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Course Description

This course examines language development from birth through primary-aged children. Topics will include speech and language processes for communication, language development stages, theories of language acquisition, assessment of language development and activities that foster language development. Special attention will be paid to linguistically diverse populations and children whose language development differs from the reference group, with regards to the most recent advances in the field. Selection and development of pre-reading/prewriting and reading and writing curricula for preschool, kindergarten and primary grades will be addressed. There will be an emphasis on development of literacy in the primary grades that employs a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach. The course includes 10 hours of clinical experience.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the continuum of language development from infancy through school age
  • Explain how cultural and linguistic differences affect language and literacy development.
  • Compare strategies for teaching reading and writing PK-2.
  • Recommend strategies to support and enhance communication skills of young children with and without disabilities.
  • Analyze the impact of one’s own culture and use of language and the ways in which these can differ from other cultures and uses of languages.
  • Discuss ways of behaving and communicating among cultures that can lead to misinterpretation and misunderstanding.
  • Describe augmentative and assistive communication strategies.
  • Demonstrate communication strategies and resources to facilitate understanding of subject matter for English language learners.
  • Develop ways to support and facilitate family and child interactions as primary contexts for learning and development.
  • Demonstrate uses of technology in literacy instruction.
  • Practice authentic assessments for literacy.


Required Textbook

Otto, B., (2010).  Language Development in Early childhood 3rd Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.


Other Reading

  • Burman, Lisa (2009). Are You Listening: Fostering Conversations That Help Young Children Learn. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

  • Ezell, H., and Justice, L., (2005). Shared Storybook Reading: Building Children’s Language & Emergent Literacy Skills. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

  • Schickendanz, J., (199). Much More Than The ABCs: The Early Stages of Reading and Writing. Washington, DC.: National Association for The Education of Young Children.Recommend Additional Text (School-age)


Recommend Additional Text (School-age)

  • Bears, D., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S., and Johnson, F., (2008) Words Their Way Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instructions 4th Ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

  • Cecil, N., (2007) Striking a Balance: Best Practices for Early Literacy 3rd Ed. Scottsdale, Arizona: Holcomb Hathaway Publishing Company.

  • Smartt, S., and Glaser, D., (2010) Next STEPS in Literacy Instruction Connecting Assessments to Effective Interventions. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.


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