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Language & Literacy (Reading Specialist)

Language & Literacy (Reading Specialist)

The Language and Literacy program provides training for educators who teach learners with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, and other disorders that interfere with age-appropriate reading, writing, and expressive language skills. This research-based program incorporates multi-sensory structured language methodologies for use in both specialized and general education settings. Coursework, fieldwork, and clinical experiences emphasize visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile methods designed to reach all learning styles. Language and Literacy courses address the five areas of reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. In May 2012, the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) recognized Simmons as one of 10 university programs in the U.S. that have met the standards outlined in the IDA's Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. The IDA Standards provide the most thorough, research-supported documentation of what every teacher ought to know and be able to demonstrate, whether they are teaching dyslexic students, other struggling readers or the general student population.  

"There is no better program for teachers or administrators than the Simmons Language and Literacy Program. As an employer of special education professionals, it is my goal to hire every graduate of this program."
—Sarah Goodrich, '04 M.S.ED. Language and Literacy
Title I Coordinator, North Adams, Massachusetts

This 44-credit program includes mentored teaching internships, with training in literature and writing instruction, the Wilson Language System, consultation techniques, and program management and evaluation, with the opportunity to earn Massachusetts licensure as a reading specialist for additional credits (teaching practicum). Courses are offered on weeknights, weekends, and, occasionally, as one-week sessions.

Degree Options

Students may pursue a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) or an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree — an advanced degree that provides students who currently hold a master's degree with an area of educational specialization. Each program of study is individually designed in consultation with the program coordinator and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Candidates who have earned graduate credits for Wilson Level I Certification may apply to transfer up to four graduate credits into the Language and Literacy program.