Program Effectiveness

Wilson Language Training® regularly examines the outcomes of students using our programs and is working with independent researchers to verify the effects of our programs. 

To date, impact studies of students’ response to Just Words® instruction have been performed in urban settings. 

In one study, gains in reading comprehension made by seventh-grade students receiving Just Words instruction were compared with the gains made by their peers not receiving Just Words instruction (that is, were instead receiving instruction as usual).

In a second study, oral reading fluency of fourth- and fifth-grade students was monitored to see if the students experienced gains in oral reading fluency while receiving Just Words instruction.

In a third study, word recognition and nonsense word decoding among struggling sixth- and seventh-grade students was examined.

The studies found that:

  • Seventh-grade students who received instruction through the Just Words program made larger gains in reading comprehension than their peers who received instruction as usual, resulting in a large reduction in students classified as severely at risk.
  • English language learners (ELL) in seventh grade who received Just Words instruction made greater gains in reading comprehension than ELL students who received instruction as usual.
  • Fourth- and fifth-grade students with word-level deficits who received instruction through the Just Words program made significant gains on word reading fluency and reading accuracy after receiving a semester of Just Words instruction. This allowed many students to close the gap and meet benchmarks.
  • English language learners with word-level deficits in fourth and fifth grade who received instruction through the Just Words program made significant gains in word reading fluency and reading accuracy. Prior to receiving Just Words instruction, these students were well below benchmark in oral reading fluency and word reading accuracy. After a semester of Just Words instruction, these scores were at or were approaching benchmark.
  • The gains in oral reading fluency and word reading accuracy made by ELL students were equivalent to the gains made by their native English speaking peers.
  • Sixth- and seventh-grade students who received three semesters of Just Words instruction experienced an average gain of two grade levels in word recognition and an average gain of 3.4 grade levels in their ability to decode words.

Detailed results from these studies may be found in the following document: Just Words Overview and Studies of Program Effectiveness.