Why Wilson Certification
The Wilson Reading System (WRS) is a highly-structured multisensory language program based on Orton-Gillingham principles and philosophy for teaching reading and spelling. The teaching plan is based on continuous assessment of the students’ needs.
A critical factor for student success is teacher knowledge. Teachers must have an in-depth knowledge of the speech sound system and must know how our written language represents spoken English. In addition to language structure, teachers also need to master how to teach using multisensory and diagnostic techniques.
WRS is successful with students who have a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia, as well as those who are reading below grade level because of word-level deficits. It is strongly recommended that students who require intensive instruction receive instruction with a highly-skilled WRS teacher.
WRS Level I Certification
Certification provides extensive training and support enabling teachers to effectively implement the program with integrity. Certification includes approximately 90 hours of online instruction, a 60-lesson practicum, including demonstration, observation and feedback from a Wilson trainer. The time, effort and study involved with this program are considerable. Each trainee is expected to acquire a very sophisticated working knowledge of the sound-symbol system of English (phonology) and its structure (morphology), as well as the use of specific diagnostic techniques in teaching reading and spelling.
Individuals who successfully meet all requirements of this certification training receive WRS certification (Level I). Wilson also offers an advanced certification program (Level II) to prepare teachers to successfully deliver the program to groups of students, and teach advanced concepts of language structure.
Improving Student Achievement
The ultimate goal is to improve student achievement. By increasing teachers’ efficacy and skill, WRS certification helps to do just that, as indicated by several reports. Data from pre- and posttests of 220 students with language learning disabilities in grades 3-12 were analyzed. The average gain for Word Attack was 4.6 grade levels, Passage Comprehension was 1.6 grade levels, and Total Reading was 1.9 grade levels. At the time of instruction, the teachers were enrolled in WRS certification (O’Connor and Wilson, 1995). Similar student improvements were observed by Dr. Frank Wood, et al. (2002), in his analysis of pre- and posttest data.