NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

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Course Descriptions

Teaching Phonics {aka: Using Phonics to Enhance Reading}

EDUC 2000

This practical course for teachers defines phonics instruction and its methods, then enables you to build teaching plans for incorporating phonics and related decoding strategies into your classroom reading instruction.  The assignments in this course will take you through a process that reviews research showing the efficacy of phonics instruction, provides activities to demonstrate classroom practice, and considers student learning difficulties and effective responses.

Upon completion of the course, you will have the background and practical strategies to meet requirements in many states regarding knowledge of phonics.

Please note: The title of this course changed from Using Phonics to Enhance Reading to Teaching Phonics.  If you previously took this course as "Using Phonics to Enhance Reading" you will not be able to register for credit for this course again as the course content has not changed.


More specific objectives and their assessment in this course are the following:

  • understand the research on the definition of phonics and the strengths of teaching phonics;
  • understand the development of the English language from Old English and Middle English to Modern English and implications for phonetic and spelling changes through the centuries;
  • achieve competence in ways of cultivating phonemic awareness in learners;
  • develop teaching strategies for phonemic and morphological patterns, e.g. consonant-vowel-consonant, words ending in silent -e, consonant blends, digraphs;
  • learn strategies for helping learners use substitution and addition successfully;
  • be effective in applying the various word analysis skills in teaching a learner, such as a student whose native language is other than English, who has difficulty with reading and spelling.


Materials will be included on the course site.

"The instructor was excellent, positive, encouraging and available. I wish I could take my 2nd course from him."

"The instructor was very thorough & clear."

"I learned a lot of interesting teaching techniques and the professor was very knowledgeable and helpful."

"I learned a lot about the history of our language. Taking time to think about different language parts for students and develop learning activities and lessons was enjoyable for me."

"I loved the discussion boards and being able to see others ideas."

"I really enjoyed learning the history of the English language. It helped me understand why some words are still spelled the way they are today. I liked Dr. Coomber's suggestions for improvement in my work. This helps me to improve my teaching skills and therefore helps my students in their learning. I also liked the discussion board. The other teachers give great examples of what they use in the classroom. I am planning to take some of those ideas and implement them in my classroom."