Language and Literacy for Diverse Populations – EDUC 651

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course examines the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to foster language and literacy development in students from diverse populations (early childhood education, early childhood special education, and second language acquisition). Emphasis is on instructional techniques to assist students with diverse learning needs to achieve reading, writing, and oral language skills. 

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


This course addresses instructional strategies and practices that promote language and literacy development in children who may be diverse culturally, linguistically, or socioeconomically. Effective reading strategies and curricula for individuals with disabilities will also be reviewed.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (3)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for Discussion. Each thread must be 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to two other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150 words.  (CLO: A, C, F)

IRIS Case Study Assignments (2)

The candidate will complete two separate case studies through Full credit is earned when evidence of completion of all assigned parts are submitted using the case study completion chart. No partial credit will be given for case studies. All the questions on the chart should be answered in complete sentences. The answers need to be 1 to 3 sentences long depending on the question. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)

IRIS Case Study: PALS Strategy Assignment

This module outlines the benefits of implementing PALS for Grades K–1, a peer tutoring strategy in which students work in pairs to strengthen their reading skills. Also included are step-by-step instructions for each of the PALS activities as well as printable PALS materials (est. completion time: 1 hour). 

IRIS Case Study: Classroom Diversity Assignment

This module has considerations for diverse student populations and offers a broad overview of how diversity (i.e., culture, language, exceptionality, and socioeconomic status) affects learning and how teachers can better meet the needs of all their students in their classes (est. completion time: 1 hour). 

Reading Rockets Module Assignments (2)

The candidate will independently complete nine Reading Rockets modules comprising of in-depth information, classroom strategies, assignments, and additional resources on the building blocks of teaching reading and writing — including phonological and phonemic awareness, phonics, print awareness, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, writing and text comprehension. Full credit is earned when there is evidence of completion of all assigned modules. (CLO: C, D, E)

Lesson Plan Assignment

The candidate will complete a lesson plan focusing on early literacy concepts.  The edTPA lesson plan template will be used. Differentiated strategies and assessments to measure student learning will be included in the lesson plan. (CLO: B, C, D, E)

My Family Interview Assignment

The candidate will locate a family member to interview that has a child from 2–10 years old who is an English language learner or has a language/communication delay or related disability (can have both). The candidate will create an interview protocol to use for an informal interview about the child. This assignment is not a field experience in a school system; locating a family member is the candidate’s responsibility. The candidate will write a summary of the family interview and include recommendations for teaching this child citing at least 2 peer-reviewed journals as references. The paper will include a title page, introduction of family, summary of interview, teaching strategies and recommendation, conclusion, reference list, and appendix with interview protocol. The paper will use APA format and be 8-10 pages in length. (CLO: A, B, D)

Spotlight Diversity Presentation Assignment

The candidate will design a PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of 10 slides. The PowerPoint presentation has 2 parts. In Part 1, the candidate will use words and pictures to describe a “spotlight diverse student” in preK-2. This diverse learner’s spotlight focus can be cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, academia-focused, such as a specific learning disability, speech/language delays or other learning delays. In Part 2, the candidate will articulate a teaching philosophy of literacy by identifying key background knowledge an educator needs to know about this student population, potential strengths and weaknesses of this student population in the literacy areas, one intervention for each of the literacy categories--reading, writing, and language, as well as accommodations in the learning environment to meet the needs of this diverse group of learners with at least 3 references. (CLO: B, C, F) 

Speech and Language Delays Brochure Assignment

The candidate will create an informational brochure about the speech language development of children with a specific delay, disorder, or medical condition. The brochure will include a brief description of the medical condition or disability, background information and research, possible effects on speech and language development, suggested interventions and learning environments promoting speech and language development (including augmentative and alternative communication devices), issues and controversies as well as professional and support organizations including 2 references from current research or other relevant sources to support the conclusions. The audience for the brochure is for parents or teachers. The candidate will align with current APA format. (CLO: F)

Note: The reading specialist candidate will gather information from special education leader(s) in the school district as an additional resource. Three references are needed for reading specialist brochure.

Discovery Diversity Project Assignments (2)

The candidate will complete 4 components in the Discovery Diversity Project, which are separated into two parts. For the project, the candidate will apply the readings related to the following major domains: Discovery Diversity Project: Reading-Writing Connections and Word Recognition Assignment; and Discovery Diversity Project: Vocabulary and Comprehension Assignment.  The candidate will complete a project for each literacy component. The candidate will write a summary of the chapter (300 words or more), list components of a learning environment to promote literacy learning in the particular literacy area, create an instructional strategy related to the literacy component (original work) targeting at least 3 diverse learners, and create a CBM, progress monitoring or informal assessment, to measure growth. The candidate will write a reflection about why he/she believes these tasks will impact student literacy development for diverse learners (250 words). The candidate will do this for all 4 literacy components. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)

Note: The reading specialist candidate will include a literacy leadership component demonstrating strategies of how their advocacy at the community and district level ensure the school environments have the resources needed to reach the specific diverse learners.

Quiz: Comprehensive

The quiz will cover the material from the course textbook. (Chapters 1-11). The quiz is open-book/open-notes, contains 50 multiple-choice questions, and has a 1-hour and 30-minute time limit. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)