Course Descriptions

SPED 5173:  Introduction to Dyslexia: Literacy Development and the Structure of Language will be offered in the spring and summer semesters. The main focus of this course will be on developing an understanding of dyslexia and the Orton-Gillingham remediation approach. Students will learn the definition and characteristics of dyslexia, and how to teach a person with dyslexia using a systematic, multisensory approach. Students will examine the historical development of English and its relevance to language disabilities. Students will study the scientific basis of reading and will utilize foundational concepts of oral and written language, including the structure of language to assess child's reading difficulties and plan appropriate instruction. An in-depth study on the critical elements of language that includes orthography, morphology, phonetics, phonology, semantics, and syntax. Students will complete exercises to test and reinforce their own knowledge of language content after each lesson. Each participant will complete 12 hours of field experience with a child. Students will observe and work with a child with reading difficulties. Six hours will be with a child at the K-6th level and six hours with a child at the 7-12th grade level. Students will use the knowledge and techniques taught during the online lectures and assignments. This course will touch upon screenings and assessment of students' with reading disabilities, literacy development, skills & intervention which will help connect them to the next course in the program.

SPED 5873: Assessment and Programming for Students with Disabilities will focus on the methods and techniques for assessing children in all areas of exceptionality. There will be a strong emphasis in the screening and as assessment process, and how to determine if a student has characteristics of Dyslexia. Students will learn how to select, administer, and interpret a wide range of formal and informal assessments. Students will then use the results to improve instruction.  A detailed analysis of the Response to Intervention (RTI) process and how to progress monitor students with reading/writing difficulties will be incorporated into the course. Students will complete 32 hours of field experience that will take he or she through the process of identifying, assessing, and planning for individuals with reading struggles. Particular attention is paid to the theory, practice and interpretation of tests to prepare participants. The course will continue to explore the nature of dyslexia, supporting theories and research on language processing difficulties and their implications for teaching, learning and developing support. This knowledge base offers a range of real-world methodology for diagnosing and teaching learners with dyslexia paying special attention to his or her learning style.

SPED 5683:  Teaching Literacy Skills to Students with Disabilities offers a detailed study of how to systematically and explicitly teach essential reading skills to students with disabilities or those at-risk for learning difficulties. This course focuses on cognitive and advanced linguistic structures of the English language and phonetic concepts as they relate to reading and spelling. Focus on accommodations, modifications, and teaching strategies, which include multisensory structured language (MSSL) techniques that may be used for children with dyslexia in the regular classroom and intensive therapy. Students in this course will learn how to effectively teach struggling readers. Students will take more in depth look at that development of English and its relevance to language disabilities. Students will study the foundational concepts of oral and written language, including the structure of language to assess children's reading difficulties and plan appropriate instruction. Students will have an advance study in the critical elements of language development, which includes orthography, morphology, phonetics, phonology, semantics, and syntax. Students will complete exercises to test and reinforce their own knowledge of language content after each lesson.  They will then be expected to apply this knowledge in their field experience.  During the 20 hours field experience, students will be required to work with one student who is identified at-risk and is reading below grade level. Students will be required to collect CBM data and plan reading instruction based on interpretation of the collected data.

SPED 5633: In the Curriculum Development for students with Dyslexia students will participate in curriculum development and instructional planning for children that struggle in reading and writing. Students will teach and demonstrate therapy practices using knowledge across all five skills identified in the National Reading Panel (NRP) report (phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension).  This course provides instruction based on the Orton- Gillingham approach, a phonetic, linguistics based, structured and multisensory approach for teaching reading and spelling. It is a systematic and cumulative approach involving intensive reinforcement for best results. Students will learn how to use Multiple Sensory Language teaching in inclusive setting, small groups, and one-on-one with children with dyslexia. This course incorporates 20 hours field experience that is split between k-6 and 7-12 grade levels.  Each student will teach at least 3 multi-sensory lessons that he or she has developed for 2 different grade levels and obtain feedback from the classroom teacher.

SPED 5543:Dyslexia Practicum and Case Study is a course on performing the roles and responsibilities of a Dyslexia Therapist in the field of education. Students will apply his or her knowledge and skills by completing a case study on student that struggles to read.  Performance of the roles and responsibilities are carried out with the guidance of mentors and University of Arkansas faculty supervision. Each participant completes a100 hours of practicum experience, where he or she will be assigned students to provide intervention. During this time, participants will submit a minimum of 5 video recordings of his or her teaching. Participants will be evaluated and must have at least 4 satisfactory level lessons in order to pass the course. Students will be evaluated using Charlotte Danielson's Framework for teaching rubric and additional instructor rubric. Students will submit observations, screenings, assessments, lesson plans, and progress monitoring data along with videos.   Students will continue to have discussion activities, lesson quizzes, and journal critiques within this course.