Reading and Language Development

The Reading and Language Development Program was designed to provide classroom educators and remedial reading interventionists with the knowledge and skills necessary to translate the science of reading into artful practice. The Program strives to create a community of reflective learners and practitioners who are committed to scientifically-informed decision-making, academic excellence, and personal accountability and growth. Congruent with our Graduate School’s Conceptual Framework, the program reinforces the critical importance of professional attitudes and dispositions that foster successful collaborations in the service of children and families.

The Program prepares educators in current best practices, as supported by reading research, and responds to state and national policy initiatives. Course content and practicum experiences are arranged to support candidates' mastery of essential knowledge and skills required in order to successfully serve students’ diverse reading and language arts needs in core, intervention, and remedial instructional contexts.

Program candidates receive training in a variety of instructional practices, approaches, methods, and curriculum materials, with an emphasis on the principles and practices of Structured Literacy™.  Candidates are prepared to support and mentor classroom teachers and other professionals in creating literate environments conducive to successful reading and writing. In doing so, the program prepares candidates in a wide range of critical competency areas, with consideration for students in Grades 1-12.

Candidates enrolled in one of our degree or certification granting programs are eligible to apply for national certification with the International Dyslexia Association. Interested candidates should speak directly with the Program Director, Dr. Jule McCombes-Tolis, for more information.

Select candidates are also eligible to apply for Wilson Reading Level 1 Certification. Interested candidates should speak directly with the Program Director. Dr. Jule McCombes-Tolis, for more information.

Attend an Information Session

Individuals interested in learning more about the programs offered through Reading and Language Development are encouraged to sign up for one of several information sessions that are scheduled throughout the year. A link for doing so can be found on the program's website.

RLD 0486 Developmental Literacy I: Fundamentals of Reading and Language Development3 Credits

This course is the first in a set of two courses that address the foundational concepts, theories, empirical research, and developmental milestones associated with oral and written language. This course focuses on the development of essential decoding strand reading skills (phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency), as well as aspects of cognition and behavior that affect reading and writing. Candidates learn how to administer, score, and interpret universal screening and informal diagnostic measures in the areas of phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, and fluency for the purposes of determining the most appropriate starting point for instruction and planning differentiated instructional groups. Candidates also learn how to select and deliver varied research-based instructional strategies to develop students' foundational reading skills in the areas of phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, and fluency. Crosslisted with SE 0486.

RLD 0487 Developmental Literacy II: Essentials of Vocabulary and Text Comprehension3 Credits

This course is the second in a set of two courses that address the foundational concepts, theories, empirical research, and developmental milestones associated with oral and written language. This course focuses on the development of essential comprehension strand reading skills (fluency, vocabulary, comprehension), as well as aspects of cognition and behavior that affect reading and writing. Candidates learn how to administer, score, and interpret universal screening and informal diagnostic measures in the areas of vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency for the purposes of determining the most appropriate starting point for instruction and planning differentiated instructional groups. Candidates also learn how to select and deliver varied research-based instructional strategies to develop students' reading skills in the areas of vocabulary and comprehension. Crosslisted with SE 0487.

RLD 0488 Content Area Literacy Strategies3 Credits

This course introduces candidates to content area and disciplinary literacy reading practices at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Strategies to facilitate comprehension of narrative and expository text structures, including strategies that address the reading-writing connection, are introduced. Candidates also learn about adolescent literacy development, achievement, and engagement, and how factors related to cultural, linguistic, and cognitive diversity impact students' comprehension of texts.

RLD 0503 Research and Evaluation in Multidisciplinary Contexts3 Credits

This course examines methods of empirical research and measurement, the role of descriptive and inferential statistics in data assessment, and critical analyses of effective quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research approaches. Topics will include: evaluation of current research studies and implications for professional practice, types of assessments (i.e. traditional print and electronic), data for general education teachers and a diversified student population, and the skills needed for effective data-based decision making and sharing of results. Crosslisted with MD 0503.

RLD 0530 Content Language & Reading Acquisition for English Language Learners and Students with Special Needs3 Credits

This course develops literacy leadership skills to train others and foundational reading skills to be better prepared to teach K-12 students to learn how to read. This course is designed for candidates to learn about the developmental learning needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students, exceptional learners, and bilingual students with special needs, and promotes working in collaborative data teams. The course also explores the similarities and differences between bilingual/TESOL students and students with special needs with a focus on reading skills development (e.g. phonology, morphology, orthography, syntax) and instructional strategies that all teachers can use in their classrooms to support reading development in all students. Crosslisted with SL 0530.

RLD 0575 Developmental Literacy Remediation for Students in Grades 3+1 Credit

Fee: $141 GSEAP Fee

This course examines reading research and the five essential components of reading in relation to students in Grade 3+ with persistent phonological coding deficits. Candidates will learn about the principles and practices of Structured Literacy and multi-sensory language instruction through study of the Wilson Reading System (WRS), including student identification and placement, program implementation, progress monitoring, scheduling, creating a successful classroom environment, principles of language structure, and how to teach language with direct, multi-sensory methods.

RLD 0576 Intensive Instruction I for the Non-Responsive Reader Using the Wilson Reading System3 Credits

Fee: $423 GSEAP Fee

Corequisite: RLD 0577.

Prerequisite: RLD 0575.

This course presents in detail how the principles and practices of multi-sensory, structured language instruction are applied to support the remedial reading needs of students with word-level deficits in Grades 3+ who have not adequately responded to intervention. This course features practical application of reading research, with particular emphasis on phonological awareness, phonics and spelling at the beginning levels of decoding and encoding. It also provided specific procedures to teach the following syllable types: closed, vowel-consonant-e, open, and consonant-le. The course includes additional topics on diagnostic teaching and differentiating instruction, program pacing, high frequency word instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, dyslexia, listening and reading comprehension strategies, use of differentiated texts, and handwriting. Candidates explore the above in relation to Steps 1-6 of the Wilson Reading System (WRS).

RLD 0577 Clinical Intensive Instruction I for the Non-Responsive Reader in Grades 3+1.5 Credits

Fee: $211.5 GSEAP Fee

Corequisite: RLD 0576.

Prerequisite: RLD 0575.

This supervised practicum experience prepares candidates to effectively implement a multi-sensory structured language reading program with students in Grades 3-12 that present with significant word-level reading and spelling deficits, including those diagnosed with a language-based learning disability or dyslexia. Candidates will acquire a sophisticated working knowledge of the sound-symbol system of English (phonology) and its structure (morphology) as well as the use of specific diagnostic methods in teaching reading and spelling. This Wilson Reading System Steps 1-6 web-based practicum is supervised by a Wilson Credentialed Trainer.

RLD 0578 Intensive Instruction II for the Non-Responsive Reader Using the Wilson Reading System3 Credits

Fee: $423 GSEAP Fee

Corequisite: RLD 0579.

Prerequisite: RLD 0576.

This course is a continuation of RLD 0576 and presents in detail how the principles and practices of multi-sensory structured language instruction are applied to support the remedial reading needs of students with word-level deficits in Grades 3+ who have not adequately responded to intervention. This course features practical application of reading research, and expands upon the topics of phonological awareness, phonics and spelling at the beginning levels of decoding and encoding. It also provides additional opportunities to refine procedural skill associated with teaching the following syllable types: closed, vowel-consonant-e, open, and consonant-le. The course includes additional topics on diagnostic teaching and differentiating instruction, program pacing, high frequency word instruction, vocabulary instruction, fluency instruction, dyslexia, listening and reading comprehension strategies, use of differentiated texts, and handwriting. Candidates explore the above in relation to Steps 1-6 of the Wilson Reading System (WRS).

RLD 0579 Clinical Intensive Instruction II for the Non-Responsive Reader in Grades 3+1.5 Credits

Fee: $211.5 GSEAP Fee

Corequisite: RLD 0578.

Prerequisite: RLD 0576.

This supervised practicum experience is a continuation of RLD 0577 and prepares candidates to effectively implement a multi-sensory structured language reading program with students in Grades 3-12 that present with significant word-level reading and spelling deficits, including those diagnosed with a language-based learning disability or dyslexia. Candidates will acquire a sophisticated working knowledge of the sound-symbol system of English (phonology) and its structure (morphology) as well as the use of specific diagnostic methods in teaching reading and spelling. This Wilson Reading System Steps 1-6 web-based practicum is supervised by a Wilson Credentialed Trainer.

RLD 0583 Tests and Measurement in Reading and Language Arts Contexts3 Credits

This course introduces candidates to the principles and practices of response to intervention approaches to the prevention and early identification and remediation of reading difficulties. Candidates learn about the essential features of Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III instruction, including common program development and delivery considerations and assessment routines.

RLD 0584 Guided Reflective Practice in Tier I Reading and Language Arts Programming3 Credits

This course presents an overview of varied research-based instructional approaches and materials to use in designing and delivering an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced evidence-based reading and writing curriculum. Candidates are provided with the opportunity to explore varied instructional approaches, materials, texts, and classroom routines, and their use in creating a literate environment that fosters reading and writing for diverse student populations. Media Consent and Fingerprinting required.

RLD 0585 Writing Components and Processes in the Language Arts Program3 Credits

Candidates learn how to assess students' handwriting, spelling, and writing skills, and how to teach writing across the elementary, middle, and secondary continuums, with consideration for the use of a wide range of texts and strategies designed to foster the reading-writing connection. The use of Assistive Technology and specialized instructional strategies and programs will be explored as a means to facilitate students' ability to construct quality writing samples.

RLD 0586 Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading and Language Arts Difficulties3 Credits

This course introduces candidates to the varied reasons why students may not be responding to the provision of intensive targeted reading and writing interventions. Candidates learn how to administer a range of formal diagnostic assessment measures to students and how to analyze findings for the purpose of informing improved intervention programming for students. This course includes a six to eight hour supervised fieldwork experience. Fingerprinting required.

RLD 0587 Practicum in Tier II Reading and Language Arts Intervention Practices3 Credits

This course presents an overview of Tier II reading and language arts intervention practices for small groups of students. Candidates learn how to apply their knowledge of benchmark and progress monitoring practices to plan and evaluate instruction for individual and groups of students, how to design and implement flexible grouping techniques, how to prepare data walls and progress monitoring reports to effectively communicate students' response data to colleagues and parents. This course includes a supervised practicum experience. Media Consent and Fingerprinting required.

RLD 0588 Practicum in Tier III Reading and Language Arts Intervention Practices3 Credits

This course presents an overview of Tier III reading and language arts intervention practices for individual students in Grades 1-12, including students with dyslexia. Candidates in this course learn about structured literacy interventions and engage in supervised work with an assigned student in a practicum context. Candidates in this course will: administer a comprehensive literacy screening assessment to an assigned student in order to develop an individualized scope and sequence of instruction, design and deliver a series of diagnostic-prescriptive structured literacy interventions to an assigned student in the context of a supervised practicum experience, develop and implement an individualized progress-monitoring plan, and share students' progress with parents/guardians in the context of an end of term conference. Media Consent and Fingerprinting required.

RLD 0594 Designing, Implementing, and Leading the School Literacy Intervention Program: Capstone Seminar3 Credits

Candidates will learn the essential components of a classroom environment that support and promote literacy development with a focus on planning instruction for K-6th graders in the school reading and language arts program. There will be a particular emphasis on children who are experiencing difficulties in developing literacy, addressing the special needs of diverse learners. Students will also learn how to facilitate meetings with a literacy focus including grade-level literacy team meetings, literacy leadership meetings, data team meetings, data analysis, and RTI meetings. This course will also support students' ability to design and deliver literacy-focused professional development workshops.