Read Oregon: An Oregon Collaborative for Improvement of Literacy

formerly known as CREADE
Collaborative Reading Education And Distance Education

ONLINE COURSE (Desire to Learn!)

READ 551: Literacy Instruction for Special Needs Students: preK-12 (3 cr)
Summer 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Fall 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Summer 2013

Julie Esparza Brown, Ph.D. – Portland State University

Designed to prepare effective and reflective teachers in language and literacy instruction for students with special needs. Participants will explore multiple perspectives, practices, and methodological approaches to literacy instruction which are research-based, and proven effective to promote literacy development. Topics include (but are not limited to): (1) language and literacy development; (2) characteristics of special needs students; (3) framework of effective literacy instruction within context of students with special needs; (4) methods of effective basic literacy skills instruction; (5) methods of teaching comprehension and critical thinking strategies; (6) methods of promoting learning and meta-cognitive strategies for lifelong learning, and (7) methods of appropriate and meaningful assessment.
PREREQUISITES Graduate standing. Learners are assumed to have experience working with elementary and/or secondary students.
Textbook with posted reflections; posting to whole class using the Discussion Board and Threaded Discussion tools; synchronous online meeting(s); providing feedback to one another; and assignments. Course topics include:
  • Language and literacy development
  • Characteristics of special needs students
  • Framework and principals of effective literacy instruction to students with special needs
  • Methods of effective basic literacy skills instruction
  • Methods of teaching comprehension and critical thinking strategies
  • Methods of promoting learning and metacognitive strategies for lifelong learning
  • Methods of appropriate and meaningful assessment
STANDARDS This course supports the following International Reading Association's 2010 Standards for Reading Professionals:
1.1 Candidates understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections.
1.3 Candidates understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students' reading development and achievement.
2.2 Candidates use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections.
3.1 Candidates understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
4.1 Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
4.2 Candidates use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students' knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
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.
5.3 Candidates use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another, discussions, and peer feedback).
Course will enable learners to develop effective literacy instruction for special needs students.
CORE/ELECTIVE This 3-credit graduate course can be used as 3 core or elective credits in the Literacy for Diverse Learners thematic area in the 24-credit Reading Endorsement program, the 12-credit Literary Education program, or for individual professional development.
INSTRUCTOR Julie Esparza Brown, Ph.D.. Julie Esparza Brown, a third generation Chicana, is an Assistant Professor in Special Education at Portland State University. She received her doctorate from Portland State University, her masterís in special education at the University of San Diego and her bachelorís of music at Willamette University. She received her school psychology training at San Diego State University. She has almost twenty years of experience in public schools as a bilingual teacher and special education teacher, K-12. While in the public school setting, she created a bilingual special education classroom with Spanish as the language of instruction. At Portland State, Julieís teaching, research, community work and publications focus on the overlap of bilingual and special education. Additionally, she consults nationally on issues related to RTI and EL students, least biased assessment, and effective instruction for diverse learners (BM, Willamette University; M.Ed. in Special Education, University of San Diego, Ph.D., Portland State University). Esparza Brown is the Director of the Bilingual Teacher Pathway Program at PSU. She has worked in public school bilingual-bicultural or special education programs for 17 years, and has taught at Portland State University for six years.

PreK-12 teachers with special needs students and those seeking the Reading Specialist endorsement.
Students should expect to spend approximately 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 and teacher's classroom-based assignment). 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. Please check with PSU's ReadOregon program.
COST No course in the ReadOregon curriculum will cost more than $359 per credit, including fees, for students in the ReadOregon program.
CONTACT For more details on this course, please contact the instructor or Elizabeth Snyder at Portland State University.


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

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