Course details

F 14, F 15
Course number
ED 588
Course title
Early Language & Literacy Development
Course description

This course is designed to give pre-service teachers and early childhood educators a foundational knowledge of the developmental stages of children in acquiring literacy skills, exploring literacy theories, and effective practices in teaching the values of literacy to children from birth to 4th grade. Course participants will read up-to-date research on literacy; explore how literacy is taught in early childhood education centers; and through hands-on learning activities will become knowledgeable and skilled in the basics of early childhood literacy. Students will also be expected to evaluate and explore the role literacy plays in their own lives and the impact this has on their teaching.

Dr. Erin Wilder
Instructor bio

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There are no required prerequisites for this course. However, learners are assumed to be teachers with access to or experience with pK-12 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.
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.
3.1 Candidates understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
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

Identify, create, and communicate the importance of effective literacy practices in class discussions, written assignments, and early childhood classrooms
Engage in course projects that reflect the use of assessments to guide teacher instruction in literacy
Reflect on their own literacy lives and apply their own practices in literacy to the classroom in course assignments and class discussions
Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the course readings through weekly written reflection papers, in class collaborative group work, and course projects
Develop literacy curriculum that is differentiated and can meet the diverse social, cultural, and developmental needs of all students
Promote professionalism through working collaboratively with other students
Complete a research project that demonstrates a strong understanding of literacy development in young children

Time commitment

Students should expect to spend 9-12 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 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.Dr. Erin Wilder


A textbook is required for this course.┬áPlease check with SOU’s ReadOregon program.

Historical offerings

Summer 2011: 06/20/11 – 08/12/11