Graduate Academic Catalog 2019 - 2020 
    Apr 24, 2024  
Graduate Academic Catalog 2019 - 2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Reading and Language Program

Program Director: Martille R. Elias, Ph.D.


The Master of Arts in Reading and Language equips candidates to put literacy theory into practice, to become confident decision makers and to develop the skills to be change agents. Coursework and related experiences focus on the many factors that influence the development of language and literacy skills with particular emphasis on understanding foundational and theoretical perspectives, improving instruction and understanding relevant research as a means of guiding literacy practice. Candidates graduating from this program come to view literacies as cultural ways of thinking, reasoning and engaging, which support how we make meaning and get work done across multiple domains. The program helps teachers develop balanced and meaning-focused literacy instruction to serve all pupils, including English-language learners.

The reading and language program offers courses leading to a California reading certificate and a Master of Arts in Education with a reading/language arts emphasis. All courses for the certificate may be applied to the master's degree.

Visiting scholar seminars are an integral part of the master's degree program, providing opportunities for an exchange of ideas and information as well as for the pursuit of individual research. Highly qualified instructors who have both practical and theoretical knowledge of issues in reading and language arts instruction teach all courses. Courses follow an interactive rather than a lecture format with an emphasis on practical application of concepts studied.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Candidates develop a strong, coherent vision of a culture of literacy at school and community levels which acknowledges that language and literacy experiences are individual and that cultural contexts impact instruction and learning.
  2. Candidates articulate the reciprocal nature of language, reading and writing processes in the development of effective literacy practices and demonstrate an understanding of the power of language and literacy competency in shaping their students' academic identities and social capital.
  3. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of contrasting theories of learning and literacy from several perspectives—sociological, psychological, linguistic—and how these contrasting theories of learning are a reflection of the broader debates in literacy education.
  4. Based on an analysis of current, high-quality literacy research, candidates will create effective literacy learning environments strongly rooted in a theoretical base that engage all students including English Language Learners, and design and carry out appropriate literacy instruction based on the needs of individual students, including struggling readers/writers
  5. Candidates develop a repertoire of assessment and evaluation strategies to analyze learners' strengths and next learning steps as readers and writers and create strategic interventions and approaches to support individual literacy development.
  6. Candidates will understand 21st century literacies, including a semiotic perspective that embraces a variety of sign systems to enhance the meaning-making process, and will be able to articulate how critical pedagogy and critical literacy create a framework for them to enact work in diverse, urban, and multicultural settings.
  7. Candidates will articulate an understanding of current standards in the field and will demonstrate how to engagingly embed these standards in pedagogical practice.

Admissions Requirements

  • Three current reference forms
  • Interview with program director
  • Writing sample
  • Copy of preliminary teaching credential
  • Letter of explanation if GPA is under 3.0