Standard 7: Preparation to Teach Reading-Language Arts

Standard 7-B:  Single Subject Reading, Writing and Related Language Instruction

The single subject teaching credential teacher preparation program provides substantive, research-based content literacy instruction (defined below) that effectively prepares each candidate to teach content-based reading and writing skills to a full range of students including struggling readers, students with special needs, English learners, speakers of non-standard English, and advanced learners. The single subject credential program prepares candidates to do the following:

  • demonstrate knowledge of components for effective instructional delivery in reading as described in the CA Reading/Language Arts Framework (2007). For example:
  • Orientation (e.g., engagement, teacher demonstration)
  • Presentation (e.g., explicit instruction, modeling, pacing)
  • Structured practice (e.g., reinforcement, questioning, feedback)
  • Guided practice (e.g., questioning, feedback, corrections, peer-mediated instruction)
  • use content-based literacy strategies (i.e., reading, writing, speaking, and listening) to facilitate learning of subject matter for the full range of learners in the classroom
  • identify California Content Standards for their subject that require literacy strategies and approaches (e. g., using historical research to interpret events in history-social science, using professional journal articles for science research)
  • be aware of and understand research-based instructional approaches that build fluency, comprehension and background knowledge; develop academic language, develop study and research skills, and teach writing in the discipline
  • use assessments (diagnostic, formative, and summative) for individualized content-based reading instruction in order to monitor student progress and demonstrate the linkage between assessment and instruction
  • provide systematic and explicit differentiated instruction in the content area to meet the needs of the full range of learners in the classroom (e.g., struggling readers, students with special needs, English learners, speakers of non-standard English, and advanced learners)

 Research-based content literacy includes:

  • Vocabulary development of words and terminology with general academic utility, as well as specialized vocabulary specific to the subject. Candidates will be prepared to teach the full range of students to do the following:
  • use derivations from Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon roots and affixes in reading assignments (when applicable)
  • learn new and important content vocabulary and review cumulatively and periodically during the school year 
  • read independently (at skill level) in the content areas in order to promote vocabulary development
  • use of context clues, apposition, and word structure/analysis
  • Academic languageappropriate to the subject that allows students to read, discuss, interpret, and understand content area documents applicable to the content area. Candidates will be prepared to teach the full range of students to do the following:
  • read and write using a wide variety of texts (e.g., evaluating, synthesizing, and analyzing articles and books for research) 
  • use professional language from a variety of sources
  • initiate and participate in discussions that extend their academic language
  • engage in independent reading from a variety of sources
  • Reading comprehensionstrategies and skills that allow students to access grade-level content material in order to activate background knowledge, make connections within and across disciplines, synthesize information, build fluency, and evaluate content area documents.Candidates will be prepared to teach the full range of students to:
  • experience a variety of informational texts reference works, including but not limited to magazines; newspapers; online information; instructional manuals; consumer, workplace, and public documents; signs; and selections listed in Recommended Literature, Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve
  • develop critical-thinking skills appropriate in all academic areas (e.g., synthesizing, paraphrasing, connecting to related topics, and extending ideas through original analysis, evaluation, and elaboration)
  • develop comprehension skills through writing (e.g., writing reports on historical investigations), speaking (e.g., delivering multimedia presentations), and listening (e.g., identifying logical fallacies in oral arguments)
  • Writingthat allows students to consolidate their subject matter understanding and demonstrate their knowledge using discipline-specific formats. Candidates will be prepared to teach students to:
  • develop strategies for organizing and giving focus to their writing with increased emphasis given to supporting documentation (e.g., support for all statements and claims through the use of anecdotes, descriptions, facts, statistics, and specific examples) and the extension of strategies (e.g., note taking, outlining, and summarizing)
  • apply the general strategies of organization, focus, revision, and research methodology described in the writing standards
  • establish a coherent controlling theme that conveys a clear and distinctive perspective on the subject and maintains a consistent tone and focus throughout the piece of writing
  • craft writing at the depth and complexity necessary for their subject matter and grade-level
  • to present research via multiple pathways in their writing, orally, and through technology, in accordance with their state-standard writing requirement.

In LEE 154, standard 7-B is addressed thoroughly and effectively through a two-pronged method. The course emphasizes the necessity of reaching and teaching all students, including those who are English learners, have special needs, are advanced or struggling.

The course provides a thorough grounding in the background, theory and applications of teaching English Learners. Teacher candidates are provided with historical context, well grounded and current research on effective EL instruction by Cummins, Krashen and others, law and debate surrounding the most effective school policies, and elaborate, step by step instruction on how to incorporate theory into practice to provide EL students with content based reading and writing skills, using the SIOP model. Teacher candidates understand the specific challenges faced by ELs and how best to overcome them. They learn to differentiate between BICS and CALP and to not mistake basic conversational skills for academic language proficiency. They understand the need to reinforce and strengthen first language skills in order to build second language skills.

The course is designed to fully integrate the theories behind reading and writing instruction for all learners. Teachers are given background knowledge on educational theory from thinkers such as Freire and Allan Luke, who advocate critical and functional literacy and problem posing education. They are guided through the process of creating an effective lesson plan that incorporates content area reading and writing. They gain practice in incorporating differentiation into each part of their lesson: content, process and product, in order to address both advanced learners as well as EL learners and struggling students and those with special needs.

Teacher candidates practice delivering lessons in small groups and individually. They are prepared to build on and activate prior knowledge before each content lesson, to use graphic organizers effectively to categorize and visualize knowledge. They are also given the tools to build motivation and engagement by choosing relevant curriculum and effective hooks, and to create a safe yet challenging atmosphere where real learning can take place. 

Teacher candidates understand the difference between academic and conversational language proficiency. They learn the academic registers of school and the various academic genres that are present. They learn to distinguish between effectively written textbooks and assessments and obscure ones, and how to help their students navigate both. They learn to build academic vocabulary and to incorporate content learning and language learning into each facet of their lesson plans.

Teacher candidates in LEE 154 are given extensive instruction on how to build content literacy at the text level, the paragraph level and the sentence and word level. They learn the importance of word analysis and teaching word skills such as phonics, root words and prefixes and suffixes. They are familiar with the challenges and hurdles faced by struggling students and learn ways to scaffold learning for those students.

Teacher candidates study the content standards and state testing language in order to effectively prepare students for the vocabulary that they will come across in the course as well as on the tests. They study the standards in order to pinpoint and practice the specific content literacy standards for their content area. (Cause and effect, sequences, timelines, compare and contrast, etc.)

Teacher candidates understand the need to prepare their students to navigate texts from all genres. They are familiar with the specific language skills needed to access texts such as newspapers, magazines, websites, textbooks and fiction and nonfiction that students will read. They are equipped to use read aloud think aloud strategies of inferencing, questioning, predicting and making text based connections in order to model for students how to access any text. They understand the importance of extensive independent reading for students to develop vocabulary comprehension and fluency.

LEE 154 is designed so that students experience first-hand the importance of speaking and writing to learn. Their experience includes weekly journal/log writing and discussion board postings, followed by informal small group and formal whole group oral interaction and mini lesson presentations. They also examine and experience stages of the writing process: generating ideas, drafting, responding and revising strategies, and editing for correctness. Finally they learn the importance of schema-building background, providing knowledge, and assessing students' prior knowledge as a basis for developing reading comprehension skills and composing skills in all content areas.

The final project for LEE 154 is to build and modify an actual content area lesson plan incorporating all of the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills covered in class. Lessons must incorporate differentiation for all learners, specific content literacy tools such as graphic organizers, critical literacy components through higher order questioning, accommodations for special needs, EL, and advanced students. Lessons must begin with an effective hook that makes material relevant and engaging, objectives must contain both content and language objectives that measure specific standards based criteria and activities must include effective instruction and modeling, guided practice, independent practice and built in questioning.

LEE 154 provides a thorough grounding in building content literacy skills for all learners by providing instruction, modeling, hands on practice and lesson planning exercises. Teacher candidates engage in all the skills they are expected to teach their students, including reading, writing, listening and speaking effectively.

Fieldwork, including student teaching, is designed to connect theory and practice in the area of language and literacy. All students are engaged in classroom instruction while taking LEE 154.

Master teachers are selected in part because they are effective instructors of language and literacy. (See the criteria for the selection of master teachers in the Student Teaching and Internship Handbook in the Appendix.) They also evaluate student performance in this area.  Reading instructors are included in the Single Subject faculty meeting that also includes student teaching supervisors at least twice per year.

Intern Program Delivery Model:

The intern pre-service component includes introductory preparation relative to Standard 7: Preparation to Teach Reading-Language Arts: Single Subject Reading, Writing and Related Language Instruction.

As part of their pre-service component, interns take CI 159 Curriculum and Instruction and SPED 121 Teaching Students with Special Needs in the General Secondary Setting, which give them introductory preparation relative to Standard 7 as previously described.

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