Diagnostic Reading Procedures for Classroom Teachers 

LTCY 523

Spring 2008
Dr. Pam Petty

NOTE:   adaptations are made to align with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant which makes this course possible. 

Instructor:  Dr. Pam Petty 
Office Phone:  270-745-2922 
Fax:  270-745-6435
Office:  TPH 363
Email:  pam@pampetty.com 
Campus Email:  pamela.petty@wku.edu 
Instructor's Homepage:  http://www.pampetty.com

LTCY 523 
Tentative Course Calendar

Prerequisite:  LTCY 519 (This does not apply UNLESS you are getting a Masters in Education, Literacy at WKU.  If you are in our Masters program you must meet the prerequisite for this course.)

Course Description: Emphasizes practical methods of reading appraisal, diagnostic procedures, and materials essential for developing teaching strategies in reading instruction.   

Course Rationale:   LTCY 523 examines theory and practice related to literacy instruction, specifically the diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses associated with the reading and writing processes and the planning of instruction based on assessments. Emphasis on elementary, middle, secondary, or adult education areas is provided according to student interest. This course provides clinical experiences that will broaden your overall perspectives in the field of lifelong literacy learning. 

Text(s):  There are no texts for students to purchase for this course.  All books and materials are provided through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. 

Optional Course Reading(s):

Cross, P.  Adult learning http://tip.psychology.org/cross.html

Fielding, L.G., & Pearson, P.D. (1994). "Reading comprehension:  What works."  Educational Leadership, 51 (5), 62-68.

Inquiry Learning Forum.  Indiana University:  http://ilf.crlt.indiana.edu/

Lewis, W.  Whole language and adult education http://www.indiana.edu/~eric_rec/www/digbib/digprint.cgi?filename=d125.txt

Martinello, M. L.  Pathways for inquiry.  http://www.pathwaysforinquiry.com.

Miller, S. M. Vygotsky and education:  The sociocultural genesis of dialogic thinking in classroom contexts for open-forum literature discussions.  http://psych.hanover.edu/vygotsky/miller.html.

Reinking, D. (1994).  Reading and writing with computers:  Literacy research in a post-typographic world.  Plenary Research Address presented at the National Reading Conference, San Diego, California, December 3, 1994.

Simpson, A. (1996).  Critical questions:  Whose questions?  The Reading Teacher, 50 (2), 118-127.

Spencer, D.  The Freirean approach to adult literacy education http://www.cal.org/ncle/digests/FreireQA.htm

Spiegel, D. L. (1992).  Blending whole language and systematic direct instruction.  The Reading Teacher, (46), 1.  

Strickland, D. S. (1994).  Reinventing our literacy programs:  Books, basics, balance.  The Reading Teacher, (48), 4.  

Summary of essential practices.  http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/ela/e_literacy/summary.html.  

VanDuzer, C.  Reading and the adult English language learner.  National Center for ESL Literacy Education:  http://www.cal.org/ncle/digests/Read.htm 

Wells, G.  Dialogic inquiry in education:  Building on the legacy of Vygotsky http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/~gwells/NCTE.html

Course Objectives

You will:

  1. Work from theory to practice in applying research and diagnostic techniques in a clinical setting.
  2. Become familiar with strategies to help struggling literacy learners.
  3. Administer assessments in a clinical setting; interpret assessment results; connect assessments to learning goals.
  4. Diagnose a learner using a decision model for choosing objectives, strategies, organizational procedures, and resources, and begin implementing language procedures given the findings from above.
  5. Learn to use a wide variety of strategies to help students with reading and writing difficulties.

Factors Impacting Literacy Acquisition
    Focusing on Fluency
    Focusing on the Reading and Writing Connection
    Focusing on Vocabulary Instruction and Techniques
    Focusing on Comprehension, Composing and Studying
    Professional Roles and Responsibilities
    Developing the Case Summary Report
    Focusing on Issues of Diversity in the Instructional Setting 
Steps in Conducting a Reading Diagnosis
Personal History and Background Information
Adult Learner Consent Forms
Adult Learner Interviews
Informal Reading Inventory
Graded Word Lists
Graded Oral Reading Passages
Graded Silent Reading Passages
Listening Passage
Literacy Concepts
Qualitative Spelling Inventory
Writing Sample
Cloze Procedure
Written Language Expression Checklist
Generative Themes:  Report Writing Focusing on Word Recognition and Spelling

KERA Elements/Context Addresses
 Goals and Valued Outcomes
 Performance Tasks

Course Disposition Statement(s)

The teacher recognizes her/his professional responsibility for engaging in and supporting appropriate professional practices for self and colleagues.

The teacher is committed to the continuous development of individual students’ abilities and considers how different motivational strategies are likely to encourage this development for each student.

The teacher is committed to using assessment to identify student strengths and promotes student growth rather than to deny students access to learning opportunities.

The teacher has a well-grounded framework for understanding cultural and community diversity and knows how to learn about and incorporate student’s experiences, cultures, and community resources into instruction.

The teacher is committed to continuous learning and engages in professional discourse about subject matter knowledge and children’s learning of the discipline.

Course Requirements and Evaluations

Professionalism, Participation, Collegiality, Connectedness (25 points)

Students must be prepared for class by completing course readings and assignments in order to meaningfully engage in class activities and earn designated points.

If the graduate student or their clinic student must be absent from a session for any reason, that session must be made up at a time that is convenient for both the graduate student and the clinic student.  When making up a session, it is wise to do it as soon as possible rather than attempting to make it up at the end of the semester.  As you may notice, by the end of the semester, it is certain that you will be busy with a number of assignments.  Report all rescheduled clinical sessions to the instructor.  You must complete all the clinical sessions with your assigned student(s) to successfully complete the course.

Required Readings

It is expected that you will read and reflect on required course readings. Selected course readings will help you develop the knowledge and theoretical base needed for teaching diverse learners. 

It is expected that ALL assignments will be submitted on their due dates. Late assignments will be penalized 20% of their possible point value if submitted within two consecutive days of their due date. Further penalties will be assessed for assignments turned in beyond that point. During the semester a date will be announced in class stating the last day in which late work can be submitted for a grade in the course. This policy is instituted primarily to prevent students from becoming overloaded at the end of the semester.

Keep a copy of all assignments. If an assignment is lost, the burden of proof that you completed the assignment rests with the student.

Course Assignments and Evaluations

Required Readings (60 points)

The course calendar outlines the readings we need to do to build a foundation for the work we will do in this course.  We will try to discuss these readings in different ways so that you don't get bored with one venue.  This is not busy work - this is work so that you can be busy learning the content of this course. 

http://www.vark-learn.com/documents/different_not_dumb.pdf (10 points) - in-class tasks set for January 23, 2008 - bring article with you

Other required readings will be posted on course calendar and will correspond with course topics. 

Review of the Literature (100 points)

Students will select a topic related to diagnostic reading procedures and prepare a Review of the Literature on that topic.  Dr. Petty will APPROVE your selection of topics.  Specifics will be shared in class. 

The Learner Leads the Way - 25 points

Graduate students in LTCY 523 come from many different backgrounds and work with literacy learners at many levels in diverse settings.  Taking those dynamics into consideration, this course is natured so as to allow learners to custom design a diagnostic and instructional strategic plan centered around self-identified issues specific to a population of literacy learners. 

Each graduate student in LTCY 523 will work to develop a Strategic Diagnostic Plan for a group of literacy learners.  The Strategic Diagnostic Plan will address each of the course objectives as listed below and will be specific to different populations of learners:

  1. Work from theory to practice in applying research and diagnostic techniques in a clinical setting.
  2. Become familiar with strategies to help struggling literacy learners.
  3. Administer assessments in a clinical setting; interpret assessment results; connect assessments to learning goals.
  4. Diagnose learners using a decision model for choosing objectives, strategies, organizational procedures, and resources, and begin implementing language procedures given the findings from above.
  5. Learn to use a wide variety of strategies to help students with reading and writing difficulties.

Step 1:  Each LTCY 523 student will use the following framework to write a PROPOSAL for the Strategic Diagnostic Plan that they would like to develop:

  • Statement of the Problem - what issue or issues related to assessment, diagnostics, or student literacy achievement are you targeting - no more than one paragraph of clearly stated problem - you must be very specific here - it is not enough to say that you "need to know more about your learners' reading abilities"
  • Proposed Action - no more than one page of what you plan to do to address the identified problem
  • Requested Materials - list assessment materials have you identified that you plan to use
  • Description of "tasks" you plan to include in your Strategic Diagnostic Plan - you must do some "fashion" of tasks 1 and 2 (listed below) and then spell out other tasks you will accomplish within your Strategic Diagnostic Plan
  • Timeline for Implementation of Strategic Diagnostic Plan - which tasks will you do in which order aligned with the weeks within this course (Jan 22 - April 30)
  • Identified population of learners - no less than 3
  • Description of targeted population of learners  - male, female, approximate ages, approximate grade-equivalent of present literacy skills, highest grade achieved in school, any other impacting information 

Step 2:  Submit your Proposal to Dr. Petty by the date indicated on the course calendar.  Dr. Petty will score the Proposal, resubmit to you if adaptations need to be made, and then assist you in developing a workable plan.  We will use this website to post questions, ask for clarifications, and share ideas - I urge you to "rob" ideas from others as they fit your needs: 

Step 3:  Once your Proposal is approved you need to develop a Schedule of Implementation that outlines what you will do, when you will do it, and when you will submit benchmark materials to Dr. Petty.  You will be provided with a template for your schedule. 

Step 4:  You work your plan, submit materials as they are due, and participate in synchronous and asynchronous discussions related to your plan, your progress, and objectives of this course.  Points for each course component will be assigned and jointly agreed upon between instructor and student (as students will be performing similar but unique tasks for this course). 


Within the Strategic Diagnostic Plan you propose and execute, you need to accomplish the following tasks: 

Learner Dimensions Case Study (critical performance includes tasks 1 and 2 - click here for rubric)

Students will develop a Learner Dimensions Case Study report on one or more learners depending on the learning situation (one-on-one, group, topical, etc.).  The Learner Dimensions Case Study report will include the following:

1)  Demographic information on learner(s) including any observed or measured information that provides insight into this person as a literacy learner.

2)  Summary of Learn the Learner dimensions as listed below.  Use each dot point as a heading and subheading for the information you include.

3)  Summary of Informal Assessments, Data Collection and Synthesis.  Use each dot point as a heading and subheading for the information you include.

4)  Findings and implications.  This narrative should allow you to synthesize task 1 and 2 and then make recommendations for learner success based on that synthesis.  Recommendations should be very specific and align with each finding. 

EVERYONE has to incorporate Tasks 1 and 2 into his/her Strategic Diagnostic Plan - although you can SELECT the most meaningful components to include in your Plan (your selections need to be linked to your identified problem and proposed action).   


These are ideas, choices, or components that you may customize to fit your identified problem and proposed action.  You can add to this list or delete from this list as long as you "hit" the main ideas of each task heading.  In other words, you do need to include how you are going to take the assessment data and develop goals/objectives for each learner; an instructional plan of some sort; measure progress to be able to provide a final report on each learner. 

Task 3:  Focused Instruction:  Goals and Objectives (64 points)

Task 4:  Development of Instructional Plan (64 points)

Task 5:  Post Assessments (64 points)

Evaluation and Grade Assignment

Assessment will include written assignments, performance events, as well as the ability to implement appropriate literacy assessment and analyze data to provide a diagnosis for the implementation of appropriate literacy intervention and instruction.

Final grade LTCY 523 will be based on a 550 point scale:

Grade            Percentage               Points

A                93-100%                     512 - 550

B                 85-92%                     468 - 511

C                 77-84%                     424 - 467

D                 70-76%                     385 - 423

F                 69% or below             384 or below
NOTE:  All assignments will be graded for content and mechanics. All Clinic Reports and course assignments must be typed and meet the criteria given.  Work that does not meet the criteria will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy:

To represent ideas or interpretations taken from another source as one's own is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense. The academic work of students must be their own. Students must give the author(s) credit for any source material used. To lift content directly from a source without giving credit is a flagrant act. To present a borrowed passage after having changed a few words, even if the source is cited, is also plagiarism. 

In PLAIN ENGLISH:  Do not (NOT) turn in work to us that you copied from someone else, that belongs to someone else, or that you did not personally write every word of yourself.  No plagiarism or cheating will be tolerated. 

For information about plagiarism: what it is and how to recognize it and avoid it, see


The Fine Print:  The following statements should be noted carefully.


2.  Please keep a copy of all assignments handed in.  In the highly unlikely event that an assignment is lost, you will need to provide another copy in a timely manner.

3.  My expectations are high, but my goal is for you to be successful and to leave this university with the skills you need to be the best reading teacher possible.

The previously-stated policy on late work applies even in circumstances when the student is given an incomplete ("X") for failure to upload an assignment to the Electronic Portfolio System. Students requesting an incomplete for another reason must contact the instructor to ask for an incomplete, which may or may not be granted, depending on the instructor's judgment regarding the circumstances of the student's request. According to the catalog on Undergraduate Catalog p.28/Graduate Catalog, p.13, “A grade of ‘X’ (incomplete) is given only when a relatively small amount of work is not completed because of illness or other reason satisfactory to the instructor. “An ‘X’ received by a student will automatically become an “F” unless removed within twelve (12) weeks of the next full term (summer excluded). The grade of ‘X’ will continue to appear as the initial grade on the student’s transcript, along with the revised grade.

Disability Accommodations Statement:
"Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services) for this course must contact the Office for Student Disability Services, Room 445, Potter Hall. The OFSDS telephone number is (270) 745-5004 V/TDD. Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the professor or instructor without a letter of accommodation from the Office for Student Disability Services."

Supplementary Resources

Adult Literacy Resources:

Kentucky Department of Adult Education and Literacy


National Institute for Literacy

Adult Literacy Action

The Adult Literacy and Technology Network

National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy 

National Assessments of Adult Literacy 

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) Homepage 

Literacy Volunteers of America

National Center on Adult Literacy

National Center for Family Literacy

The Adult Literacy Resource Institute 

Laubach Literacy

The Language Experience Approach for Adult Learners

KYVAE - Resources for Adult Education Community

Supplementary Resources:

Dewey, J. (1916 or 1966). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. NY: Macmillan.

Gay, G. (1994). At the essence of learning: Multicultural education. NY: Macmillan.

Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching. NY: Teacher’s College Press.

Powell, R. (1999). Literacy as a moral imperative: Facing the challenges of a pluralistic society. Maryland: Rowman 
     and Littlefield.

Roe, B.D., Stoodt, B.D., & Burns, P.C. (1998). Secondary school literacy instruction: The content areas. Boston: 
     Houghton Mifflin Company.

Vacca, R.T., & Vacca, J.A.L. (1998). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the curriculum. New York: 
     Harper Collins College Publishers.

Allington, R.L., & Walmsley, S.A. (1995). No quick fix. New York, NY: Teacher’s College Press.

Atwell, N. (987). In the middle: Writing, reading, and learning with adolescents. Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook.

Calkins, L. (1994). The art of teaching writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Clay, M.M. (1979). The early detection of reading difficulties. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Cunningham, P.M. (1991). Phonics they use: Words for reading and writing. NY: Harper-Collins.

Delpit, L. (1995). Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. NY: New Press.

Henderson, E. (1990). Teaching spelling (2nd Ed.). Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.

Kobrin, B. (1988). Eyeopeners! NY: Penguin Books.

McMahon, S.I., & Raphael, T.E. (1997). The book club connection: Literacy learning and classroom talk. NY: 
     Teacher’s College Press.

Routman, R. (1991). Invitations: Changing as teachers and learners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Elementary School Journal Reading Research Quarterly

Language Arts The Journal for Adolescent & Adult Literacy

Reading Improvement The Journal for Literacy Research

Reading Psychology The Reading Teacher

Reading Research & Instruction Reading Horizons

Website Addresses:

Teacher-oriented sites:

Kentucky Department of Education http://www.kde.state.ky.us

International Reading Association http://www.reading.org

Children’s Literature Web Guide http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown

ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading English & Communication http://www.indiana.edu/~eric_rec/index.html

Booklist (reviews) http://www.ala.org/booklist/

Pam Petty's Educational Website http://www.pampetty.com 

Sites of Interest to LTCY 420 Students:  http://www.pampetty.com/420links.htm

Summary of Essential Practices:  http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/docs/ela/e_literacy/summary.html#chart1  

Education World ® - Curriculum Reading Aloud -- Are Students Ever Too Old

Literacy Teaching Ideas

Reading Workshop

IPL Kidspace Story Hour

Literacy - Online Literacy Resources

Literary Calendar Reference Portal

NNCC Better Kid Care Reading Aloud

Reading and Books

Phonics - Spelling Reading - Reading Spelling - Writing Speaking

Reading and Language Arts Resources on the Internet

Reading Comprehension - Muskingum College

Ride the Reading Roller Coaster

APA Citation Machine - http://landmark-project.com/citation_machine/cm_book.php3 (only as good as what you enter ... remember:  don't enter FULL first names - initials only)

Good Teaching:  The Top Ten Requirements

Principles of Composition

Child-oriented sites:

Kids on the Web http://www.zen.org/~brendan/kids.html

Jan Brett’s Home Page http://www.janbrett.com

Ann Arbor District Library Kid’s Page http://www.annarbor.lib.mi.us/kidspg/kidspg2.html