of Wilson's® Multi-tiered System of Support
Prevention and Early Intervention:
Wilson Fundations®
Just Words®
Wilson Reading System®
WRS Description
WRS Target Population
Principles of Instruction
Distinguishing Characteristics
WRS Lesson Plan
WRS Alignment to Common Core State Standards
Supplemental Support:
Wilson Fluency/Basic®


WILSON Reading System®

Closing the Gap for Struggling Readers

The Wilson Reading System (WRS) is the flagship program of Wilson Language Training and the foundation of all other Wilson programs. Based on Orton-Gillingham principles, WRS is a highly-structured remedial program that directly teaches the structure of the language to students and adults who have been unable to learn with other teaching strategies, or who may require multisensory language instruction.

Appropriate for students in grade 2 and beyond, WRS is widely used with notable success in public and private schools, clinics, adult education classes, family literacy programs, and correctional facilities.

This step-by-step program gives teachers the tools and confidence they need to work with even the most challenged reader—and their confidence and expertise grows exponentially by attending classes, achieving certification, and taking advantage of Wilson Academy’s extensive online resources and support.

Prevention Prevention Prevention  

Program Highlights

  • Offers a research-based program with more than twenty years of data collected and analyzed from school districts implementing the program.
  • Provides a systematic and cumulative approach to teach total word structure for decoding and encoding.
  • Follows a ten-part lesson plan that addresses decoding, encoding,
    oral reading fluency, and comprehension in a sensible and logical fashion.
  • Aids teachers by making all instruction multisensory and interactive.
  • Uses a unique “sound tapping” system.
  • Has one of the most extensive collections of controlled and decodable text (word lists, sentences, stories) for students beyond the primary grades.
  • Provides two levels of vocabulary, making this program appropriate
    for students in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as adults.
  • Uses criterion-based assessments built into the program to measure student progress and success.
  • Is a comprehensive program that can follow students from grade to grade.

WRS Implementation

Adults and students in grades 2-12 needing intensive intervention should be considered for a Wilson Reading System class with (or under the direct guidance of) a WRS certified instructor.

Instruction is delivered 3-5 times per week for 60-90 minutes in 1:1 or a small group (up to 6 students).

Depending on the frequency and intensity of delivery, it can take up to 2-3 years to complete the entire 12-step curriculum.

Materials for Implementation

The WRS Starter Kit provides the basic materials needed to begin teaching the Wilson Reading System, Steps 1-6. The WRS Deluxe and Standard Kits provide more extensive materials.

Each student must have a Student Reader for the WRS Step being studied, the Magnetic Journal with Letter Tiles, and the Student Notebook (also available online). Optional student materials include the Student Workbooks, Dictation Notebook, and Stories for Older Students.

Additional teacher and student materials will be required as you progress in the program.

The Wilson Academy® Intensive Learning Community (NLC) provides additional materials including animated demonstrations, weekly decodable and enriched text passages, and printable resources. Intensive Learning Community membership is provided upon completion of the WRS Introductory Workshop or enrollment in a Level I or II course. The term of membership is for as long as the individual is an active member in the community and renews their membership annually, at no cost.

Shop online for more WRS Materials

Shop for Wilson Reading System Materials on The Wilson Store

Wilson Reading System

Watch an informational webcast


All students in grades 2-12 and adults who are not making sufficient progress in intervention or who may require more intensive instruction due to a language- based learning disability  
  DAILY LESSON 60 - 90 minutes  
  GROUP SIZE Small group (up to 6 students), tutorial  
  SETTING Special education classroom, resource room, literacy centers, adult education  
  INSTRUCTOR Certified Wilson instructor (preferred)  
Wilson Academy® / Intensive Learning Community (online)
Program workshops
WRS Basic Word Study and Advanced Word Study Online Courses
Level I and II Certification with practicum
Implementation seminars and Coaching days
Sustainability plans
Wilson Fluency® / Basic  

To view an example of literacy planning for students beyond grade 3, click here

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