Language Literacy Acquisition & Development
Instructor: Holbrook Mahn
Credit Hours: 3
Place: East San Jose Elementary School
Office: Hokona 212
Phone 277-7981; home: 881-7981
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
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
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.
Session 1 --Topic: Introduction
of the Course and discussion of Methodological Approach
Approaches to Learning and Development -- A Vygotskian Framework
Session 2 -- Topic: The Historical
Development of Literacy
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
The Origin and Development
of Writing in Mesopotamia: An Economic Interpretation
Aspects of the Origin of Writing
of Mesoamerican Writing
of Chinese Writing
The Origin of Some
Chinese Words and Signs
Session 3 -- Topic: The Prehistory
of Written Language
of Gesture in Literacy Acquisition
Session 4 -- Topic: Emergent and
Is Emergent Literacy?
Is Family Literacy?
Start Family Literacy
Session 5 -- Topic: Introduction
to Literacy at School
Session 6 -- Topic: Approaches to
Facilitating the Reading Process
Basic in Beginning Reading? Finding Common Ground
No End to the
Whole Language (Links to articles)
on "Reading Wars"
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
the Thought and Learning of Struggling Writers
Session 10 -- Topic: Literacy in
Secondary and Higher Education
Session 11 -- Topic: Adult and Workplace
Session 12 -- Assessment
Session 13-- Topic: Literacy and