Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level I Certification

Learn about the requirements to earn this certification.

International Dyslexia Association AccreditationPlus Program

The Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level I Certification is recognized as an IDA AccreditationPlus program. It is designed to prepare teachers to effectively implement WRS Steps 1–6 with students who are reading and spelling below grade level, as well as those diagnosed with a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia.


Before participating, individuals must have completed the WRS Introductory Course within the last five years. They must also possess a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field.


Individuals have 12 months from the date of enrollment to complete the online course and practicum. If site-based within a school or district, participants are encouraged to complete certification within the school year.

Delivery Options

A web-based practicum is appropriate for individual, tech-savvy participants who may not have a Certification Community in their area.

Schools and districts considering or currently implementing the WRS may be interested in certifying a group of their educators. Contact us to explore development of a Comprehensive Plan for Achieving Success and Sustainability (COMPASS Plan).

Required Assignments, Practicum Criteria, and Materials

Learn about the activities candidates must complete, the criteria used to select an appropriate student for the practicum component, and required materials.

Knowledge and Skills Gained

Individuals who successfully meet all the requirements receive WRS Level I Certification and are able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of dyslexia and related language-based learning disabilities.
  • Use assessments to identify students with word-level deficits who are appropriate for an intensive intervention.
  • Effectively use Structured Literacy instructional techniques, and demonstrate explicit teaching, modeling, guided practice, and consistent review in lessons.
  • Understand language processes and how they impact the development of proficient readers and writers: phonological, orthographic, semantic, syntactic, and discourse.
  • Successfully incorporate the following areas of reading instruction during WRS lessons: phonemic awareness, phonics, word structure, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Accurately teach the structure of the English language (presented in WRS Steps 1-6): consonant and vowel phonemes, syllable structure, common orthographic rules and spelling patterns, common Latin-base elements and affixes, etc.
  • Identify printed words that do not follow the rules of English and incorporate Structured Literacy techniques to help students learn how to correctly read and spell these words. These words include high frequency words.
  • Diagnostically plan and deliver lessons, addressing and understanding specific student weaknesses that impact the ability to learn to read and write.
  • Appropriately pace students through the curriculum, developing mastery of material taught, designing lessons that focus on accuracy, automaticity of word reading, and fluency with text reading.
  • Develop students’ listening and reading comprehension skills through the Wilson Comprehension S.O.S.™ process. Model and incorporate reflective awareness and visualization strategies in order for students to develop a coherent mental model of text.
  • Develop students’ fluency skills by modeling and practicing a penciling technique to encourage proper phrasing and prosody.
  • Administer pre- and posttesting assessments to document student growth in word attack, spelling, comprehension, reading fluency, and broad reading measures.


Participants completing this certification program may represent themselves as WRS Level I Certified Teachers but are not qualified as Wilson® Credentialed Trainers. Wilson Level I Certificate holders earn the recognition of Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P.) and must re-credential every five years to maintain the W.D.P. recognition.

Graduate Credits

Up to nine graduate credits (optional) are available through Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA, upon completion of course requirements. Please see Process for Graduate Credit for details.

Learn About Professional Learning Opportunities

We provide educators with the training needed to enhance instruction and support implementation of our programs with fidelity to achieve student success. Whether you need individual teacher support or school and district implementation plans, WLT is here to help.

2 educators at a Wilson Workshop