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Elements of Literacy Content and Pedagogical Knowledge




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Course level: EDU Graduate

This course focuses on the five key themes of English language arts and literacy and English language development instruction: making meaning, language development, effective expression, content knowledge, and foundational skills in multiple subject classrooms. Candidates apply interdisciplinary teaching strategies to develop learning and critical thinking skills in their learners. Emphasis is placed on using both universal design as a learning framework to guide instructional planning, design, delivery and assessments, and Multi-Tiered System of Supports to meet the needs of diverse learners. This course incorporates required guided clinical experience based on work with a student in a K-8 school setting. This course is only available for enrollment to residents of California.


This graduate level course requires proof of completion of a Bachelor's degree. Be prepared to provide documentation during the checkout process.

What you'll learn

Course skills and outcomes

Week 1

  • Describe how each language literacy domain (speaking, reading, listening, writing) is interwoven into an effective literacy development program.
  • Examine how the English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA-ELD) Framework provides practical examples of the 5 key themes of English language arts.
  • Determine how physical, psychological, and environmental factors impact literacy instruction.
  • Examine your own perspective and philosophy on teaching literacy in today’s society.

Week 2

  • Investigate theories and principles on which differentiated literacy instruction is based (UDL, MTSS, RTI).
  • Examine instructional approaches for the teaching of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • Analyze the role of language; second language learning, non-standard English; and dialects in learning to read and write.
  • Explain foundational skills as they apply to grades K–3 and 4–8 reading and language arts instruction.
  • Investigate methods to assess and monitor learning through data-based decisions.

Week 3

  • Differentiate between phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, and phonics.
  • Identify methods and approaches for phonics, letter recognition, and spelling instruction for a diverse audience.
  • Examine the role that the printed letter, sight words, spelling, and writing have on reading development.
  • Illustrate the connection between reading and writing instruction.

Week 4

  • Explain the transition from word decoding to fluency.
  • Analyze the relationship between fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Describe strategies for improving critical thinking for reading comprehension.
  • Examine strategies for promoting oral reading fluency to a diverse audience.
  • Analyze the significance of parental support and involvement in reading development.

Week 5

  • Define what constitutes academic language.
  • Explain the role of vocabulary and background knowledge in reading development.
  • Propose different types of exercises used to promote reading development.
  • Examine strategies for promoting vocabulary, academic language, and background knowledge to a diverse audience.

Week 6

  • Explain the role of questioning in reading comprehension.
  • Explain the benefits of using pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading activities for reading instruction.
  • Explore the structures and features of a various types of texts and their impact on reading comprehension.
  • Describe how formative assessment is used to improve reading.

Week 7

  • Explain the importance of literature, technology, and other resources for instructional use.
  • Describe how the arts enhance all children’s literacy development.
  • Determine how integration of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in all content areas builds critical thinking and overall literacy.
  • Define new literacies and their role in the K-8 classroom.

Week 8

  • Explain the importance of maintaining a safe and positive learning environment when providing differentiated instruction.
  • Explain the importance of incorporating multiple instructional methods, tools, and content topics for creating thoughtful readers.
  • Implement instructional planning and delivery strategies for diverse learners, including gifted and talented, English language learners, and students with other special learning needs.


Why take courses at University of Phoenix

Accreditation that matters

We’ve been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( for more than 40 years.

Real-world instructors

Learn from instructors who bring an average of 25 years of working experience to the classroom.

Affordable and potentially reimbursable

Our tuition and fees are competitive and fixed. Also, check to see if your employer will cover you for this course.

Next Steps

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Start a conversation about your future with an enrollment representative today.

Call (844) 937-8679

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