Course details

Su 14, Sp 15, Su 15, Su 16, Su 17, Su 18
Course number
READ 519
Course title
Language Study for Teachers, K-12
Course description

This course will provide an introduction to linguistic concepts that are important for literacy teachers, including phonology, morphology, morphophonology, syntax, and dialect. Teachers will gain important knowledge in the above areas to facilitate their instructional planning, delivery, and assessment with regard to phonics and spoken language instruction, vocabulary development, word meaning, sentence structure, and grammaticality. Students will also explore current trends in language/linguistics/literacy education, and their implications for the classroom.

Dr. Todd Cherner
Instructor bio

Todd Cherner, PhD, is an assistant professor of education in the Graduate School of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction Department. Cherner specializes in using instructional technology to develop students’ literacy abilities across the content areas, and he is committed to the purposeful use of technology to promote students’ reading and writing in the classroom. Before entering higher education, he taught 10th grade English and journalism courses at Leesburg High School in Central Florida. While at LHS, Cherner served on the school’s literacy committee, mentored first year teachers, and coached the varsity bowling team. Cherner earned his bachelor’s degree in English education from the University of Central Florida, his master’s in secondary education from Clemson university, and his doctorate in teacher education from the University of Tennessee. Previous to coming to Portland State University, he taught in and coordinated Coastal Carolina University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program.


There are no required prerequisites for this graduate-level course. However, learners are assumed to have experience working with elementary and/or secondary students.


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.
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.
4.1 Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.

Practical applications

Teachers will gain important background knowledge to facilitate their instructional planning and delivery in phonics instruction, vocabulary development, sentence structure, word meaning and choice in comprehension, questioning strategies, and textual structure.

Time commitment

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 assignments).


A textbook is required for this course. Please check with PSU's ReadOregon program.

Historical offerings

Spring 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Summer 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Summer 2014; 6/23/14 – 8/17/14