LANGUAGE! Live offers more for struggling readers than any other product. Proven foundational and advanced reading intervention. Peer-to-peer instruction. Literacy brain science. A captivating modern, digital platform for grades 5–12. All
in one affordable solution. More is possible
Literacy solutions guided by the Science of Reading pedagogy, the Structured Literacy approach, and explicit teaching of sound-letter relationships for effective reading instruction.
Grades K-5 blended literacy intervention
Grades K-5 online reading practice
Grades 4-12 print literacy program
Grades K-12 writing program
Grades 4-12 literacy intervention
TransMath Third Edition is a comprehensive math intervention curriculum that targets middle and high school students who lack the foundational skills necessary for entry into algebra and/or who are two or more years below grade level in
A targeted math intervention program for struggling students in grades 2–8 that provides additional opportunities to master critical math concepts and skills.
Empowers students in grades K–8 to master math content at their own pace in a motivating online environment.
NUMBERS is an interactive, hands-on mathematics professional development offering for elementary and middle school math teachers.
Best Behavior Features Elements to Create a Happy, Healthy School Environment
LETRS professional learning is now offered exclusively by Lexia.
Reliable, Research-Based Assessment Solutions to Support Literacy and Math
Assess essential pre-literacy and oral language skills needed for kindergarten.
Enhance early reading success and identify students experiencing difficulty acquiring foundational literacy skills.
A universal screening and progress monitoring assessment that measures the acquisition of content-area literacy skills for 7th and 8th grade students.
A companion tool for use with Acadience Reading K–6 to determine instructional level and progress monitoring.
Assess critical reading skills for students in grades K–6 and older students with very low skills.
Predict early mathematics success and identify students experiencing difficulty acquiring foundational math skills.
Give educators a fast and accurate way to enter results online and receive a variety of reports that facilitate instructional decision making.
A brief assessment that can be used with Acadience Reading K–6 to screen students for reading difficulties such as dyslexia.
A new, online touch-enabled test administration and data system that allows educators to assess students and immediately see results, providing robust reporting at the student, class, school, and district levels.
Look to ClearSight to measure student mastery of state standards with items previously used on state high-stakes assessments. ClearSight Interim and Checkpoint Assessments include multiple forms of tests for grades K–high school.
Unparalleled support for our educator partners
We work with schools and districts to customize an implementation and ongoing support plan.
Grades 5-12 blended literacy intervention
Focused on engaging students with age-appropriate instruction and content that supports and enhances instruction.
Reading intervention for grades K–5.
At Voyager Sopris Learning®, our mission is to work with educators to help them meet and surpass their goals for student achievement.
Step Up to Writing®
by Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D. on Dec 1, 2021
In an ideal world, all students would respond well to the same teaching methods. However, in practice, what may be effective instruction for one student may not work for another. When it comes to students with learning disabilities like dyslexia, most
teachers recognize their instructional approach may need to shift to help all students learn to read advanced texts.
What if we told you there was a proven approach to teaching reading that was developed specifically for students with dyslexia but could benefit all children? That approach exists, and it's called Structured Literacy.
While no single instructional program, method, or approach is ideal for all students with dyslexia—let alone for all struggling readers—there are broader types of instruction that tend to be most effective for these students. The term Structured
Literacy was introduced by the International Dyslexia Association® to describe these kinds of approaches.
Structured Literacy is a science-based approach to teaching the basic concepts of reading. With Structured Literacy programs, new educational concepts and ideas are presented in a logical order, and students become proficient in one skill (like phonemic
awareness skills, for example) before moving on to more difficult concepts. This systematic teaching approach provides ongoing practice in foundational literacy skills as students tackle greater challenges.
Another essential component of Structured Literacy is explicit instruction, which means educators provide direct, clear instruction about topics and provide feedback to students as they learn. Direct instruction helps ensure students have mastered fundamental
concepts, like solid phonics skills or phonemic awareness skills, before moving on to higher-level skills tackled in higher reading levels. Student responses to Structured Literacy lessons show that this explicit teaching method helps prepare students
to become effective readers with strong comprehension skills.
The content of Structured Literacy education involves key components of language and literacy that research has shown to be central in reading development and reading problems, including:
The explicit teaching vital to Structured Literacy is sharply contrasted by another widely used teaching method, balanced literacy. In balanced literacy teaching practices, students learn to read by being exposed to books and dedicated phonics instruction.
In the balanced literacy classroom, students learn new words through contextual clues while reading in a group or independently.
Balanced literacy programs work well for some students, particularly high-income students with access to real books at home. However, other students who have not mastered literacy fundamentals can fall behind in a balanced literacy classroom. For poor
readers as well as many skilled readers, a more explicit program better helps them to develop foundational reading skills.
Most educators have heard about Structured Literacy, but many fail to take advantage of Structured Literacy practices because they misunderstand some common misconceptions about them.
Unlike what many people believe, Structured Literacy lessons are not only beneficial for children with reading disabilities like dyslexia. In contrast, Structured Literacy can be a beneficial instructional approach for all students, since it provides
educators with a helpful framework outlining how to teach as well as what to teach.
Additionally, some educators think Structured Literacy is only about teaching basic level foundational skills such as phonemic awareness and solid phonics skills, not more advanced skills like writing or phonological awareness skills. In fact, Structured
Literacy approaches can benefit children who need support with decoding skills, syllable patterns, and encoding skills (writing skills), including those with dyslexia, but they can benefit other types of poor readers as well. Structured Literacy is
an umbrella term that encompasses multiple instructional programs and methods but which share general content elements and feature explicit and systematic instruction.
Identifying students with dyslexia should inform educator practices, but it should not solely determine what method of instruction is used. That's because recent research has shown that some reading problems emerge only in the later grades, as late as after third grade. Educators may notice student progress slow in later elementary years unexpectedly. These later-emerging reading problems are often connected to comprehension-related
weaknesses in areas such as vocabulary, syntax, background knowledge, and inferencing—weaknesses that tend to impact reading comprehension more significantly as students advance in school and the reading demands become more challenging.
Because educators may not initially identify these children as displaying reading difficulties, they may not ultimately provide the level and manner of instruction that would support most fully as they become literate. However, if properly implemented,
the cumulative instruction provided by Structured Literacy approaches can boost the reading levels of these students as well as those whose reading disabilities emerge earlier and those who never display reading difficulties.
When children don't learn to read, it negatively impacts them individually, but it also negatively impacts our society. Therefore, utilizing teaching practices that yield significant, positive literacy results for the greatest number of students is not
only an issue for individual school districts, it's an issue that deserves attention from our country and our global education community.
A study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation reveals that students who do not learn to read by the end of third grade
are three times more likely to drop out of high school than readers at the start of fourth grade. According to the National Institute for Literacy, 43 percent of Americans
with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty, and 70 percent have no job or a part-time job. Conversely, only 5 percent of Americans with strong literacy skills live in poverty.
Unfortunately, the inability to read impacts more than just an individual's job prospects and income levels. Students who don’t learn to read also have a greater likelihood of developing mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, than students who learn to read.
The negative impacts go beyond the individual—society suffers as well. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “The link between academic
failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” For instance, our criminal justice system is flooded with inmates who struggled in school, many because they never moved from learning to read to reading to learn. Thus,
low literacy rates place greater pressure on society’s social welfare programs, which, in turn, affect the tax rates of every working American. Low literacy rates also increase crime and decrease public safety and security.
Clearly, the knowledge and skills developed alongside literacy are vital for individual and societal success.
To be well adjusted socially and emotionally, students require basic school skills—reading, writing, and arithmetic. School administrators and teachers can ensure reading and writing skills can be addressed through evidence-based reading instruction
that includes highly knowledgeable teachers who use a curriculum like Voyager Sopris Learning's LANGUAGE! Live®,
which has an appropriate scope and sequence of skills taught explicitly and systematically. Teaching with a program that uses a Structured Literacy approach like LANGUAGE! Live helps teachers engage students because the curriculum is highly
For additional educator resources, watch our webinar from Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D., on Structured Literacy activities for teaching students with difficulties in various areas.
Louise Spear-Swerling, Ph.D., is professor emerita in the Department of Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. She has prepared both general and special educators to teach reading using Structured
Literacy approaches for many years. She is the author of The Power of RTI and Reading Profiles: A Blueprint for Solving Reading Problems, published by Brookes, and the editor of a forthcoming volume from Guilford Press, Structured Literacy Interventions: Teaching Students With Reading Difficulties, K–6.
She also is a member of several journal editorial boards, including those for Annals of Dyslexia, Teaching Exceptional Children, and Reading Psychology. She consults often for school districts in Connecticut,
mostly for cases involving students with severe or persistent literacy difficulties and ways to improve their achievement.
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