Skip To Content
Teaching Struggling Readers Around the World (K-12) is a Course

Teaching Struggling Readers Around the World (K-12)

Ended Apr 28, 2019


Full course description

Course Date:

Mar 11 - Apr 28, 2019


5 weeks


4+ hrs/week



Course Type:





Do you teach young children to read? Whether you work in a classroom or you work in a home setting, with eager readers or children who really struggle to read, this free course will teach you techniques for working with your kids so that they are able to read successfully.

"Teaching Struggling Readers around the World” has a practical orientation, with the aim of you being able to help kids read right away. At the same time, you’ll learn about how reading works, so that you are able to adapt the techniques to your children’s needs and come up with new activities of your own.

Among the techniques you’ll learn are:

  • Activities for identifying which reading skills a child is good at and which reading skills the child needs extra practice in.
  • Fun and engaging ways to give children practice with the reading skills they most need to improve.
  • How to target weaker reading skills to reverse and even prevent reading problems.
  • What to do while reading stories with children so that they learn more and also learn to really love reading.

Unlike many reading instruction courses, this MOOC was created for a global population and regularly includes examples from languages around the world. By learning the way languages can differ, you will understand better what children have to do to master reading in their own language. At the same time, you’ll learn fascinating facts about other languages and be able to engage with reading teachers from all over the world. For those of you who work with children who speak more than one language, these resources and perspectives will be especially helpful.

This course is the product of a partnership between some of the most recognized experts in literacy around the world* and the global non-profit organization World Learning, which works in development projects internationally. As a result, you will get the most cutting-edge research findings presented in a practical format that will enable you to put new techniques into practice right away. All course materials are written in simple, straight-forward English that non-native English speakers and non-academics will find easy to read and engaging, and we include videos to illustrate the reading texts and show regional examples.

*This MOOC is being overseen by Professor Catherine McBride (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Professor Malatesha Joshi (Texas A & M University), with some consultations from Professors Karin Landerl (University of Graz, Austria), Elinor Haddad (Bar-Ilan University, Israel), Sonali Nag (University of Oxford, U.K.), Jeung-Ryeul Cho (Kyungnam University, South Korea), Yanling Zhou (Hong Kong Education University), and David Share (University of Haifa, Israel). This MOOC  was partly supported by a grant from the Project Impact Enhancement Fund 2018-19 of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.


At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  1. Apply the model of phonology, semantics, and orthography to the teaching of typical readers and identification of at-risk readers;
  2. Compare and contrast techniques of learning letters or graphemes, words, and writing across scripts;
  3. Generate child-directed questions during storybook reading using dialogic reading techniques;
  4. Demonstrate segmental phonological processing through accurate deletion of phonological units;
  5. Design exercises for orthographic and phonological processing in one’s own language;

Target Audience: Teachers and caretakers who work with young children learning to read.

Course is offered by World Learning.

Course Instructors

Catherine McBride

Professor Catherine McBride


Professor Catherine McBride is a developmental psychologist at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is past president of the Society for the Scientific Studies of Reading and the founding President for the Association for Reading and Writing in Asia.

Specializing in reading development and impairment across cultures, she is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and 5 books on literacy-related issues, including Children's Literacy Development: A Cross Cultural Perspective on Learning to Read and Write (2nd edition; 2016--Routledge) and Coping with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and ADHD: A Global Perspective (1st edition; 2019--Routledge).

Katrina May Dulay

Dr. Katrina May Dulay


Dr. Katrina May Dulay received her Ph.D. from and also served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Lifespan Development Laboratory of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Her research focuses on preschool children's cognitive development and family-based interventions using picture storybooks and educational games. She is especially interested in applications of child development research to benefit families from low- to middle-income contexts. She is currently affiliated with the University of Reading.

Sign up for this course today!