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Masters of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certification

Reading Mastery - Topic 48

What is it?

The SRA Reading Mastery program uses direct instruction to improve decoding skills, fluency, and comprehension.  The program is a highly structured instructional approach designed to accelerate the reading ability of at-risk students.  It is primarily an elementary program that uses a phonics based approach, based on the behavioral analysis of decoding (Wiltz & Wilson, 2005).  The curriculum and materials of the program attempt to move children toward mastery at the fastest possible pace.  The instructional approach focuses on cuing and reinforcement procedures.  Each discrete component of reading (phonics, segmentation, blending) is broken down into component parts, that are taught in a manner described as synthetic phonics instruction (Wiltz & Wilson, 2005).  

Why is it important?

The SRA Reading Mastery program offers a complete reading program for at-risk students.  It focuses on the areas of greatest weakness often found in this population and attempts to accelerate learning at a rapid pace.  The effectiveness of this approach are mixed; however, there have been documented improvements for at-risk students in comprehension (Wiltz & Wilson, 2005).  


Wiltz, N. & Wilson, G. P. (2005).  An inquiry into children’s reading in one urban school using SRA

reading mastery (direct instruction).  Journal of Literacy Research, 37(4), 493-528.  

Web Links

SRA Reading Mastery Website

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