In response to COVID-19, Evoke Learning has shifted all of its services and programs online

This program is designed to assist students who are challenged by the acquisition of early reading skills or older students with continued reading difficulties.

Academic difficulties have several potential causes. All struggling readers require explicit and comprehensive interventions delivered with sufficient intensity. When a student expresses frustration or difficulty with reading, or avoids the task, it is often a sign of a deficit that requires intervention.

“Poor readers, in the beginning stages of learning to read, most commonly have a language-based learning problem that is interfering with progress in word recognition (Fletcher, Lyon, Fuchs, & Barnes, 2019; Lyon, Shaywitz, & Shaywitz, 2003).”

Neurocognitive research shows that the brain changes in response to interventions for struggling readers and that those changes extend into young adulthood. At Evoke, we begin remediation by identifying the weak component(s) of the student’s reading so that appropriate intervention can be provided using systematic and evidence-based instruction, strategically targeting deficits. Intervention efforts are directed toward removing the hurdles that are preventing the student from reading. Initial problems in reading will normally persist without intensive intervention and individualized tutoring.

To read effectively, students need both the ability to recognize words easily (decoding) and strong language comprehension (assembling information accurately). If there is impairment in just one of these skills, reading will be impacted. Reading comprehension strategies cannot compensate for an inability to decode words accurately and instantaneously. The ability to understand letter-sound combinations frees the brain to move from foundational reading skills to higher-order reading processes, such as extracting meaning from text and learning new vocabulary. Many students appear to be reading when they are actually whole-language reading (compensating) and therefore not understanding what they read.

“For weak readers to close the gap, they have to accelerate their progress to a rate of growth that is faster than their typically developing peers. Fortunately, research has demonstrated that this is possible (Torgesen at al. 2003).”

Too many children are leaving elementary school with reading skills inadequate for the next level of instruction, yet proficient reading fluency is critical for older students because of its association with comprehension. Students who lag behind their peers in reading proficiency and do not receive adequate remediation will begin to dislike reading, read less than their classmates, and continue to fall behind.

Students who are unable to read words fluently and efficiently will continue to expend most of their limited cognitive resources painstakingly trying to decode letter-sound correspondence, with little to no resources remaining for the demanding task of comprehension. Slow, stilted reading is difficult and frustrating. Weak readers are less likely to practice reading and so do not improve their skills or build fluency and automaticity. Struggling readers require explicit, structured reading instruction. Students with reading difficulties do not catch up without systematic and intensive intervention and practice; this involves considerable time on task, consistency, direct instruction, and evidence-based approaches based in reading science. All are critical factors for struggling readers. There are many students whose language comprehension skills are fully appropriate for their age, but whose decoding skills are poor to nonexistent. They can memorize sight words but do not have the ability to accurately sound out unfamiliar words. Reading tasks become harder with each successive grade level and students underachieve.

“Research has shown that even students with some of the most severe reading disabilities can make substantial progress in their word-level reading skills, with a considerable proportion developing word-reading skills to an average level (Kilpatrick, 2015).”

The Reading Remediation Program

At Evoke Learning, we use effective research-validated reading intervention approaches based on the science of reading. Evoke’s Reading Remediation Program can make significant improvements through direct instruction and training to correct a student’s deficits and undo inefficient word recognition habits. Using proven instructional principles, Evoke’s intervention approaches directly address word-level reading difficulties, train the skills that promote orthographic mapping (the process students use to become fluent readers), and ensure that the student’s learning transfers to the general application of skills. Student progress is measured using standardized assessments to determine the success of the interventions.

“Successful reading comprehension requires the orchestration of a number of different abilities and processes for its success (Oakhill, Cain, & Elbro, 2019).”

Getting Started

Prior to the commencement of the remediation program, students undergo a few standardized assessments (administered by a licensed speech-language pathologist) to identify the specific gaps in their reading skills and determine if they are candidates for the program. Students recommended for enrollment in the reading remediation program work with trained Evoke practitioners in a one-to-one format. Sessions are delivered online, which allows students to work from a quiet place with fewer disruptions and distractions and for them to proceed at their own pace. Student sessions can be scheduled for optimal learning time and lessons are interactive to engage the learner. Remediation sessions are 30 minutes in length.

No combination of assessment and curriculum adaptations and modifications in isolation will help a child struggling with reading learn to read—the student will require instruction; differentiated, explicit instruction in reading and reading-related skills is the only evidence-based treatment for reading disabilities (Miciak & Fletcher, 2019).”

Evoke uses the Simple View of Reading (SVR) model to help identify and remediate reading difficulties. SVR helps to highlight weak components so that appropriate instructional procedures and intervention can be provided.

In order to determine if your child is a candidate for Evoke Learning’s Reading Remediation program, please contact us here.

Questions About Evoke Learning's Reading Remediation Program

How will Evoke’s reading program help my child?

Grounded in the most current research on successful reading interventions, Evoke’s reading remediation program focuses on developing the skills that close the gap for struggling students.

The components of effective reading instruction are the same whether the focus is on prevention or intervention. Evoke’s programming is informed by the science of reading and our efforts are grounded in an understanding of typical reading development and on the factors that disrupt this process. Our interventions are scientific, strategic, and based on a student’s assessment data, which provides an explanation for why the student is struggling.

Research demonstrates that students with severe and persistent learning challenges require multiple opportunities to practice a skill or strategy. Evoke’s program is composed of proven interventions to remediate the reading- related skills that support reading development. Intervention efforts are directed toward removing the hurdles that are preventing the student from making typical reading progress. Students learn reading skills and are provided with an opportunity to practice them.

If my child has ADHD, is working online a good idea?

All of Evoke’s services are individualized and one-to-one (we do not offer group programming). Our practitioners have experience working with exceptional learners and use interactive tools and resources to engage them. The majority of our clients struggle with self-regulation and our practitioners are experts in meeting their needs.

The reading program is offered in short but intensive 30-minute sessions. This is the ideal length of time for students to time for fostering student progress; it is long enough for the intervention to be effective and short enough that the student remains engaged and focused.

How will I know my child is progressing?

Our work is student-focused but data-driven. Evoke integrates ongoing assessment and evaluation into the reading remediation program through the use of standardized, proven assessment tools. Parents receive regular written progress updates, documenting the skills that have been mastered and the focus of current instruction.

Reading progress is visible, and usually begins with a student’s obvious increased reading confidence and willingness to read. Most students avoid reading— and procrastinate around academic work that involves a lot of reading— simply because it’s hard. The change will begin at home and eventually your child’s teacher will also be able to notice the progress they are making.

Do you teach reading comprehension strategies?

Cognitive science research shows that while strategy instruction improves comprehension, it does not positively impact the skills required for reading. To make reading gains, students must be able to decode words fluently. In addition, it’s difficult to understand the meaning of a sentence if you don’t understand the words you are reading. Background knowledge and vocabulary play a much stronger role in reading comprehension than strategies that give readers a one-time boost.

Should I wait and see if my child’s reading improves as they get older?

Research has consistently demonstrated the need for and importance of early identification and intervention for students who may be at-risk for later reading difficulties (Early Reading Expert Panel, 2003). Vaughn et al. (2003) have suggested that “because students who do not learn to read in the first and second grades are likely to struggle with reading throughout their lives, effective reading interventions for students early in their educational careers are critical” (p. 301). If they do not have the underlying skills required, students do not get better at reading by reading.

Does your program help older students?

Reading is a skill that is required for all academic subjects. Learning to read is critical for student success. Quite often, the reading deficits of older struggling readers go unaddressed, and those students must use accommodations to access the curriculum. Research tells us, however, that it is possible to normalize the reading skills of a large percentage of weak readers (Forman & Al Otaiba, 2009) and that large gains are possible for students of all ages and levels of severity (e.g., Simos et al, 2002; Torgensen et al, 2001). The components of effective reading instruction are the same whether the focus is on prevention or intervention (Foorman and Torgensen, 2001). At Evoke, our experience is that reading deficits create substantial cognitive overload for students and in many cases can impact their motivation to start and complete academic work. A combination of reading intervention and assistive technology can help lighten this load and pave the way for academic success.