The Wilson Way

Experts in Structured Literacy and the science of reading

Wilson® is a pioneer and leader in championing an evidence-based, Structured Literacy approach to reading and writing.

What is Structured Literacy?

Structured Literacy is a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction grounded in the science of reading that research has shown is effective for all students and essential for students with dyslexia. The instruction emphasizes highly explicit and systematic teaching of all of the foundational elements that are critical for reading and writing proficiency. These include phonemic awareness, phonics and word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, listening and reading comprehension, and written expression.

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) coined the term Structured Literacy to unify and encompass the many evidence-based programs and approaches that are aligned to their Knowledge and Practice Standards. Wilson Language Training® and Wilson® Accredited Partners have received the Accreditation Plus designation by IDA. This designation recognizes that Wilson Reading System® certifications align with the IDA’s Standards for Teachers of Reading. The Accreditation Plus designation is the highest level of recognition by IDA.

Decades of research provide us with an understanding of how children learn how to read

See these resources from Dr. G. Reid Lyon, former Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health: Ten Maxims: What We’ve Learned So Far About How Children Learn to Read and the supporting research behind these maxims.

Wilson® brings Structured Literacy expertise to the classroom

Research findings show that Structured Literacy instruction is beneficial to all students and critical for some—particularly those with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. That’s why Wilson delivers foundational Structured Literacy programs to K–3 general education classrooms and those beyond the elementary grades who struggle with reading and spelling with our systematic and explicit curricula—Fundations® and Just Words®. Fundations lays the groundwork for lifelong literacy with foundational skills for grades K–3; Just Words is an accelerated word study program for struggling readers in grades 4–12 and beyond. The Wilson Reading System (WRS)—our flagship program upon which all our other programs are based—directly and comprehensively teaches all aspects of the structure of the English language to students in grades 2–12 (as well as adults) who require more intensive literacy instruction.

Comprehensive Structured Literacy instruction includes lessons that encompass the following domains of language: phonemic awareness, phonology, morphology, and syntax and semantics as they relate to patterns and conventions of written language (orthography). Instruction in reading and reading comprehension is integrated with spelling and written expression and lessons are taught based on sound principles of learning. Concepts are explicitly (clearly explained and modeled) and systematically (via a well-organized sequence of instruction, building upon previously taught skills) taught, in an interactive manner that is both diagnostic and mastery driven. Additionally, instruction is cumulative and continually provides review and immediate feedback for students as they build their knowledge.

Reprinted with permission. Click the image to view the PDF. The Structured Literacy infomap may evolve over time as new information and research comes to light.

Learn more about Structured Literacy

Register for this one-hour module: Overview of Structured Literacy Instruction and the Updated IDA Graphic, presented by Barbara A. Wilson, M.Ed., co-founder of Wilson Language Training.

The Winter 2024 edition of Perspectives, produced by the IDA, focuses on Structured Literacy.

Read about Structured Literacy: Effective Instruction for Students with Dyslexia and Related Reading Difficulties.

Wilson’s professional learning helps teachers put Structured Literacy into practice

With its commitment to comprehensive professional learning and ongoing support, Wilson has put Structured Literacy into practice for more than three decades. We help teachers to understand the foundation of the science of reading—in which Structured Literacy is grounded—and ensure that educators can provide expert Structured Literacy instruction to both individuals and groups of students of varying abilities.

All Wilson programs and materials are aligned with the most current evidence concerning instruction in literacy. Our workshops, trainings, and certification programs are well-respected in the field for supporting teachers. With Wilson professional learning, teachers gain a deep understanding of program content and principles of instruction while learning to provide lessons with great skill and fidelity.

A teacher with glasses and a polka-dot shirt is assisting a seated woman with a name tag that says Melissa. They are reviewing a piece of paper together in an educational setting, surrounded by books and other students working on similar activities.
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Ready to put Structured Literacy into practice and achieve your literacy goals?

Our support teams are comprised of highly trained and experienced former teachers and administrators who have previously provided Wilson programs in their classrooms or have implemented trainings for their faculty. Reach out anytime for ongoing support to navigate implementing and sustaining effective instruction through our programs.