Teaching Reading to Struggling Students

Teachers College Columbia University

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Teachers College Columbia University


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Who should attend

  • K-12 teachers in English language arts, social studies, science or special education classrooms
  • School principals, professional development personnel, and administrators
  • Speech and language pathologists

About the course

This is a 3-module online professional development program on how to improve the reading skills of struggling students. The modules focus on reading difficulties and dyslexia; reading processes in English language learners; and instructional techniques for struggling readers. The program is offered for for 3 weeks (July 9- 29, 2018).

This program is asynchronous, meaning that students complete the modules at their own pace, at times of their convenience, and do not have to be online at any given time within the 3-week period. Students must complete Module 1 to receive acess to Module 2 and must complete Module 2 to receive access to the last module, Module 3. A digital certificate will be awarded upon completion of the entire program.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be become familiar with the following concepts and practices in teaching reading to low-skilled students:

  • Patterns of reading in individuals with learning disabilities, and English language learners
  • Etiology of reading disabilities
  • Gender differences in specific reading disability
  • Subtypes of dyslexia
  • Role of reading comprehension in learning of mathematics
  • Controversies in diagnosing specific reading disability
  • Response to intervention: rationale and implementation
  • Reading instruction for individuals with specific reading disability, and for English language learners
  • Explicit methods of teaching phonemic awareness, decoding, word recognition, vocabulary, oral reading fluency, and reading comprehension to low-skilled readers
  • Orton-Gillingham and related multi-sensory techniques for teaching word-reading
  • Spelling techniques and morphological awareness for low-skilled readers
  • Vocabulary interventions for low-skilled readers
  • Using multi-faceted reading interventions in the regular classroom
  • Comprehension strategies for narrative and informational text
  • The use of technology, including apps, to supplement reading instruction

Description of Modules

Module 1: Reading difficulties and dyslexia – 7 clock hours

Reading difficulties and dyslexia across the lifespan; patterns of reading and spelling; etiology; gender differences; reading subtypes; diagnostic techniques; controversy over the role of intelligence testing in diagnosing a reading disability; teaching students who have reading difficulty; response to intervention model for struggling readers

Module 2: Reading processes in English language learners – 6 clock hours

Characteristics of the reading of English language learners; general principles for teaching English language learners; approaches to reading instruction for English language learners; assessing the reading of English language learners

Module 3: Interventions to promote improvement in reading – 7 clock hours

Word recognition, decoding and spelling instruction; oral reading fluency instruction; vocabulary instruction for reading comprehension; reading comprehension – literal and inferential processes; reading comprehension for narrative and informational text; use of technology in reading instruction


Dolores Perin

Dolores Perin, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology and Education and Chairperson in the Health and Behavior Studies Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. She directs the Applied Education Psychology: Reading Specialist Program, which prepares students for state certification as a Te...

Susan Masullo

Susan Garni Masullo, Ph.D. is a full time Senior Lecturer and Director of the Literacy Practicums in the Reading Specialist Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to coming to Teachers College, she had an extensive career as a reading/learning specialist working with children, ad...

Teaching Reading to Struggling Students at Teachers College Columbia University

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Information Technology

A large part of the courses provides basic information so the students are not required to have any IT qualifications before enrolling. Most of the IT learning programs are also broken down into specific areas of interest, such as systems analysis, a...

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