Online Course Description – Comprehending Language

Comprehending Language: Reading & Listening

(Previously titled Receptive Language: Strategies for Comprehension)

15-Hour Course: $325 (add 1 credit for an additional fee) | 3-Credit Course: $850

Special rates available for groups of 4 or more.

This 15-hour professional development course addresses language skill development with a focus on reading and listening. Informal assessments of receptive language skills and models of instructional strategies that build students’ language skills are also included. As a result of the learning experiences in the course, participants will become more competent in their ability to:

  • Differentiate between and understand the connection of LBLD, auditory processing deficits, and attention
  • Informally assess student work to identify strengths and weaknesses by categorizing receptive and expressive errors
  • Implement and differentiate strategies and study skills to help students to better manage the demands of language in the areas of vocabulary development, listening comprehension, reading comprehension and pragmatic language
  • Scaffold language instruction in order to appropriately individualize for students with diverse learning needs

The course is divided into six, self-paced modules.

  • Understanding Receptive Language: This module presents an introduction to receptive language development, including information about the diagnosis of language disorders and research-based best practices for building language skills.
  • Structure of Language: This module unit explains the facets of language (receptive and expressive) and how they contribute to the effective comprehension and communication skills necessary to achieve successfully in school, suggesting an approach to informal assessment of student skill with different facets of language.
  • Developing Vocabulary: This module introduces word knowledge as a foundation for comprehension, provides examples of interferences that inhibit comprehension, and suggests approaches to building students’ word skills.
  • Developing Listening Comprehension: This module describes how this often assumed aspect of comprehension can interfere with learning, links listening comprehension to the previous and subsequent units, and offers practical instructional approaches to support and develop students’ listening comprehension.
  • Developing Reading Comprehension: This module outlines the complex language demands of reading, and it introduces specific and practical approaches to teaching students routines for written language processing.
  • Developing Pragmatic Language Comprehension: This module extends the other 5 sections by explaining the importance of social and nonverbal language comprehension to overall language comprehension, inviting participants to synthesize their learning from other units in the course.

Each module will follow the same basic outline:

  • A pre-assessment.
  • A definition and overview video followed by a short quiz.
  • An impact on learning video that provides specific information about how the topic covered in that unit relates to academic proficiency followed by an assignment.
  • A strategy demonstration made up of short video clips of Landmark School teachers employing the strategy at different levels followed by an online threaded discussion.
  • A summation of the unit followed by a concluding thoughts activity.
  • A post-assessment.

Specific Assignments:

  • Pre and Post-Assessments: These ungraded questionnaires will be used to self-assess knowledge and application of course content.
  • Quizzes: The quizzes will assess comprehension of the content from the required reading. The quizzes will be automatically graded within the course platform. Although participants must earn an 80% or higher to move on to the next section of the course, there are unlimited attempts allowed.  
  • Discussion Posts: The discussions will require participants to post an initial response and reply to at least one other post.  
  • Assignments: The assignments in each module will require participants to put theory into practice as they read and follow the specific directions, and use examples provided as a guideline for format, length, and quality of writing. These tasks will be assessed using specific rubrics.
  • Concluding Thoughts: These tasks require participants to synthesize three key takeaways from the module and will be assessed using specific rubrics.
  • Written Reflection: This final 750-word reflection will require participants to reflect on the course content and its future application. This task will be assessed using a specific rubric.

There is not a required text for the course.

This course was possible thanks to the support of The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.

See our FAQ page for specific information about our online courses.

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“I loved the quality of the information I received as well as the opportunity to share information in meaningful discussions. Taking this class was a very rewarding and enriching experience!”

– Carmen Flores

Reading Specialist

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