Skip Navigation
search: People | Departments | Penn State | Web
Penn State mark
Penn State mark

University Bulletin

Graduate Degree Programs

Language and Literacy Education (LL ED)

LL ED 450 Content Area Reading (3) Study of reading skills and materials for specific content areas; diagnostic and instructional procedures for classroom teachers.

LL ED 450 Content Area Reading (3)

LLED 450 is designed to explore the roles of texts and literacies within the daily lives of middle school age students. We will examine both in-school and out-of-school literacy practices related to meaning-making in specific communities of practice. In doing so, we will work from a broader definition of “text” that includes print, images, sound, hybrid combinations and artifacts from popular culture. In school, we examine how literacies are involved in the learning of content, emphasizing how social practices of thinking in different ways about the world have been organized into school subjects and how teachers can help students to engage productively in those practices. Out of school, we look at the ways in which this age group uses text and other forms of literacy to make sense of and in their lives. Toward that end, we look closely at the media that they use and the types of texts that are produced for and by them. Although we honor the traditional practices of academic disciplines, we recognize how new texts and tasks ford those boundaries in order to pose and address school and everyday problems.

The basic goals of this course are to help teacher candidates to use language well and thoughtfully concerning literacy, text, and culture; and to think through instructional problems thoroughly, using multiple sources of information to experiment with alternative solutions. We also expect candidates to understand the roles that culture plays in literacy practices, texts, schooling and assessments of “ability”; to learn how people function effectively in groups; and to develop a repertoire of organizational, instructional, and assessment strategies.

This course considers how intermediate grades and middle schools are communities of practice that connect disciplines through the use of language and texts to make sense of the world. The communities surrounding schools influence these uses, and this course follows the students’ learning outside the classroom and schools as well as within.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2014
Prerequisite: EDPSY 014 or teaching experience

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.