Reading 641

EDRD 641: Assessment and Intervention for Language Development

Prerequisites: EDRD 688, EDRD 314 and 414

Cross-Listed: EDSP 641

Credit Hours: (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide knowledge concerning the development of language skills from birth to maturity, the relationship between thought and language, and language differences as a result of disability, culture, and life experiences.  Students will learn strategies for assessment and intervention in the areas of oral language development, word knowledge/spelling, and written language acquisition.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The purpose of this course is to provide knowledge concerning the development of language skills from birth to maturity, the relationship between thought and language, and language differences as a result of disability, culture, and life experiences. Key topics of study will include:

  • Critical issues related to culture, disability, language and schooling
  • Oral language development
  • Word knowledge/spelling development
  • Written language acquisition
  • Assessment techniques
  • Instructional techniques and interventions that address language skills


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Class sessions for this course include guided discussion about readings, hands-on activities, peer collaboration, audio-visual presentations, book discussions, guest speakers, role-playing, quick writes and applied technology assignments.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills.

The codes included below refer to the CEC Knowledge and Skill Standards and the Virginia  Department of Education teacher licensure competencies. Code for CEC Standards: CC = Common Core; GC = General Curriculum. Code for VADOE Standards: VGC = Virginia’s General Curriculum;  VPS = Virginia’s Professional Studies; VRS = Virginia’s Reading Specialist.  Also included are the Standards for Reading Professionals as articulated by the International Reading Association (IRA).

Upon completion of this course the student will demonstrate understanding of/ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of formal and informal assessments for evaluating students' oral and written language proficiency (IRA 3.1, 3.3; VRS 2a)
  • Recognize how to use assessment data to diagnose the language needs of, and tailor instruction for, individual students. (VGC 2b3; GC6K1; IRA 3.3)  
  • Identify instructional strategies to build students' oral communication skills, to help students to use oral language for different purposes, and to facilitate the use of oral language for critical thinking and creative expression. (CC6S1; CC6S2)
  • Recognize characteristics of one's own culture and use of language and the ways in which these can differ from other cultures and uses of language (CC6K3; IRA 1.3)
  • Demonstrate expertise in developing students’ phonological awareness skills. (VRS 2b)
  • Recognize how to create a learning environment that is respectful of, and responsive to, linguistic and cultural diversity (CC6K1; IRA 2.2, 2.3, 4.2; VRS 6c)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the complex nature of language acquisition and the unique needs of students with language delays and disorders. (VPS 5; VGC 2b3; GC6K3; IRA 1.1; VRS 2d, 6d)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of augmentative and assistive communication systems and strategies for individuals with exceptional learning needs (CC6K4)
  • Recognize spelling as developmental in nature. (IRA, 2.2)
  • Recognize the connection between students' invented spellings and their understanding of phonetic principles. (VGC2b3; IRA 2.2; VRS 3a)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of systematic spelling assessment and instruction, including strategies for helping students recognize common orthographic patterns and strategies for helping students generalize spelling knowledge by transferring what they learn in spelling lessons to their own writing (e.g. word sorts, word families/ spelling patterns).(VGC 2b3; GC6S2; IRA 1.4, 2.3, VRS 3a, 4b)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate assessments and instructional strategies for promoting students' knowledge  and use of writing mechanics, including grammar, punctuation, and capitalization as well as strategies for composition, revision and editing strategies within writer's workshop approaches. (VPS 5; VGC 2b3; GC4S15; GC6S3; GC6S4; IRA 3.1, 3.3; VRS 1a, 3d, 4c)
  • Demonstrate effective strategies for facilitating the learning of standard English by speakers of other languages and dialects. (VRS 2c)
  • Demonstrate the ability to promote creative thinking and expression, as through storytelling, drama, choral/oral reading, etc. (VRS 2e)


Assessment Measures

Small Group Research Projects

Developmental Spelling Assessment and Instruction Project – This is a key assessment for NCATE Candidate Performance Assessment in Special Education: High Incidence Disabilities. 

Informal Written Expression Assessment and Structured Lesson Plan Project


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

04/14/94 - modified - John E. Sycamore

5/22/95 - reviewed - Robert Lockwood

04/09/98 - reviewed - Judy B. Engelhard

11/20/01 - revised - Anita Corey & Judy B. Engelhard

10/2008 - Course title change; course revision; pre-requisite change - Cheri Triplett/Debora Bays