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This course examines the processes through which speaking, listening, reading and writing are acquired by young children. Through course readings, discussion, and hands-on experiences, students will develop an understanding of the ways in which theory and research in the fields of language development, linguistic diversity, socio-cultural perspectives, and special education form an essential basis for effective literacy teaching. Each student will observe and work with an individual child, trying out methods and materials in order to develop first-hand awareness of the reading and writing process, and roles of the teacher and child in that process. Through this integration of theory and practice, students will develop an understanding of the ways in which (1) literacy acquisition draws upon the personal, cultural, and linguistic experiences of all learners; (2) literacy acquisition can be facilitated through technology; (3) teachers can and should be the constructors of literacy curriculum that meets the needs of diverse learners; (4) assessment and instruction are ongoing and integrated processes; and (5) effective literacy education is the outcome of the collaboration of home, school, and community.