higher Order Thinking:  This module will focus on teacher/child interactions and strategies used to foster conversations and feedback loops between adults/children and among children.  Participants will review current research on practices that have been shown to improve language and higher order thinking skills. 

Warner, L., (2005). Revisiting Blooms Taxonomy: Asking Better Questions. Texas Child Care.
Stahl, R., (1994). “Think-Time” and “Wait-Time” Skillfully in the Classroom ERIC: ED370885.
Guskey, T., (2007). Closing the Achievement Gaps: Revisiting Benjamin S. Bloom’s Learning Mastery.  Journal Advanced Academics: Vol. 19, 1. p 8-31.
Bond., M., and Wasik, B.,  (2009) Conversation Stations: Promoting Language Development in Young Children. Early Childhood Education Journal 36.  p. 467-473.

Assignment:  Teacher Talk: observe and record a teacher for 45 minutes. See assignment sheet

Writing Continuum:  In this session participants will learn more about the development of written language skills from scribbling to standard writing.  Research will be reviewed and participants will be given examples of strategies use to facilitating the development of writing linked to appropriate early learning standards.


Baskwill, J., and Harkins, M., (2009) Children, Parents, and Writing: Using Photography in a Family Literacy Workshop. Young Children: 64, 5. pg. 28
Tunks, K., and Giles, R., (2009) Writing Their Words Strategies for Supporting Young Authors Young Children


Putting Power in Action

  Assignment: Writing Application

Assessment of Children’s Language and Literacy:  In this session participant will familiarize themselves with various assessment tools use to monitor student process and/or measure program outcomes in language and literacy.  Participants will learn to identify red flags and use data to make referrals.


Brown, Willow (2008) Young Children Assessing Their Learning: The Power of the Quick Check Strategy. Young Children.
Benham-Lewin, A., (2006) One Teacher, 20 Preschoolers, and a Goldfish Environmental Awareness, Emergent Curriculum and Documentation. Young Children on the web.
Early Reading Assessment: A guiding tool for instruction

Staff Workshop Teacher Handout
PALS Activities

  Assignment: Using Assessment Data
11 Element of Rich Language and Literacy Environments for Young Children:  This module will focus on what practitioner do to ensure that all children have access to learning environments that promote language and literacy.

Tarr, P., (2004) Consider the Walls. Young Children: Vol. 59, 3; p. 88.
Friedman, S., (2005) Environments that Inspire.  Young Children: Vol. 60, 3; p. 48.
Reyes-Leigh, C., (2010) A Teacher’s Case for Learning Center Extensions in Kindergarten. Young Children: Vol 65, No 5; p 94.
Meece, D., & Soderman, A., Positive Verbal Environments: Setting the Stage for Young Children’s Social Development. Young Children: Vol. 65, No. 5; p 81.

  Assignment: Discussion Board

Young Readers Essential Skills: In this session we will explore phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension also known as the five pillars of reading.  Participant will discuss ways to integrate these concepts across content areas to assist children in developing academic language.


Moats, L., (1999) Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able To Do. Washington, DC: American Federation of Teachers
Put Reading First: Kindergarten through Grade Three  Center for the Improvement of
Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) and was funded by the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL)


Engaging Families as Partners:  This session will reflect on the importance of strengthening families’ involvement in literacy in cultural competent ways.  Participants will become familiar with community resources available to programs and parents such as those offered through the public library and other family literacy initiatives.


Garris Christian, L., (2007) Understanding Families: Applying Family Systems Theory to Early Childhood Practices. Spotlight on Young Children and Families. National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Ordonez-Jasis, R., and Ortiz, R., (2007) Reading Their Worlds Working with Diverse Families to Enhance Children’s Early Literacy Development. Spotlight on Young Children and Families. National Association for the Education of Young Children.

  Assignment: Action Plan for Engaging Families


 Click here to Download the full Calendar


Citation: MacDonald, L. V. T. M. L. L. A. (2011, September 08). Calendar. Retrieved November 06, 2014, from UMass Boston OpenCourseware Web site:
Copyright 2014, Lisa Van Thiel, Mary Lu Love, Angi MacDonald. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License