Wilson 4th Edition Level I Certification

​Individual Teacher Practicum Course


WRS Introductory Course must have been completed within the last 5 years.

Registration for WRS 4th Edition Level I may be started at any time in the year.

Please reference www.WilsonLanguage.com 

Susan Sentell & Associates

WRS 4th Edition Level I Certification requires completion of a prerequisite Introductory Course, a minimum 65-hour supervised practicum, a 90-hour word study online course, and student pre- and post-testing reports. During the process, each trainee acquires a very sophisticated working knowledge of the sound-symbol system of English and its structure, as well as the use of specific diagnostic techniques in teaching reading and spelling. As part of their training, teachers receive verbal and written feedback, in at least 5 observations, about their lesson planning and delivery of the program over the course of 12 months. This is the only process by which someone can become WRS Certified. 

Must Fill Above Info then click SUBMIT

To Send to Susan Sentell & Assoc.

​While some teachers with multisensory structured language training have been able to use the WRS program and materials with a degree of success after attending the three day WRS Introductory Course, they are not considered trained in the Wilson Reading System. Only Level I or Level II Certified individuals can represent themselves as Wilson Certified Teachers. This assures the integrity of the program and that it is being implemented with fidelity.


Fee for entire Practicum and Certification is $2,300. Full payment due at the time of enrollment after your practicum student is approved by Susan. Credit cards, PayPal or check are accepted, as well as purchase orders.

WRS 4th Edition Level I Certification
The Wilson Reading System (WRS) 4th Edition Level I Certification program is designed to prepare teachers to effectively implement WRS Steps 1-6 with students who are reading and spelling below grade level as well as those diagnosed with a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia. It consists of two components: the WRS Intensive Instruction: Online Course (Steps 1-6) and the WRS Level I Steps 1-6 Practicum.

A critical factor for student success is teacher knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply those in the classroom with students. The WRS Level I Certification Program provides a course that deepens teachers’ content knowledge while providing a supervised practicum that allows teachers to apply and practice skillful use of research-based strategies. Considerable time, effort, and study are required for the WRS Certification program. 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 decoding and encoding, and strategies for vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

WRS Introductory Course (completed within the last five years). Both 3rd Edition or 4th Edition training are acceptable.

Individuals have 12 months from the date of enrollment to complete the online course and practicum.

There are 5 required observations with teacher and their practicum student.

Delivery Options

For individuals who live in close proximity to Stuart, FL

  • If at all possible, teachers should plan to bring their student to Stuart, Florida for each of the 5 observations that are spread out over the course of study.

If you do not live close to Stuart, FL

  • For those teachers who do not find it feasible to travel, Skype observations may be substituted as a web-based practicum experience.


  • Complete a comprehensive online course: WRS Intensive Instruction: Online Course (Steps 1-6).
  • Conduct 1:1 WRS instruction with a practicum student for a minimum of 65 lessons with a lesson plan written for each lesson. Student must meet selection criteria and be approved by Susan.
  • Be observed five times teaching the practicum student. Each observation is scheduled with Susan and lasts approximately one hour.
  • Submit a pretesting report on the practicum student, including educational history and current test results.
  • Develop a teacher and student notebook and compile students’ written work in accordance with WLT program standards.
  • Demonstrate mastery of the WRS Lesson Plan procedures (documented and approved by Susan).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of language concepts through accurate teaching with multisensory procedures (Steps 1-6).
  • Demonstrate student success and mastery of decoding/encoding skills.
  • Conduct pre- and post-testing with three tests, including the Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding (WADE), and the Word Identification and Spelling Test (WIST). An additional norm-referenced test must be submitted.

Practicum Student Selection Criteria
The practicum student must meet the following criteria and be approved by Susan Sentell before instruction begins.

  • Aged 10 or older - entering grades 4-12 (grade 3 approved if student has been retained).
  • Overall cognitive ability in average range (minimum IQ = 80).
  • Overall reading scores in the 30th percentile or below.
  • Student’s listening comprehension ability is higher than independent reading comprehension.
  • Student has poor decoding and spelling.
  • Student must be available for instruction at least three to four 45-minute sessions, two to three 65-minute sessions, or two to three 90-minute sessions (1:1) per week.
  • The practicum student must not have any previous Wilson instruction.

Whether the criteria is met should be determined from school records and current testing. Testing results used to select practicum student must be no more than six months old.

For practicum student approval, first do this:

     1. Administer the 4th Edition WADE (Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding) and send results via email to Susan, to be used as a screening for student approval.

     2. Then, you must administer the WIST (Word Identification and Spelling Test). 

     3. Your final step is to obtain another standardized, norm-referenced assessment. See options below.

Scores obtained must be within 6 months of your practicum registration. Any one of the following is suggested:

  • Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests – III
  • Woodcock-Johnson IV (WJ-IV)Tests of Achievement*
  • Woodcock-Johnson III Diagnostic Reading Battery (WJ-III DRB)
  • Wechsler Individualized Achievement Test, Third Edition (WIAT-III)
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Third Edition (KTEA-3)*

*Only specific subtests are required.

The practicum situation works best when the selected student has a consistent attendance record and does not have overriding emotional or behavioral issues.

4th Edition Materials Required

  • WRS 4th Edition Introductory Set that contains instructor and student materials.
  • WIST (Word Identification and Spelling Test) for student testing. 

For individuals registering for WRS Level I Certification or Web-Based Practicum, materials should be ordered independently before or at the time of registration.

Upon Completion
Individuals who successfully meet all the requirements receive WRS Level I Certification and are able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of dyslexia and related language-based learning disabilities.
  • Use assessments to identify students with word-level deficits who are appropriate for an intensive intervention.
  • Effectively utilize multisensory structured language (MSL) instructional techniques, and demonstrate explicit teaching, modeling, guided practice, and consistent review in lessons.
  • Understand language processes and how they impact the development of proficient readers and writers: phonological, orthographic, semantic, syntactic, and discourse.
  • Successfully incorporate the following areas of reading instruction during WRS Lessons: phonemic awareness, phonics, word structure, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
  • Accurately teach the structure of the English language (presented in WRS Steps 1-6): consonant and vowel phonemes, syllable structure, common orthographic rules and spelling patterns, common Latin and Greek-based prefixes and suffixes, etc.
  • Identify printed words that do not follow the rules of English, and incorporate multisensory structured language techniques to help students learn how to correctly read and spell these words. These words include high-frequency sight words.
  • Diagnostically plan and deliver lessons, addressing and understanding specific student weaknesses that impact the ability to learn to read and write.
  • Appropriately pace students through the curriculum, developing mastery of material taught, designing lessons that focus on accuracy, automaticity, and fluency of word and text reading.
  • Develop students’ comprehension and fluency skills through the use of the 3-step visualization process, selection and instruction of appropriate vocabulary, and modeling and practice of penciling technique for phrasing.
  • Administer pre- and post-testing assessments to document student growth in word attack, spelling comprehension, reading fluency, and broad reading skills.

Participants completing this program may represent themselves as WRS Level I Certified Teachers and are included in Wilson's tutor referral service, but are not qualified as Wilson Trainers. The policy to recommend only WRS Level I or Level II Certified Teachers is the way of assuring the integrity of the program.

Graduate Credit
Up to nine graduate credits (optional) are available through Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA, upon completion of course requirements. Please see Process for Graduate Credit for details on the WilsonLanguage.com website.

WRS* 4th Edition Level I Certification.


Please email Susan@SusanSentell.com

before registering below

Cost $2,300

Credit card payment

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mail check.