Boy tapping out syllablesBoy sounding out syllable framesTeacher using letter tiles with two adults

Designed for students in grades 2-12 and adults who have a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia, or who have not internalized the sound-symbol system for reading and spelling, the Wilson Reading System® contains unique characteristics that set it apart from other programs:

  • Offers a research-based, structured literacy program with more than twenty years of data collected and analyzed from schools and districts implementing the program.
  • Utilizes a systematic and cumulative approach to teach total word structure for decoding and encoding, emphasizing the six syllable types.
  • Makes all instruction multisensory and interactive, requiring students to use visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses to reinforce skills learned and engage motor memory.
    • Uses a unique “sound tapping” system to help students segment and blend sounds.
    • Provides a penciling technique for tracking syllable division and prosody.
    • Teaches concepts through the manipulation of sound, syllable, and suffix cards.
  • Reinforces the application of skills.
  • Contains one of the most extensive collections of controlled and decodable text (wordlists, sentences, stories) for students beyond the primary grades.
  • Provides two levels of vocabulary: one appropriate for elementary school students, English language learners (ELL), and those with limited vocabularies, and the other for older students with advanced vocabularies.
  • Presents the material in 12 Steps, not corresponding to school grade levels, that are further divided into 52 incremental substeps, each building upon the previous one. Requiring the mastery of each substep before progressing to the next one makes the demands of the subsequent substep manageable and achievable.
  • Follows a 10-part lesson plan that addresses phonemic awareness, phonics and word study, encoding, high frequency/sight word instruction, fluency, vocabulary, and listening and reading comprehension in a sequential and integrated fashion.
  • Incorporates criterion-based assessments to measure student progress and success.
  • Is a comprehensive program that can follow students from grade to grade, as needed.

The Wilson Reading System aligns with guidelines from the International Dyslexia Association, which recommends that students with dyslexia receive: 

  • Explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused instruction on the structure of language;
  • Multisensory learning using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways to enhance memory and learning of written language; and
  • Consistent links made between the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways in learning to read and spell. (International Dyslexia Association, 2008).