How To Teach Reading To Struggling Students

Reading is a skill that every student needs to learn, but not all students will learn reading at the same pace. Sometimes, it will be necessary for the teacher to take extra measures to ensure that their struggling students learn to read effectively

Many strategies can facilitate this, and both teachers and specialists can use various approaches to supplement their main instructions. We will be discussing some of these approaches throughout this article.  

Reading Mastery

Reading Mastery is a highly systematic program. It starts by teaching word sounds and their corresponding words and letters, then moves on to teaching learners to read passages. It helps build vocabulary while also increasing learner understanding of what is being read. 

Reading Mastery groups students by level and is often used by general and special education teachers to complement other teaching programs. However, this does not mean it cannot be used on its own. Reading Mastery Classic is designed for grades K – 3, while Reading Mastery Plus is designed for K – 6.


The Orton-Gillingham approach is considered the gold standard for teaching reading to dyslexic learners. It works at the word level by teaching students the connections between sounds and letters, and it also uses what is known as a multisensory approach. 

It taps into sound, sight, touch, and movement to help children link language to words. Orton-Gillingham teaches learners to use the patterns and rules regarding how and why letters make the sounds they do, and it is also the basis for several other reading programs. 

Project Read

Project Read is a program that is designed to be used in the classroom or a group. It emphasizes instruction by the teacher, and lessons move from letter sounds to words, sentences, and stories. It involves three sections, namely listening, understanding, and writing. 

All three sections are taught at every grade level, but the emphasis changes by grade. Project Read is sometimes used in general education classrooms, where many students struggle to read. In schools where most learners are at the expected level of reading ability, the program is generally employed by special education instructors or reading specialists to provide extra support to students. 

Read Naturally

Read Naturally’s goal is to improve understanding and reading fluency in children and adults. It uses audio, text, and computer software, and it generally involves students listening to a story, then reading the same text aloud. 

The program carefully tracks progress, and students can progress at their own rate and work at their own level. They will generally work independently. 

Concluding Thoughts

Reading is one of the most important skills anyone can learn. Struggling students do not have to suffer, as there are plenty of ways that teachers can use technology and other methods to assist them.

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