SIMMONS COLLEGE LANGUAGE & LITERACY DEGREE PROGRAM


The Program

The program for Language and Literacy is an innovative program designed to provide advanced training to an educator who wishes to specialize in meeting the needs of learners with language challenges. The program is research based and incorporates methodologies, strategies and techniques developed using multi-sensory structured language principles. Courses address phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, language development, assessment, reading research and technology to support literacy. The strategies employed and the skills mastered are of equal relevance and benefit to all learners. The goal is a significant reduction in the percentage of learners currently being identified with reading and writing skills below a basic level of achievement in general education settings.

The program is particularly responsive to the following national needs:
• Shortage of teachers trained to identify learners with challenges that predict difficulty in learning to read and write;
• Lack of available teacher training programs in methods to provide appropriate intervention for these learners;
• Shortage of teachers trained to serve learners with language challenges.

The program focuses on the preparation of an educator who will have a sophisticated understanding of the underpinnings necessary for the development of mature fluent reading ability and theory, as well as methodology for remediation of those individuals who do not learn to read through methods generally practiced in the general education classroom.

Degree Options

There are two degree options that students may pursue - the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree or the Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) degree. The Ed.S. degree program is an advanced graduate degree that provides a student who currently holds a master’s degree with an area of educational specialization. The M.S. Ed. is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree.Emphasis is placed upon the preparation of the master teacher in a specialized area and the development of leadership skills.

Courses (Subject to change)

RDG 406: The Structure of Language for Teachers I
Designed to acquaint educators with the structure of the English language and with the methods of teaching reading and spelling through the use of multisensory and associative teaching techniques.

RDG 461: Reading Research
Focus on past and current research in areas of reading and language arts. Evaluate reading theories and research within a framework and determine appropriate instruction based upon the findings.

RDG 429: Language Development and Disorders
This course will explore the components of typical and atypical language and development across the linguistic domains—phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. The behavioral manifestations associated with language disorders and their impact on academic functioning, particularly development of written language skills, will be assessed.

RDG 410: Multisensory Structured Language Skills Across Curricula
Learn to identify and develop appropriate strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners in reading, language arts, and social studies. Explore the principles of inclusion and applying instructional strategies and curricular adaptations that are most effective in both general and special education settings.

RDG 433: The Structure of Language for Teachers II
Designed to further explore the structure of English language through syntax and syntactical structure with a focus on language comprehension.

RDG 457: Technology to Support Reading and Writing
As classrooms increasingly have access to new learning technologies, it is important to support professionals in trying to meet the literacy, learning, and assistive technology needs of students who struggle with reading and writing. Primary focus is on technology-based instructional strategies to help differentiate learning.

RDG 572: Internship Experience (Fall Semester)
Use multisensory, structured language principles, under supervision, with learners who have language, reading, and writing challenges, implementing the methods of the Wilson reading System. This is an opportunity to pursue Wilson Level One training.

RDG 572: Internship Experience (Spring Semester)
Use multisensory, structured language principles, under supervision, with learners who have language, reading, and writing challenges, implementing the methods of the Wilson reading System. This is an opportunity to pursue Wilson Level One training.

RDG 428: Teaching of Writing
Explore the effect of weakness in receptive and expressive language, organization, memory, and visual motor coordination on written production. Learn teaching techniques to address these challenges.

RDG 432: Reading Assessment
An in-depth course in administering and interpreting data obtained from formal and informal reading assessments. Learn to develop specific recommendations for appropriate reading and written language curricula to enhance the development for learners.

RDG 469: Topics in Clinical Practice
Work with learners with special needs under the mentorship of a faculty advisor. Study and apply current classroom techniques in language-based instruction.

RDG 573: Practicum in Reading
Provides supervision and mentoring in the area of reading. Presents program management and evaluation procedures.