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Standards Alignment

States' rigorous college- and career-readiness standards for English Language Arts and Literacy for grades K–5 specify what students should understand and be able to do by the end of each grade. The second edition of Fundations® was published in the summer of 2012 and includes significant updates to thoroughly and specifically address these rigorous standards. In particular, Fundations offers specific, measurable learning objectives that are aligned to states' standards. Fundations and Standards in Foundational Skills Fundations thoroughly teaches the Foundational Skills in states' colle [...]

Starting a New Chapter

“I suppose I did okay in kindergarten, but the rest of my formal education was pretty much a flop.” So shares Alby Lee Lewis in Life with No Words, a candid memoir about growing up in poverty in Chicago, masking his illiteracy for decades, navigating adulthood as a non-reader, and returning to school at age 55 to learn to read through the Wilson Reading System®. Al has shared his story on the Oprah Winfrey show, with Wilson® instructors, and with college students earning degrees in education. When a college professor suggested he write a book about his experiences, he said, “Why n [...]

Student Identification

To determine if Wilson Reading System® (WRS) instruction is appropriate for a particular student, school professionals and parents should begin by evaluating a student’s foundational reading and spelling skills (word-level reading and spelling). Norm-referenced reading assessments that measure word identification, word attack, and spelling may be used for this purpose.   Students With Poor Word Reading and Spelling With or Without Comprehension Deficits  Low scores on tests that measure word identification, word attack, and spelling indicate that a student has not  [...]

Raising Scores, Opening Doors

A persistent parent. A determined school psychologist. A responsive administration and school board. When these forces converged in the rural Georgetown-Ridge Farm School District in Georgetown, IL, something extraordinary happened.After implementing Wilson’s Tier 2 intervention program, Just Words®, to assist struggling middle school readers, the students’ standard test scores jumped dramatically, their reading gap with grade-level peers closed significantly, and the district embraced a new approach to teaching basic reading skills.“Standard scores are generally very stable and predict [...]

Fundations with Fidelity

Inside the cheery, colorful PreK-2 classrooms at Betty McElmon Elementary School, daily, half-hour lessons in Fundations are another bright part of the day. As children experience the thrill of learning to read, teachers and administrators are delighting in their students’ achievements. Now entering its sixth year implementing Fundations, the West Long Branch, NJ, school notes significant increases in student learning outcomes in language arts, shared Principal James Erhardt. Over the past two years, BME has experienced an average 15 percent increase in English Language Arts PARCC scores, h [...]

YMCA Book Club Boosts Summer Literacy

The summer months aren’t just for playing outside and doing fun crafts. At the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, campers made progress in their reading skills alongside these traditional summer activities. For the third summer, the YMCA’s Quincy Summer Day Camp hosted a free summer literacy program aimed at mitigating summer learning losses. The program, referred to as “Book Club” by the campers, uses Wilson® materials to advance and maintain the literacy skills of third- and fourth-grade students who have been identified as at risk of experiencing summer learning losses. Th [...]


For those new to dyslexia, making sense of the many words and phrases used by physicians, educators, and researchers can seem daunting. This list of commonly used terminology is offered as a reference to enhance understanding about the academic, scientific, and legal words you will likely encounter. References (click to show) Birsh, J., Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, (4th Edition), 2018, Paul H. Brooks Publishing. Harris, Theodore L, Hodges, Richard E., The Literacy Dictionary, the Vocabulary of Reading and Writing, 1995, International Reading Association, Inc. [...]

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- [...]

Instructional Principles

The principles of instruction incorporated into all of Wilson’s programs are key to their success. These principles have been identified by research as effective teaching principles found to increase student achievement.Delivering Systematic Instruction: Sequential and CumulativeAll three programs present skills in a systematic and sequential manner.  Previously taught skills are brought forward cumulatively. New skills in each Unit/Step build upon previously taught ones and are presented explicitly. Instruction continually circles back to relate the new concepts with previously mastered [...]

Foundational Skills at an Accelerated Pace for Grade 4 and Beyond

As educators and families roll out of a challenging school year and prepare for a new start this fall, the topic of getting students on track for grade-level success is top of mind. With national reading proficiency scores already low, the need to address illiteracy has intensified. Have you met Wilson’s Tier 2 intervention program, Just Words®? It is the word study component of the evidence-based Wilson Reading System® (WRS) curriculum and progresses at an accelerated pace. Just Words helps students in grade four and above master the foundational reading skills they’ll need to advance [...]