Wilson Reading System

Wilson Reading Overview

Wilson has proven effectiveness for students who are significantly behind in reading, have trouble sounding out words, reading smoothly, and spelling. It is designed for students in Grades 2-12, as well as adults. It is one of a few select programs accredited by the International Dyslexia Association.  

Wilson is a structured literacy program, which means that students learn in an organized, explicit, and sequential manner. The instruction follows a logical progression of language skills, which build on one another. The lessons are taught one-to-one and are individualized for each student. While the tutor follows a well-defined program of skills and routines, they constantly monitor student progress to plan and pace each lesson according what that child needs that day. Instruction emphasizes phonics, which involves learning sound-letter connections, sounding out words (decoding), and spelling. Wilson also teaches vocabulary, word structure and meaning (morphology), and comprehension skills.

Wilson is divided into 12 Steps. These steps do not correlate with grade levels. Rather, they are organized by the complexity of the  English spelling patterns. They start with 3-sound words, then add on multi-syllable words, Latin and Greek bases, and all six syllable types that are found in English. By the time students finish Step 12, they have learned to read and spell almost every type of word they will encounter in the English language.

What does a Wilson lesson look like?

Wilson lessons are typically scheduled 3-4 times a week for 45-60 minute blocks. The student and tutor meet in a set-aside classroom that is free of distractions. Each lesson follows a familiar routine, but with different words and examples. Students build their confidence as they follow this routine. The lessons start with a review of sounds, then reading words, phrases and sentences, followed by spelling sounds, words, and sentences, and finally putting it together by reading stories. 

Lots of review and practice are built into every lesson to ensure that students master each skill before moving on. The lessons are fast-paced and engaging, with plenty of hands-on, multi-sensory activities.

How are Reading Rays tutors trained?

All of the Reading Rays tutors are certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioners. This certification requires approximately 200 hours of coursework, which is the equivalent of 6 graduate credits, as well as a year-long clinical practicum, during which they build their skills by tutoring a student with feedback from a Wilson trainer. The Reading Rays team is hand-picked for their expertise in teaching reading and their commitment to the success of every student.

The Reading Rays Director is a MN licensed Reading Specialist and Special Educator.