ESS518 Reading Difficulties: Prevention and Intervention (8)


This subject focuses on the prevention of reading difficulties in the primary school years and in designing interventions for individual children. The subject content is grounded in the scientifically based reading research and provides a specific focus on the teaching of reading integrating the 5 big ideas (phonological awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension). Explicit teaching is the pedagogy for instruction used in the teaching of reading in this subject. There is a specific emphasis on assessment and the role of careful instructional design and delivery in the teaching of children who are at risk for reading difficulties. Students will apply their understanding of assessment, explicit teaching, and instructional decision making. Students will be required to work with a child while undertaking this subject.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
OnlineBathurst Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ESS518
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Teacher Education

Enrolment restrictions

Incompatible subject(s)
ESS407 ESS408

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify a child's relative risk for reading difficulties using a reliable curriculum-based measure;
  • be able to administer an assessment of decoding skills and identify a child's present level of performance;
  • be able to match student reading level with appropriate materials;
  • be able to plan a weekly overview of the explicit teaching of reading integrating phonemic awareness, letter-sound correspondence, phonic or structural analysis, word lists, irregular words, vocabulary instruction, passage reading and comprehension;
  • be able to build a direct instruction lesson to teach reading skills;
  • be able to differentiate a direct instruction lesson to teach reading skills; and,
  • be able to reflect upon and justify their design and delivery from a theory to practice perspective. This includes the bigger picture implications for the quality reading instruction at scale in the school or setting.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Reading Risk
  • Assessing Decoding
  • Placement
  • Planning and Designing Instruction
  • Lesson Design
  • Differentiating Lesson Design
  • Theory and Practice


The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 13 April 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.