English 601

ENGL 601: Diversity in English Language Arts

Prerequisites: None

Credit Hours: (3)

This course investigates the nature of cultural, linguistic, literary, and exceptional diversity, including dialect communities and discourse communities.  Discourse styles among exceptional populations with varying levels of communicative competence such as autistic learners and ESL groups will also be covered.  Specific applications include the nature of communicative competence, of digital literacies, and the use of mediating devices (e.g., text-to-speech software, touchscreen tablets, e-readers, etc.) in communicative practice and in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) environments.  Students design lesson and unit plans for a variety of language arts topics and specifically for populations as noted above, and in alignment with Response to Intervention (RTI) and other contemporary curricular developments (e.g., Common Core, etc.)


Detailed Description of Course

ENGL 601 explores linguistic and cultural diversity as that diversity impacts, and is impacted by devices and issues such as touch-screen tablets and modified computer interfaces for assistive technology, role-playing engagements as narrative forms, dialectal variation in language communities across digital platforms and geographic spaces, language competence as a culturally mediated value, and literary quality as a culturally mediated value.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

ENGL 601 offers a variety of learning opportunities which may include but are not limited to student involvement in whole-class threaded discussions, small-group projects carried out through online collaboration, independent and collaborative research, individual reading responses to selections taken from reference texts (responses typically posted as journal entries for further discussion), individualized instructional planning activities for online and traditional delivery, peer editing and review work in threaded discussion spaces, and video and open publishing projects (blog, glog, wiki, vimeo, etc.).  Additional work may include traditional essays with researched content.  The intent is to encourage a thoughtful, reflective understanding of the dynamics of linguistic and cultural diversity along with recognition of the pragmatic needs of diverse language users in classrooms and society.  Attention will be devoted to digital technology as an assistive device for exceptional learners.


Goals and Objectives of this Course

 Upon completion of this course, successful graduate students in Diversity in English Language Arts will:

1. Be able to explain the nature of linguistic diversity as a culturally grounded behavior with profound implications for conceptual and cognitive phenomena.

2. Be able to name the traditionally accepted domains of descriptive linguistic inquiry for purposes of illuminating the dialectical and idiolectal diversity within English language populations, and to identify the performance domains impacted by specific exceptionalities (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, etc.).

3. Be able to distinguish clearly between language-based competence and performance, especially with respect to dialect communities and exceptional populations.

4. Know the specific strategies and interventions of language instruction that have shown research-based results in enhancing students’ communicative competence.

5. Be able to explain the purpose and intent of multiple, process-oriented activities useful to students of various ages and abilities as they negotiate varying audiences and domains of contextually appropriate usage.

6. Be competent to independently research and evaluate research findings related to topics in language diversity, language acquisition among diverse populations, diachronic and synchronic linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics.


Assessment Measures

ENGL 601 uses a variety of assessment measures, which may include  but is not limited to  the following:

• writing activities such as readers’ logs, journals and threaded discussions

• examinations on assigned readings

• essays on assigned topics and on student-selected topics

• formal, researched essays on assigned or student-selected topics

• digital media-based presentations and open publishing products such as blog entries and videos

• short instructional plans designed to address specific topics and audiences in language arts

• longer instructional plans designed to address multiple topics in language arts with an identifiable, shared theme


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

May 15, 2013