Full Course Description

Play & Language: The Roots of Literacy


Foundations of Cognitive-Play-Literacy Relationship: Frameworks for Assessment/Intervention

  • Dynamic systems theory: integrating nature and nurture theories
  • The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning
  • A performance competence framework for assessment and intervention

Social-Emotional/Cognitive Precursors to Play: Birth-17 months

  • Neurotypical and atypical patterns of social emotional development
  • Environmental influences on social emotional development and play
  • Temperamental variations in children
  • Presymbolic play

Development of Pretend Play Dimensions (17 months – 5 years): Relationship of Play Dimensions to Language & Literacy

  • Theory of Mind Dimension (understanding thoughts & feelings of self & others)
  • Decontextualization Dimension (reduced use of props in play)
  • Thematic Dimension (from familiar to novel pretend themes)
  • Organization Dimension (sequencing & planning of play)

Interventions to Promote Playing to Learn

  • Set goals for playful learning
  • Promote literate-style language through play
  • Develop phonological awareness skills through playful practices
  • Promote thematic pretend play to develop foundations for language and literacy


  1. Explain the development and interrelationships of cognition, play, language, social-emotional skills and literacy.
  2. Describe methods used to evaluate a child’s play/language skills.
  3. Employ play to promote the cognitive, language and social-emotional skills that underlie children’s effective social interactions and literacy comprehension.
  4. Describe current theories of language/ literacy learning.
  5. Explain the role of play in self-regulation.
  6. Implement a playful practice approach to emergent literacy.
Copyright : 02/02/2017

Narrative Intervention for Building Social-Emotional Skills and Self-Regulation in Children and Adolescents: Going Beyond Language and Literacy

Program Information


Narrative Intervention: Going Beyond Language and Literacy

  • Types of narratives and their roles and functions
    • Fictional
    • Personal/autobiographical
    • Life stories
  • Common Core curriculum and social skills
  • Cultural variations in personal and fictional narratives

Narrative Intervention to Promote

  • Social-emotional skills
  • Self-regulation
  • Self-identity
  • Self-determination
  • Problem-solving

Narrative Assessment

  • Fictional narratives
    • Eliciting fictional narratives using stimuli varying in cognitive and linguistic task demands
  • Personal narratives
    • Prompts for eliciting personal narratives
    • Rubrics to evaluate personal narratives
  • Life stories
    • Interviewing strategies to elicit life stories
    • Rubrics to evaluate types of coherence in life stories
  • Narrative microstructures and macrostructures
    • Vocabulary for thoughts and feelings (Theory of Mind) and complex syntax
    • Structure, content/plot/theme and coherence


Strategies to Develop Autobiographical Memory and Personal Narratives

  • Reminiscing that promotes autobiographical memory
  • Using children’s books to trigger reminiscing
  • Elements and influences of settings on stories
  • Identify and build narrative plots
  • Developing landscape of consciousness (Theory of Mind)
    • Making connections between emotions/ mental states and actions
    • Developing vocabulary and syntax to express connections between mental/ emotional states and behaviors/events
  • Support-making narrative inferences
    • Question-answer relationships – from literal to inferential
    • Levels of language abstraction – from contextualized to decontextualized language
  • Facilitate personal narrative skills to promote problem-solving and self-regulation

Strategies to Develop Life Stories

  • Role of characterization in life stories
    • External (physical) and internal (psychological) traits/characteristics – identifying relationships between character traits and character behaviors and narrative events
    • Use biographies/autobiographies to understand characterization – relationships between traits and events
    • Character transformation: life turning points
  • Identify and develop themes
  • Support making narrative inferences
    • Think alouds
    • Questioning the author
  • Facilitate life stories to develop self-identity and self-regulation


  1. Describe the development of autobiographical/personal stories, fictional stories and life story narratives.
  2. Explain the role of autobiographical/personal stories, fictional stories and life stories in academic and social success.
  3. Illustrate the ways culture influences structure and content of autobiographical and fictional narratives.
  4. Select and use appropriate tools to assess fictional and autobiographical/life story personal narratives, considering cultural influences.
  5. Use children’s and adolescent’s literature to promote development of personal narratives and life stories.
  6. Develop students’ ability to make inferences by relating emotions and mental states to events.
  7. Facilitate students’ recognition and production of characterization, plot and theme in fictional stories, autobiographical narratives and life stories.

Copyright : 12/09/2016