top of page
  • Writer's pictureM. Kovack

What is Structured Literacy?

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

Structured Literacy is an approach to reading instruction that is beneficial for all students, and critical for those at risk for reading difficulties due to a variety of factors (e.g.,low socioeconomic status, English Language Learners (ELL), and students with disabilities).

"This approach is characterized by the provision of systematic, explicit instruction that integrates listening, speaking, reading, and writing and emphasizes the structure of language across the speech sound system (phonology), the writing system (orthography), the structure of sentences (syntax), the meaningful parts of words (morphology), the relationships among words (semantics), and the organization of spoken and written discourse" (IDA, 2018, p. 4).

Structured Literacy includes specific skills AND specific ways of teaching these skills. I would also add that warm and engaging teachers who make learning playful and inquiry-based is also a critical component.

International Dyslexia Association (2019). What is Structured Literacy? A Primer on Effective Reading Instruction. [Infographic - partial]. Retrieved from

This is an excellent article and can be found on the Reading Rockets website:


International Dyslexia Association (2018). Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading. Retrieved from

McMahan, K. M., Oslund, E. L., & Odegard, T. N. (2019). Characterizing the knowledge of educators receiving training in systematic literacy instruction. Annals of dyslexia, 69(1), 21-33.

Spear-Swerling, L. (2018). Structured literacy and typical literacy practices: Understanding differences to create instructional opportunities.Teaching Exceptional Children, Vol. XX, No. X, pp. 1 –11. DOI: 10.1177/00400599177501 Retrieved from

451 views0 comments
bottom of page