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Remedial Reading

Wilson Language System

Just for fun:

How many syllables are in
the English language?
What two consonants
never end a word in the
English language?
What do eat, bread, and
steak have in common?

What is the most common vowel sound?

List three words with split vowels.

What is the difference between a homograph, homophone,

and homonym?

6 (closed, open, vce, -le, r-controlled, double vowel)
EA double vowel different sounds
Schwa: salad, seven, lesson, Alaska, compliment
Create, violin, reopen
homophone: rose & rose - different meanings/pronounced the same
homograph: live & live - pronounced differently/spelled the same
homonym: stalk & stalk- same spelling/same pronunciation/different


Wilson Language System

Uses a multi-sensory approach to reading and spelling along
with teaching patterns and rules.
First published in 1988 and has developed into training teachers
and providing materials. Their website provides videos.
Wilson has published research and testimonials about its

My personal experience:
Can be modified to suit the students needs
Can be used to plug holes so to speak, and go on
Teaches both reading and spelling, although spelling skills usually
follow behind the reading skills (Wilson promotes 95% word reading
vs. 75%-80% spelling to continue)
Easy to use as the teachers manual:
gives explicit directions
lists skills that you are teaching and gives a broken down type of verbal
dictation of the entire lesson.
breaks daily lessons into parts to keep the lessons moving
Provides a lesson book page to actually write plans

Reading for some older students actually becomes a study of the

English language

Getting Started
Use the WADE to assess students (see handout)
Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding

Sounds in isolation including consonants, digraphs/trigraphs,

vowel sounds, welded sounds, and additional sounds (tion,
sion, etc.)
Reading words grouped into syllables (non-sense words too)
Spelling words also grouped into syllables
Reading and spelling sight words
Fluency in a words per minute chart

Wilson has all students start with either Book 1, Lesson 1 or Lesson 3
Referred to as Lesson 1.1 or 1.3

There are also two levels of words, A and B

A is for elementary, ESL, or older students with limited vocabulary
B is for students with a varied vocabulary-the Wilson recommends that you start with A
level words with all students and progress to B

Lessons are referred to as 2.3B = Book Two, Lesson 3, B vocabulary

Book 1-teaches closed syllable pattern, consonant sounds, basic digraphs,
and short vowel sounds and making these words plural.
Book 2-teaches closed syllable pattern with welded sounds, blends, and
Book 3-teaches two and three syllable closed pattern and scooping words
into syllables.

Multi-Sensory Part
A large part of the Wilson are the
sound cards:

I used a SMART Board with

unlimited letters

Sound cards on the chalkboard

for easy manipulation for
teaching and student spelling

Wilson also has small magnetic

boards but they are difficult to
use for some students

Wilson recommends tapping-out

Consonants, vowel use one finger

Digraphs use two at the same


I havent had much luck with getting

older students to tap-out sounds
so I use dry-erase boards, scooping,
and counting syllables.
I also think that using the SMART
Board helps with the multi-sensory
part of the system.


Lesson Plans
Lesson plan pages are provided and the teacher can
actually take notes on student progress during class and
continue the day to day lesson plans as the lesson
progresses and decide the next days plans.

Review sounds students are

struggling with or present
new sounds
Review and teach new

Use the book

to read

Spell using
the sound
Read stories
from the

Use flashcards and play games like

Collect the cards or Around the

Back to the sound cards and

review sounds in the opposite
Use dry erase boards or paper to
spell words and sentences.
Practice capitalization and
Read orally something the students like
to teach comprehension, vocabulary,
literary elements.

My own additions:
The Wilson provides fluency practice in the form of phrases.
I actually use Wilson controlled stories.
Students are tested at the beginning of the year and given the story in a
file folder to take home and practice always carrying the fluency in their
I start every class with fluency (which students should have) and actually
time fluency three times a week at the beginning of the year and twice a
week during the second semester.
I have a file box with all the stories accessible for students in case they
forgot their fluency and for obtaining new fluency stories as they
Students chart their own fluency progress and eventually, they can time
each other.
The very first reading of a story is cold and every other reading is hot.
This is charted in two colors.

Fluency Charting









Book 1


Book 2

Book 3



Book 4

Book 1 through Book 3

Book 1 starts with closed syllables - three sounds. By
the end of Book 1, students know: all basic alphabet
sounds and short vowel sounds, plural (s), diagraphs.
Examples: gum, sad, fox, chop.
sat---set---sit mad---met---mitt---mutt to practice
vowel sounds
Book 2 adds welded sounds (ang, ank, ong, onk, etc.)
plus two-letter blends, three letter blends, and diagraph
Book 3 moves from one syllable words to two or three

Book 4 through Book 6

Book 4-starts a new syllable-vce (long vowel sounds)

*e kicks the vowel and the vowel says its own name
bathe---reptile---give (v never ends a word)---involve
Book 5-open syllable-cv (y as a vowel; first syllable/i/, second
syllable /e/ and . . . the schwa sound)
Book 6-suffix endings (including 3 sounds of ed) + cle syllable

Books 7-12 = more complex

Examples of concepts taught:
-c or g followed by e, i, or y = soft sounds
-dge & nge fudge & plunge
-tch & ph
-r-controlled syllable
-double-vowel syllable
-suffix endings that change the original spelling
hope/hop hoping and hopping
All of the lessons teach exceptions to the rules.