The Wilson Reading System is a highly structured reading and writing program that serves as an intervention and helps 2nd – 12th grade struggling readers learn the structure of words and language by directly instructing students to decode and encode (spell) fluently. The program was originally developed for students who have dyslexia, but has been expanded to target the needs of students who are below grade level in reading. Level A uses age appropriate reading material for younger or ESL students, while Level B uses age appropriate reading material for older students.
Based on the Orton-Gillingham multisensory philosophy and principles, the Wilson Reading System provides a well organized, incremental, and cumulative 12-step system. Steps one through six provide students with the basics for decoding and encoding to create a solid foundation before moving on. Steps 7 through 12 focus more on advanced word analysis, vocabulary development, comprehension, and metacognition. The Wilson Reading System provides a plan in which students receive instruction in: learning to hear sounds; manipulating color-coded sound, syllable, and word cards; performing finger-tapping exercises to assist in phonemic awareness; writing dictated words and sentences; reading aloud; and paraphrasing selections they read, and which are read to them. Students receive direct reinforcement and instructional feedback based on their individual performances and do not proceed to the next step until they have met each step’s criteria as each step builds upon the one before.
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