Teaching Reading to Diverse Learners – EDUC 318

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 01/04/2022

Course Description

This course provides pre-service teachers with a solid foundation in effective reading instruction in PreK-8 elementary and middle grade classrooms. The course addresses the five foundational components of reading, namely phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students survey research based teaching strategies, literacy approaches, instructional materials, and reading assessments for the purpose of planning effective literacy instruction for all learners.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The process of learning to read requires the application of a cadre of integrated literacy skills.  As reading is the basis for academic achievement across all areas of the PreK-8 curriculum, literacy instruction needs to be effective and evidence-based. Pre-service teachers for elementary and middle grade classrooms must be equipped to select appropriate reading materials for beginning and independent readers, to assess students’ reading skills, and to provide quality reading instruction for all students.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

  1. Describe and practice appropriate teaching skills and methods of reading instruction which align with the English Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools and the International Literacy Association (ILA) Standards.
  2. Describe the connection between oral and written language and how readers and writers progress through stages of literacy development.
  3. Select and practice research-based instructional strategies in phonological awareness (to include phonemic awareness), word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension that facilitate reading success for all PreK-8 learners, including English language learners.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of explicit phonics instruction, including sound and symbol relationships, syllables, phonemes, morphemes, word analysis, and decoding skills.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of informal literacy assessments.
  6. Articulate beliefs about teaching reading for diverse learners (to include an awareness of reading disabilities) with emphasis on research evidence for preventing reading difficulties.
  7. Reflect on literacy learning and diverse learners from a biblical worldview.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. The candidate will formulate a thread in response to the provided prompts. Each thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate will reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 100 words. (CLO: A, B, F, G)

Literacy Assessment Project Assignment

The candidate will practice informal assessments to screen and monitor literacy development in phonemic awareness, letter recognition, decoding, fluency, comprehension, and spelling. The candidate will compete all of the assessment templates provided in the Literacy Assessment Packet. The candidate will score the assessments. The candidate will write a reflection of at least 300 words. (CLO: E, F)

Fluency and Vocabulary Presentation Assignment

The candidate will select a short story, book chapter, poem, or play to read aloud. The selected passage must be appropriate for lower elementary, upper elementary, or middle grades students. The candidate will video-record his/her reading and submit. The candidate will watch the video and complete a reflection template on reading with prosody. The candidate will select five vocabulary words from the reading which would most likely be new vocabulary for the targeted group of students. The candidate will utilize a vocabulary strategy to create an anchor chart which could be used to teach the words. (CLO: C)

Comprehension Strategy Demonstration Assignment

The candidate will select a comprehension strategy and demonstrate its use with primary, elementary, and middle grade students in the content areas. The candidate will write a 400 word description of the strategy including research to support it and how to modify its use across K-8 classrooms. Candidates identify print and digital texts for teaching the strategy as well as questions to use with the texts. Candidates prepare a demonstration of how to use the strategy. The presentation is video recorded and used for self-assessment and peer feedback in one of the Discussions. (CLO: A, C)

edTPA Task 1 Assignment

In preparation for edTPA in student teaching, candidates will practice edTPA Task 1. Candidates will plan a learning segment of three consecutive literacy lessons on an essential literacy strategy for a specific learning context. Candidates will complete the literacy planning commentary to justify the planning process. Candidates will teach one literacy lesson in an elementary classroom during the co-requisite practicum. (CLO: A, C)

Word Analysis Quizzes (3)

The candidate's knowledge and understanding of phonics, phonemic awareness, and word analysis skills are assessed through a series of three quizzes. Each quiz has 50 questions from the assigned chapters in Leu & Kinzer (2017). Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes. Candidates will have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the quiz. (CLO: B, C, D).

Literacy Quizzes (3)

The candidate's knowledge and understanding of the five foundational components of reading, literacy approaches and instruction, literacy assessments, diverse learners, and emergent literacy are assessed through three quizzes. Each quiz has 25 questions from the assigned chapters in Vacca, et al. (2018). Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes. Candidates have 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the quiz. (CLO: B, C, D, E, F)