Webinar Series

Structured Literacy Interventions for the Elementary Grades

This webinar will address the value of Structured Literacy (SL) approaches for different types of reading difficulties, including those centering on comprehension as well as decoding. The webinar will begin with a summary of the key features of SL (e.g., use of explicit, systematic teaching; prompt, targeted feedback; purposeful selections of instructional tasks and texts), and how SL approaches differ from non-SL approaches that are more commonly used to teach reading. Dr. Louise Spear-Swerling, a respected authority on literacy, will then focus on providing multiple examples of SL activities and materials for teaching important components of reading such as decoding, fluency, vocabulary, syntax, and comprehension.

The presentation will conclude with a summary of reasons why SL approaches are especially important for struggling readers, followed by a short Q&A.

Participants will gain:

  • Specific examples of how SL approaches differ from non-SL approaches for teaching reading
  • Understanding of research-based intervention activities or programs for poor decoders
  • Understanding of research-based intervention activities or programs for students with poor comprehension


Dr. Louise Spear-Swerling

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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