Being a proficient reader has an impact on a student’s entire education. Teaching students to read is the work of educators. While some educators are well-equipped to take on such a significant task, others wish they were better prepared and supported to make an impact that could change a child’s life. Notably, over many years, the science of reading has compiled information that holds important implications for empowering teachers with the knowledge to help students succeed in reading. In addition, intervention research estimates that the use of evidence-based prevention and intervention approaches in literacy could decrease the number of below-level readers from 30% to 5%.

IMSE makes it easy for teachers to access and absorb the background knowledge, core principles, and instructional practices of structured literacy and the science of reading through our professional development trainings and programs. IMSE programs are an educator’s ultimate ally for literacy, delivered by expert teachers, all with master’s degrees, who know how to ensure that teachers feel knowledgeable, supported, and empowered to help end the literacy crisis we see in schools today.


The Science of Reading Defined


The science of reading is a comprehensive body of research that encompasses years of scientific knowledge, spans many languages, and shares the contributions of experts from relevant disciplines such as education, special education, literacy, psychology, neurology, and more. The science of reading has evolved from a wide range of research designs, experimental methods, participants, and statistical analyses. This conclusive, empirically supported research provides us with the information we need to gain a deeper understanding of how we learn to read, what skills are involved, how they work together, and which parts of the brain are responsible for reading development. 

David Kilpatrick stated, “We teach reading in different ways; they [students] learn to read proficiently in only one way.” The science of reading has demystified any wonder of how we learn to read and offers evidence backed by science to confirm that there is one right way to teach reading. In addition to this, the science of reading provides vital information to drive IMSE’s approach to instruction and to reach all learners.


The Science of Reading: What We Know


The 5 Components of the Science of Reading

The science of reading identifies five essential components that make up the Simple View of Reading.  Structured literacy incorporates all five:  

The ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in words

The ability to relate phonemes to groups of letters in written language

Accuracy, speed, and comfort in reading

The body of words a reader or speaker knows

The ability to accurately interpret the words that are read


Reading Comprehension and the Science of Reading


The science of reading helps us to understand the cognitive processes that are essential for proficient reading. It describes the development of reading skills for both typical and atypical readers. Over the years, the science of reading has debunked various methods used to teach reading that were not based on scientific evidence. 

The science of reading tells us that in young, at-risk students, most reading difficulties can be prevented. And in other grades, studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of systematic instruction involving intensive phonemic awareness training, intensive phonic decoding training, and opportunities for repeated practice with reading controlled text. Intervention in these skills leads to efficient orthographic mapping and the highest degree of success. Unlike whole-word memorization, learning phonics empowers students with an exponential effect.


The Connection to Structured Literacy and Orton-Gillingham


The findings of the science of reading translate into practices called structured literacy. Structured literacy is an approach to teach reading that is based on the science of reading. Through structured literacy, teachers implement methods that are appropriate for all students and particularly necessary for students with learning differences. Structured literacy supports instruction that is explicit, sequential, systematic, prescriptive, diagnostic, and cumulative. Orton-Gillingham is an evidence-based approach that uses research from the science of reading and incorporates recommended multi-sensory instructional techniques. Both of these approaches built on the science of reading share important features:


Master Structured Literacy with Orton-Gillingham Training


The science of reading has proven that a structured literacy approach is a necessary foundation for proficient reading. As teachers, we make a commitment to continue our education to support the learning of every student. IMSE’s Orton-Gillingham training and programs make it possible for teachers to integrate evidence-based and research-based reading instruction and intervention strategies into Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to empower all students in every classroom. 

IMSE’s approach allows teachers to incorporate the five components essential to an effective reading program into their daily lessons: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. The approach is based on the Orton-Gillingham methodology and focuses on explicit instruction that is direct, sequential, structured, and multi-sensory.

It is IMSE’s mission that all children must have the ability to read to fully realize their potential. We are committed to providing teachers with the background knowledge, instructional practices, and confidence to deliver proven literacy education to students of all ages and abilities.

Sign up for our LIVE virtual Orton-Gillingham training! We are now offering half-day, evening, and weekend options to best fit your schedule. 


FAQs About the science of reading


Where can I learn more about the science of reading?

To learn more about the science of reading and structured literacy, check out the following great reads:

How does the science of reading differ from balanced literacy?

The science of reading is a proven approach based on explicit instruction in phonics, while balanced literacy puts emphasis on memorizing whole words and determining their meaning from context.

What is the difference between structured literacy and the science of reading?

The science of reading is a body of evidence, while structured literacy is a method of reading instruction that aligns with that evidence. structured literacy approaches may vary, but they all include systematic instruction in phonetic patterns, starting with simple patterns and moving to more complex ones.

Is the science of reading evidence-based?

The science of reading is a collection of evidence gathered through rigorous scientific research and study. Decades of student outcomes show that instruction according to the science of reading is more effective than other approaches at helping all students achieve literacy. 

What curriculum uses the science of reading?

Curriculum built on the science of reading may take many forms, but two of the most well-known are the Simple View of Reading (SVR) and Scarborough’s Reading Rope.


About The Author

Dr. Kirstina Ordetx is a Level 4 Master Instructor with The Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE). She holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in pediatric neurology.  Dr. Ordetx is an educational specialist with over 25 years of clinical experience, research, and consultation. She is a certified structured literacy Dyslexia Interventionist through the Center for Effective Reading Instruction, a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Executive Functions Coach, and a registered Licensed Mental Health Intern. Dr. Ordetx has published two books that compile her research and practice in Theory of Mind.  She has served on accreditation committees for the Florida Council of Independent Schools, is a university adjunct professor in developmental and child psychology, and presents at various national and international conferences. Dr. Ordetx is head of school for a private academy in Lakewood Ranch, Florida specializing in the multi-sensory education of students who have language and learning-based differences. She is the Executive Director of the Pinnacle Pediatric Therapy Group, a multi-disciplinary, pediatric therapy clinic.



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