UNM Home Page College of Education Homepage

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies




Summer Institute

First Language Literacy Acquisition & Development

Summer Institute 1991

Instructor: Holbrook Mahn
Credit Hours: 3
Place: East San Jose Elementary School
Office: Hokona 212
Phone 277-7981; home: 881-7981
e-mail: hmahn@unm.edu

Course Description and Rationale:
This course will examine theories of first language literacy acquisition and development. It is the first part of a two course sequence, the second part of which is second language literacy acquisition and development. Institute participants will examine literacy from a number of different perspectives and then building on their understanding, we will examine practical classroom applications that will facilitate the acquisition and development of literacy. Initially, we will discuss a methodological approach to study literacy and then explore the historical development of literacy, as a prelude to studying the processes at play as an individual acquires and develops literacy at home and at school.

1. To develop a methodological approach to study first language literacy acquistion and development.
2. To examine the historical development of literacy and construct a definition of literacy.
3. To examine the way that literacy develops in a child's first five years.
4. Based on that understanding to develop a pedagogical approach that builds on that development.
5. To critique current approaches to the teaching of literacy.
6. To develop classroom practices that reflect participants' own developing conception of literacy acquisition and development.
7. To understand the relationship between literacy and technology and how to integrate them in the classroom.
8. To do a Webquest and then develop one to be used in participants' own classroom.

Course Assignments:
Journalling (10%)
-- Each participant will be partnered with both an ESL elementary student and with an ESL adult to do a dialogue journal. These will be exchanged daily with institute participants collecting the journals at the end of the day, responding to them, and having them ready at the beginning for their partners at the beginning of the following day.

WebQuest (20%) -- Each participant will participate in a Webquest and then develop one that is appropriate to the age level and content area for their own classroom. Click Here to go to the web site.


Course Schedule

Session 1 --Topic: Introduction of the Course and discussion of Methodological Approach
Sociocultural Approaches to Learning and Development -- A Vygotskian Framework

Session 2 -- Topic: The Historical Development of Literacy
Ancient Mesopotamia, Cuneiform Tablets and the Origins of Writing (Note: Turn off images before loading this page. In Netscape go to "Edit" menu, open "Preferences" go to "Advanced" and click the box to turn off images. The page loads extremely slowly otherwise.)
The Origin and Development of Writing in Mesopotamia: An Economic Interpretation
Some Anthropological Aspects of the Origin of Writing
Origins of Mesoamerican Writing
Ancient Mesoamerican Writing

Origins of Chinese Writing
The Origin of Some Chinese Words and Signs

Session 3 -- Topic: The Prehistory of Written Language
Reading: Vygotsky
Role of Gesture in Literacy Acquisition

Session 4 -- Topic: Emergent and Family Literacy
What Is Emergent Literacy?
Emergent Literacy Project
What Is Family Literacy?
Even Start Family Literacy

Session 5 -- Topic: Introduction to Literacy at School

Session 6 -- Topic: Approaches to Facilitating the Reading Process
What's Basic in Beginning Reading? Finding Common Ground
No End to the Reading Wars
Phonics and Whole Language (Links to articles)
Links on "Reading Wars"
Whole Language Lives

Session 7 -- Topic: Approaches to Facilitating the Writing Process

Session 8 -- Topic: Helping Low Progress Readers and Writers

Session 9 -- Topic: Literacy and Students with Exceptionalities
Orchestrating the Thought and Learning of Struggling Writers

Session 10 -- Topic: Literacy in Secondary and Higher Education

Session 11 -- Topic: Adult and Workplace Literacy

Session 12 -- Assessment

Session 13-- Topic: Literacy and Technology


UNM Home
College of Education