The Wilson Reading System|
Barbara A. Wilson
The Wilson Reading System (WRS) is a systematic, multisensory instructional program designed for individuals who have difficulty with written language in the areas of reading and spelling. The program is based on Orton-Gillingham philosophy and principles as well as current phonological coding research. The primary goal of the program is to help students become fluent, accurate readers.
The Wilson Reading System can be used widely with students at all levels of schooling, including elementary and middle school students, older adolescents, and adults. Originally developed for individuals with dyslexia, the program has been expanded to target the needs of students who have been unsuccessful with other reading programs or those who still have gaps in their reading and/or spelling abilities. The program also works with students experiencing reading and spelling difficulties for whom English is not their native language but who are able to speak and understand English.
The Wilson Reading System is a 12-Step reading and writing program. It directly teaches the structure of words in the English language with a highly organized, sequential system.
It provides a complete curriculum for teaching decoding (i.e., associating sounds with letters, pronouncing written words, breaking words into syllables) and spelling, beginning with phoneme segmentation. Unlike other programs that overwhelm the students with rules, the language system of English is presented in a very systematic and cumulative manner so that it is manageable. All text (words, sentences, stories) is controlled so that students can more easily master the coding system for reading and spelling. From the beginning lessons, the program includes sight word instruction, vocabulary, oral expressive language development, and comprehension. Visualization techniques are used for comprehension.
Key Characteristics of The Wilson Reading System:
• Direct - Students learn through straightforward, interactive lessons that address head-on the concepts that govern the structure of written English.
• Multisensory - Lessons are very interactive. Students learn by hearing sounds; manipulating color-coded sound, syllable and word cards; performing finger-tapping exercises; writing down spoken words and sentences; reading aloud, repeating what they have read in their own words, and hearing others read as well. Skill and knowledge are reinforced through visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile senses - and they are learned to mastery.
• Structured - The 12 Steps of the WRS guide the student through the pitfalls of decoding and encoding English, teaching them to trust the English language as a reliable system - from the start.
• Cumulative - Students progress from sounds to syllables, words to sentences, stories to books, learning the structure of English through constant repetition and review. Each step builds on the one before. Steps 1-6 give students the basics - establishing a solid foundation. Steps 7 - 12 cover more advanced concepts. Students experience constant repetition through the cumulative presentation to help them learn the concepts thoroughly.
The Wilson Reading System has many characteristics in common with the structured Orton-Gillingham-based language programs. Those include providing instruction that is multisensory, systematic (sequential and cumulative), direct and diagnostic in that the teaching plan is based on continuous assessment of the students' needs.
Unique Features of the Wilson Reading System:
• Research-based program with over 10 years of data collected
from school districts implementing the program.
• A systematic and cumulative approach to teach total word
structure for decoding and encoding.
• Substeps throughout the WRS contain both A and B level
vocabulary: A is appropriate for elementary grade students,
ESL students, older students with limited vocabularies; B is
appropriate for students beyond elementary grades with
• Extensively controlled text (wordlists, sentences, and stories)
for application practice of skills. Fluency emphasized from the
• A unique "sound tapping" system that begins early in the program to help the student learn to differentiate the phonemes
(speech sounds) in a word. This technique is used both for segmenting and blending sounds.
• A scope and sequencing that emphasizes six types of syllables.
• Coding of words is limited with an emphasis on not over-whelming students with the rules of language while emphasizing understanding and fluent application of the rules.
• A simplified method of syllable division which incorporates a penciling technique used for tracking.
• Manipulation of cards (sound cards, syllable cards and suffix cards) required during reading and spelling instruction throughout the program.
• Ability to follow students from one grade to the next, as needed, due to the comprehensiveness of the program
• A criterion-based assessment, Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding (WADE), that is built into the program to track student progress and success
• Commitment to implement the program stressed. Staff support extended beyond fast "in and out" workshops.
Areas addressed by The Wilson Reading System:
• Phonemic segmentation
• Alphabetic Principle - sounds/symbol relationships
• Decoding (i.e., associating sounds with letters, pronouncing
written words, breaking words into syllables)
• Encoding (spelling)
• Advanced Word Analysis
• Vocabulary Development
• Sight Word Instruction
• Comprehension with Visualization
• MetacognitionThe Wilson Reading System is available in several different configurations to suit your needs
The Deluxe Set contains ALL COMPONENTS of the WRS, including videotapes and additional readers. Choose the Deluxe Set when you want all of the major WRS components at your fingertips for reference or teaching.
The set includes:
WRS Deluxe Set
The WRS Deluxe Set contains the following
instructor and student items:
• Instructor Manual
• Rules Notebook
• Dictation Book (Steps 1-6)
• Dictation Book (Steps 7-12)
• WRS Sound Cards
• Word Cards (Steps 1-12)
• Word Cards (Steps 1-3 AB)
• Word Cards (Steps 4-6 AB)
• Syllable Cards (Steps 3-6)
• Syllable Cards (Steps 7-12)
• Magnetic Journal with Phoneme Tiles
• Wilson Reading System Video Series (4 DVDs)
• Group Lesson w/ Younger Students (1 DVD)
• Magnetic Strips (5 Feet)
• Wilson Tote Bag
• WRS Student Readers 1-12
• WRS Student Workbooks 1-12 Level A
• WRS Student Workbooks 1-12 Level B
• Stories for Older Students (Steps 1-3 B)
• Stories for Older Students (Steps 4-6 B)
• Stories for Older Students (Steps 7-9 B)
• Travels with Ted (Steps 1-6 B)