Foundations of Early Literacy: Alphabetics, Grades Prek - 2

Learning to read is biologically, cognitively, socially, emotionally, and culturally transformative. Literacy serves as a pathway to acquiring knowledge, community engagement, cultural connection, and career fulfillment (Castles et al., 2018). Illiteracy perpetuates inequity. According to the World Literacy Foundation (2021), low literacy correlates to poor physical and mental health outcomes, workplace accidents, misuse of medication, participation in crime, and poor economic outcomes, all of which have substantial additional social and economic costs. Illiteracy and low levels of literacy cost the global economy approximately $1.19 trillion annually.

Psychological science and neuroscience provide an extensive, converging body of research about how children learn to read, how reading changes the brain, and proven instructional methods. This course is grounded in such scientific evidence. The course begins by framing causes of illiteracy through a lens of equity, inclusion, and access. Subsequent modules will focus on evidence-based practices to support the development of letter knowledge, phonological awareness, phonics, and word analysis. Applying credible reading research to classroom practice provides students with a solid foundation to grow more advanced literacy skills and develop a passion for reading. A special focus of the course will be scaffolding support for neurodiverse students with dyslexia, multilingual learners, and speakers of African American Languages.

This course consists of four core modules, each of which includes a combination of activities to help you learn the course content, transfer your learning to practice, reflect on your learning, and fully master the content.

  1. Equity through Access to High-Quality Early Literacy Instruction
  2. The ABCs of Letter ID
  3. Hearing the Sounds of Language: Phonological Awareness
  4. Teaching the Alphabetic Principle: Phonics and Word Analysis





Demonstrating Knowledge of Content & Pedagogy


Designing Coherent Instruction


Using Assessment in Instruction


Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness