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.

Program Information

Target Audience

Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, and other Mental Health Professionals.

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

Target Audience

Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists and Other Helping Professionals who Work with Children and Adolescents in Elementary through High School


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. Articulate the relevance of storytelling to the English Language Arts (ELA) state standards and how storytelling meets IEP and curriculum goals.
  2. Analyze the types of storytelling and their connection to social-emotional development in students.
  3. Employ tools to assess and document the development of students’ narrative structure, coherence, vocabulary, and linguistic elements.
  4. Analyze the relationships between setting, plot, character traits, social-emotional skills, self-regulation, self-identity, and problem solving.
  5. Utilize age-appropriate literature to help students connect emotions/behaviors/mental states of characters to self to promote self-regulation.
  6. Apply strategies to support inferential thinking by relating emotions and mental states to events.
  7. Facilitate students’ recognition of characterization, plot, and theme in fictional stories, autobiographical narratives, and life stories.

Copyright : 12/09/2016