Course Introduction

More and more, SLPs are recognizing the important role we have in the realm of literacy. Even though it’s a responsibility we share with other professionals (general and special education teachers, reading specialists and interventionists, and others who may be involved in identifying and remediating literacy disorders wherever you work), our background knowledge in all the areas of language puts us squarely in the mix. After all, language is language, whether it’s spoken, heard, written, or read. Unfortunately, we don’t all feel qualified, prepared, and informed enough to step into this role. We’ll be upfront about this: there is a lot of information and evidence out there pertaining to reading. The research doesn’t all apply directly to our clinical work—not by a long shot. And it doesn’t all agree, either. There are lots of controversies out there, and things get tense sometimes. Keeping up with the latest evidence can be almost impossible, especially when you have a caseload of kids to be worrying about. 

In this course, we’ve put together short reviews of research articles that we think are relevant to a pediatric SLP’s work related to literacy. We start out with seven reviews that talk about the building blocks of reading, risk factors related to reading difficulties, and developmental expectations related to different skills and populations. Some of the information functions as “background knowledge,” so, knowing what skills are correlated with or predictive of one another. This kind of information can help you think about what to assess and to target in therapy.

In the second half of the course, you’ll read nine reviews that have more direct clinical relevance, discussing various intervention strategies and programs. The more you read, and think of how you might incorporate what you learn into your practice, you’ll be that much closer to being a confident, literacy-literate SLP!

Learning Outcomes & Details

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. List early predictors of later decoding and reading comprehension skills, from preschool through high school.

  2. Describe the evidence behind explicit instruction for reading.

  3. Describe the connections between oral language and literacy skills.

Course Type: Text; Web or downloadable PDF

Time: This is an hour course.

ASHA CEUs: This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)

Course Completion Requirements: Read the full course, then take a quiz at the end. Must pass with a score of 80% or better (two attempts allowed)

Questions? See our frequently asked questions.


Course edited and compiled by:

Meredith Harold, PhD, CCC-SLP is owner of The Informed SLP and faculty at Rockhurst University. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from The Informed SLP and Rockhurst University. Nonfinancial Disclosure— Vice President of Speech–Language Pathology for the Kansas Speech–Language–Hearing Association Board; Board member of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association Committee on Clinical Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence-Based Practice.

Karen Evans, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech–language pathologist at Intermediate District 287, and employee of The Informed SLP. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from Intermediate District 287 and The Informed SLP. Nonfinancial Disclosure— None.

Full research and writing team bios can be found here. The Informed SLP’s researchers and writers are prohibited from having any financial or nonfinancial conflicts of interest related to the content they research and report on.

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This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).