Read Oregon: An Oregon Collaborative for Improvement of Literacy

formerly known as CREADE
Collaborative Reading Education And Distance Education


READ 535: Language & Literacy in Content Areas, Gr 4-12 (3 cr)
Spring 2012
Summer 2011, 2012
Spring 2014: 03/31/14 06/13/14

Dr. Amy Belcastro, Southern Oregon University

This course develops competence in teaching the interactive processes of reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and thinking across the curriculum, and focuses on strategies for teaching students of varied backgrounds and abilities. For students in grades 412 to be successful in the content areas they must be able to read and comprehend various informational texts and write for different purposes and audiences. This course will provide teachers with the tools to improve student achievement in the content areas through the developmentally appropriate integration of literacy strategies.
PREREQUISITES There are no required prerequisites for this course. However, learners are assumed to be teachers with access to or experience with students in grades 4-12.
Readings from textbook and Internet with postings to discussion board; classroom-based assignments for Grade 4-12 students; culminating project.
STANDARDS This course supports the following International Reading Association's 2010 Standards for Reading Professionals:
2.1 Candidates use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum.
2.2 Candidates use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections.
2.3 Candidates use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
4.1 Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
5.2 Candidates design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students' opportunities for learning to read and write.
  • Participants will explore the benefits and challenges of teaching literacy skills in the content areas, and be able to apply various literacy skills in their teaching.
  • Participants will examine the diverse cultural, linguistic, social, and emotional needs of adolescents as they learn ways to help their students increase understanding through identifying the different way texts are structured across the curriculum.
  • Participants will explore detailed examples of effective instructional practices for adolescent learners.
CORE/ELECTIVE This graduate course can be used as 3 elective credits in the Strategies & Methods thematic area in the 24-credit Reading Endorsement program, the 12-credit Literary Education program, or for individual professional development.
INSTRUCTOR Dr. Amy Belcastro, Associate Professor, SOU School of Education. Taught Grades 4-8 for 11 years; was Title I Reading Specialist; has been a higher education instructor/professor for 15 years. Specializes in curriculum and assessment; teacher effectiveness; social-emotional intelligence and learning; culturally responsive policies and practices; student success and retention in higher education. (BA, University of California, Santa Cruz; MA, University of California, Sacramento; Ph.D., University of California, Davis)
Grade 4-12 teachers interested in way to increase adolescents' reading and writing skills across the disciplines.
Students should expect to spend 9 hours per week for 10 weeks in course-related activities (e.g., reading the text and course materials, posting to discussion forums, completing written reports/papers and classroom-based assignments). This course is online and does not require in-person attendance. Assignments are completed on the learner's time schedule and are due as posted.
TEXTBOOK A textbook is required for this course. Check with the university offering the course for the title.
COST No course in the ReadOregon curriculum costs more than $359 per credit for students enrolled in the ReadOregon program.
CONTACT For more details on this course, please contact the instructor at or Angela Huftill at

For further questions about ReadOregon programs, email Bonnie Morihara or call 503-838-8413.

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