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Research Base


Learn about the research Wilson programs are based on.

Overview

The content of each Wilson program is based on reading research. Scientific evidence reveals that reading is the intersection of five critical components: phonemic awareness and phonics (also referred to as alphabetics), fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

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Recent scientific evidence reveals that teaching students to read requires instruction in all of these (Stuebing, Barth, Cirino, Francis, & Fletcher, 2008). In fact, they are specified as critical foundational reading skills in states’ college- and career-readiness standards, the National Reading Panel report (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000), and a review of research on adult and adolescent literacy instruction by the National Institute for Literacy (Kruidenier, MacArthur, & Wrigley, 2010). Specifically, all children should receive direct, systematic instruction in these five areas during grades K-3. Together, they form the foundation upon which higher level reading skills, critical to success in college and the workforce, are built. Without the ability to fluently pull print from the page and comprehend it, students will be unable to understand complex text, one of the best predictors of college success (ACT, Inc., 2006).

Foundational Skills

While addressing the general student population, the science of reading also stipulates that these same foundational skills must be taught to students and adults with reading deficits (Kruidenier et al., 2010; Lonigan & Shanahan, 2009; NICHD, 2000). A lack of foundational skills is a major cause of poor performance in struggling readers. Word-level deficiencies limit an individual’s exposure to text, which in turn impedes the person’s vocabulary development and reading comprehension (Stanovich, 1986). To overcome these deficiencies, students and adults with reading deficits require direct, systematic instruction in the foundational skills of reading. The content of each Wilson program (Wilson Reading System®, Fundations®, and Just Words®) is based on this research.

Principles of Instruction

Learn more about how Wilson’s programs incorporate the research base in these areas and view the references.