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Arkansas State University

Learn to Teach Reading at All Levels

If you are interested in teaching reading and literacy, a master’s degree in reading program can prepare you to teach the full range of literacy learners, from students in kindergarten through twelfth grade and on to adult learners.

Earning a master’s degree in reading may require a series of ten or more three-credit courses. The following are ten required courses in the Master of Science in Education in Reading program at Arkansas State University, which covers literacy through the adolescent years.

  • Theory and Practice in Teaching Reading.
  • Perspectives on Professionalism in Education.
  • The National Writing Project Model: Processes of Writing.
  • Emergent Literacy Birth through Primary Years.
  • Reading Practicum I — Diagnosis and Intervention.
  • Adolescent Literacy.
  • Principles of Literacy Cognition.
  • Literacy for Diverse Learners.
  • Introduction to Statistics and Research.
  • Reading Practicum II — Leadership and Literacy.

7 Important Literacy Subjects for All Ages

  1. Print awareness: The student’s realization that letters represent spoken language.
  2. Sounds of speech: A child learning to distinguish sounds in order to understand a language.
  3. Phonemic awareness: A student’s ability to detect, think about and work with individual sounds.
  4. Fluency: A student’s ability to read printed language accurately and quickly.
  5. Vocabulary: Students’ use of the words that they hear and see in print.
  6. Comprehension: The reliance on experiences to make sense of the text that students read.
  7. Writing: Combining word choice, spelling and sentence structure with ideas and organization.

Adult Literacy

After graduation, you may choose to work as an adjunct college instructor or as an adult literacy teacher, teaching reading and literacy skills to college-age and adult students. An online master’s degree in reading program can prepare you for the duties involved in these career paths.

Adjunct Instructor

In this role, you instruct undergraduate students majoring in reading or education. Colleges and universities employ part-time instructors to teach a range of courses in reading, from introductory literacy to advanced English. If you have recently completed graduate school, adjunct teaching can be a valuable way to gain teaching experience in the following:

  • Preparing lesson plans.
  • Giving lectures.
  • Proctoring tests and quizzes.
  • Grading papers.
  • Facilitating discussions.

You may also be responsible for preparing a syllabus, creating course content, assigning textbooks, keeping track of attendance and holding regular office hours. If working as an adjunct instructor interests you, consider checking for open adjunct teaching positions through a university’s career services office or website.

Adult Literacy Teacher

In this role, you can instruct adults with a diverse range of literacy skills. Adult literacy teachers work with public and private agencies assisting adult learners with their reading and writing skills. Your duties may include the following:

  • Establishing goals for students.
  • Executing relevant teaching methods.
  • Creating teaching materials.
  • Maintaining student records.
  • Assigning and grading coursework.
  • Preparing and administering tests.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2016 median salary for adult literacy teachers is $50,650 per year.

Learn more about the A-State online Master of Science in Education in Reading program.

Sources: How Can I Become an Adjunct Professor How Do I Become an Adult Literacy Teacher?

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