Course details

F 14, F 15, Su 16, Su 17
Course number
READ 515
Course title
ECE Foundations of Literacy Development
Course description

This course examines the process of early language development and the emergence of literacy focusing on the first eight years of life. The course studies literacy development within diverse contexts and the influence of individual, cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and racial differences as well as abilities/disabilities. It considers ways of promoting language and literacy development, including the selection and use of activities and materials suitable for the facilitation of early literacy.

Dr. Erin Wilder
Instructor bio

Dr. Erin Wilder, Assistant Professor in Education, Southern Oregon University. Wilder’s areas of specialization include educational leadership, equity in education, literacy development, early childhood socio-emotional and academic development, and integrating technology into the classroom. Five years teaching K-3; four years teaching at university level. (BA, University of Washington; MA, Ed.D., Seattle University)


There are no required prerequisites for this graduate level course. However, learners are assumed to be teachers with access to young children.


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.
1.2 Candidates understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components.
1.3 Candidates understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students’ reading development and achievement.
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.
3.1 Candidates understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
3.3 Candidates use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
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.
4.3 Candidates develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.
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.
6.2 Candidates display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors

Practical applications

Student observation provides a necessary basis for understanding the emerging phenomena of language and literacy development and makes a critical contribution to curriculum planning in preschool and primary grade level settings

Time commitment

Students should expect to spend 9 hours per week for 10 weeks in course-related activities for this 3-credit course (e.g., reading the text and course materials, posting to discussion forums, completing written 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.


A textbook is required for this course. You will be sent the textbook title and suggested purchase locations when you register for the course

Historical offerings

Fall 2003 (1 or 3 credits)
Winter 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Spring 2011
Fall 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Fall 2013: 09/30/13