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					                                                             Winter 2006 EDU 421   1

                         Bishops’ University
                        School of Education
             EDU 421: Methods in Teaching Language Arts 1
                            Winter 2006

Instructor: Jim Slocombe
Office: Champlain 312
Tel.: (819) 564- 3666, Ext. 319
Office Hours: Mondays/Wednesdays 13.30 – 14.30 or by appointment

Course Text (Mandatory): Bright, R.M., Pollard, M.J., Tomkins, G.E. & Winsor,
P.J.T. (2002). Language Arts: Content and teaching strategies (3rd Canadian
Ed.). Toronto, ONT: Pearson.
Accompanying Website:

The purpose of this course is to introduce pre-service teachers to the teaching of
Language Arts in the elementary school. Attention will be focused upon how
elementary students learn to use each of the Language Arts: listening, speaking,
reading, writing, and viewing in the classroom setting, and what teachers can do
to facilitate this learning. Current research will be examined pertaining to the
development of these skills and be considered in the light of classroom
experience. This course will focus primarily on the research on and development
of oral language and reading skills, although due attention will be given to the
interconnectedness of all the Language Arts.

Students will be expected to attend class, be punctual, and stay for the duration.
Absences should be accounted for in advance whenever possible, and all missed
assignments must be made up by arrangement with the instructor. All work must
be submitted on the assigned date, and late submissions will not be accepted
without prior arrangement. Late work submitted after the due date without prior
permission will receive a mark of 0.

Course Objectives
1. To develop an understanding of the role of language in the elementary
2. To develop an understanding of the process of language learning, particularly
the process of learning to read written language.
3. To examine structural methods and materials for the enhancement of
language acquisition in the classroom.
4. To devise appropriate language activities for the elementary classroom.
5. To devise appropriate means for monitoring students' language development.
6. To become familiar with MEQ Educational Programme for Elementary
Language Arts.
                                                                Winter 2006 EDU 421    2

Assignments                        Value                 Due Dates

Major Project                       50%                  By arrangement

Annotated Bibliography              30%                  March 22

Writer's Notebook                   20%                  April 12


Major Project
For the Major Project, students (in groups of four) must take responsibility for
teaching one chapter of the text. Each group will submit a written (maximum)
four-page summary of the chapter. The summary should identify the salient
points of the particular chapter covered. Each group will also write an eight page
response and will be expected to refer to at least four other references (books,
journals, articles) in discussion of the topics covered. The response should
include a discussion of these points, along with reference to research on the
topic, as well as to personal experience. The APA style must be adopted for
referencing all research documents. Each group will be responsible for
conducting an hour-long in-class presentation based on the selected chapter,
including a lesson of thirty minutes’ duration.

Marks will be assigned as follows:
Summary: 5
Response: 10
Lesson and Lesson Plans (and MEQ connections): 10
Overall Presentation: 20
Technical Accuracy: 5

Annotated Bibliography
For this assignment students must compile a collection of ten books that they
plan to use with future classes. With each entry, students must include a short
(half page) summary of the story, a critique of the book, a suggested age and
reading level, and a justification for its inclusion in the bibliography. Each entry
should be a maximum of two pages in length. All references must be entered in
APA style and the bibliography should be prefaced with an introduction. Each
entry is worth 2 marks, with the extra 10 marks given for the introduction (3
marks), mechanics (3 marks), and presentation/justification (4 marks).
                                                                Winter 2006 EDU 421   3

Writer's Notebook
Ten classes will include a writing activity that can be used with elementary-aged
children, as well as with older students and adults. Students are expected to
keep these writing assignments and assemble them into a notebook to be
submitted in the last class. For full marks, students must include all ten of the
writing activities, presented in an orderly fashion, with two of the pieces of writing
in a polished form. Apart from the polished piece, these are drafts, and thus
errors in spelling and grammar will not lead to lost marks. The important thing for
this assignment is to get involved in each writing activity and keep a record of
what you have done.

Tentative Course Schedule

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
Introduction to participants, course, textbook, assignments, and expectations
First writing assignment (1)

Monday, January 16th, 2006
Writing assignment (2)
Chapter 1: Learning and the Language Arts
Cognitive structures
The learning process
Learning strategies

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006
Chapter 1 (cont’d)
Language systems
Diversity, bilingualism, and second language
Culture, aesthetics, and gender

Monday, January 23rd, 2006
Writing assignment (3)
Chapter 2: Teaching Language Arts
Physical arrangements
The language-rich classroom
The Internet
                                                                Winter 2006 EDU 421   4

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
Chapter 2 (cont’d)
Resource-based units
Thematic units
Inquiry-based units
Reading and Writing Workshops
Teacher roles
Individual needs
Monitoring, assessment, grading, and evaluation

Monday, January 30th, 2006
Chapter 3: The Reading and Writing Processes
The reading process (preparing, reading, responding, exploring)
Extending (Integrated curriculum)
Teaching the reading process
Individual needs
The Langer process

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
Chapter 3 (cont’d)
The writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, publishing)
Teaching the writing process
Individual needs
Connections between reading and writing
Other constructions

Monday, February 6th, 2006
Writing assignment (4)
Chapter 4: Emergent Literacy
Fostering interest
Concepts (written language and alphabet)
Adapting resource-based units
Adapting reading workshop

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006
Chapter 4 (cont’d)
Alternative teaching strategies
Introducing emergent readers to writing
Individual needs
                                                        Winter 2006 EDU 421   5

Monday, February 13th, 2006
Writing assignment (5)
Chapter 5: Listening and Speaking in the Classroom
The listening process
Teaching listening
Strategies for aesthetic listening
Reading aloud to students
Teaching and assessing aesthetic listening
Strategies for efferent listening
Teaching and assessing efferent listening
Individual needs

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
Chapter 5 (cont’d)
Conducting conversations
Types of conversations
Small-group conversations
Public speaking
Assessment of speaking abilities
Conversations about literature
Conversations during thematic units
Oral reports

Monday, February, 20th, 2006
Writing assignment (6)
Chapter 6: Viewing and Visually Representing
Viewing processes
Viewing purposes
Teaching viewing strategies
Persuasion and propaganda
Strategies for critical viewing and listening

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Chapter 6 (cont’d)
Purposes for representing
Teaching representation strategies
Assessing students’ critical viewing and representing
                                                            Winter 2006 EDU 421   6

Monday, March 6th, 2006
Chapter 7: The Language Arts and the Fine Arts
Integrating Fine Arts and Language Arts
Reader’s theatre
Planning drama
Story drama

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
Chapter 7 (cont’d)
Drama techniques
Drama exercises
Drama and building understanding
Language Arts and Dance

Monday, March 13th, 2006
Chapter 8: Reading and Writing Stories and Poetry
Story elements
Assessing students’ understanding of stories
Aesthetic reading
Teaching stories
Assessing students’ understanding
Playing with words
Poetic devices
Teaching students to read poetry
Poetry genres (in terms of reading)
Assessment of experience

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006
Chapter 8 (cont’d)
Writing retellings of stories
Assessment by rubrics
Journals (personal, dialogue, reading response (logs), double-entry, simulated)
Writing poetry (formula, free-form, syllable- and word-count, rhyming)
Models of poetry
Teaching students to write poetry
Assessment of poetry-writing
                                                           Winter 2006 EDU 421   7

Monday, March 20th, 2006
Writing assignment (7)
Chapter 9: Reading and Writing Information
Expository text structures
Reading and learning from expository writing
Reports (collaborative, individual)
Teaching and assessing report-writing

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
Chapter 9 (cont’d)
Letters (friendly, business, simulated)
Teaching and assessing letter-writing
Individual needs

Monday, March 27th, 2006
Chapter 10: Words and the Language Tools to use them: Spelling, Grammar,
and Handwriting
History of the English Language (Old English, Middle English, Modern English)
Root words and affixes
Synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms
Multiple meanings
Idioms and metaphors
New words
Word-study activities
Teaching word-meanings

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006
Chapter 10 (cont’d)
Why teach grammar?
Grammatical concepts
Teaching grammar
Assessing students’ knowledge of grammar
Spelling development
Teaching and assessing spelling
Handwriting forms
Handwriting development
Planning instruction
Assessing and correcting handwriting
                                                           Winter 2006 EDU 421   8

Monday, April 3rd, 2006
Writing assignment (9)
Chapter 11: Putting It All Together
Culturally conscious literature
The importance of culture and diversity
Strategies for teaching culturally diverse students
Resource-based units (development)
Primary-Grade resource-based unit on a novel
Middle-Grade resource-based unit on an author
Upper-Grade resource-based unit on a recognized work of fiction

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
Chapter 11 (cont’d)
Thematic unit or inquiry-based unit (development)
Using content-area textbooks
Primary-Grade thematic unit on money
Middle-Grade thematic-based unit on birds
Upper-Grade thematic-based unit on the industrial Revolution

Monday, April 10th, 2006
Writing assignment (10)
Chapter 11 (cont’d)
Establishing a workshop environment
Setting up a Readers’ Workshop
Variations of Readers’ Workshop
Setting up a Writers’ Workshop
Variations of Writers’ Workshop

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006
The final word
                                                              Winter 2006 EDU 421   9

                    Marking Criteria: Letter Grade Definitions

Letter Grade               Percent Range                      Description

     A                       80 - 100%                 Work of outstanding

This mark will be given for exemplary work that demonstrates excellent
comprehension of the subject, exceptional thoughtfulness, and an inquiring mind.
The assignment shows evidence of a high level of critical scrutiny of texts and
discussions and a willingness to explore ideas beyond what has been presented
and an ability to question and evaluate critically the student's own thinking and
learning processes. The assignment illustrates a high degree of personal
engagement with the topic and makes connections that are deep and insightful.
The assignment frequently gives credence to articulate and innovative ideas
based on broad background; it is creative and thought-provoking and consistently
integrates broad orientations towards language and learning.

     B                       68 - 79%           Work of good quality with no
                                                     major weaknesses

This mark will be given for strong work that demonstrates in-depth
comprehension of the subject. There is evidence of articulate and critical insights
and a demonstration of thoughtful use of existing knowledge of the subject.
There is also evidence of a willingness to engage actively in the learning
experiences of the course, and an illustration of personal and meaningful
connections. There is also evidence of critical reflection, questioning, and
creativity in the assignment.

     C                        55 - 67%                 Adequate work

This mark will be given for satisfactory work showing no major weaknesses in
comprehension of the subject. The assignment shows few original or critical
insights, but the background knowledge is adequate. There is evidence of
personal involvement in the learning experience, and the assignment meets all
objectives and requirements; however, the work needs further development in
the areas of critical reflection, inquiry, and creativity.