Reading Tutor Program

literacy intervention program for struggling readers

The MultiLit Reading Tutor Program (RTP) caters for students who have not acquired the basic skills needed to become functional readers. Children who have failed to learn to read in the first few years of schooling need intensive, systematic reading instruction if they are not to fall further behind, or even become complete non-readers. The RTP reflects a contemporary approach to best practice literacy instruction as identified by international reading scientists and as reflected by the reports of the US National Reading Panel (2000), the (Australian) National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (2005), and the (UK) Rose Report (2006).

Please note: Reading Tutor Program is available for purchase by schools only.

Who is it for?

  • Students from Years 2 and 3 up to adults who have not acquired the basic skills needed to become functional readers


The Reading Tutor Program is a one-to-one program which can be delivered by classroom teachers, learning support teachers or trained teacher aides. The program should be delivered three to five times per week for 40 minutes per session.

Key benefits

  • Incorporates intensive, systematic and explicit instruction in the three areas found by research to be most effective for low-progress readers: phonics (or word attack skills), sight words recognition, and supported book reading.
  • Low ongoing costs of implementation
  • Can be used with students across a wide age range, with placement tests determining the most appropriate starting point in the program

Program content

The Reading Tutor Program comprises three main components:

  1. Word Attack Skills
  2. Sight Words
  3. Reinforced Reading

What's in the Kit?

The Reading Tutor Program Kit includes the following components:

  • Reading Tutor Program introductory video (in Members’ Area)
  • Word Attack Skills Manual, Sound Prompt Cards and Recording Booklet (Note: a separate Recording Booklet is required for each student undertaking the program. Additional booklets may be purchased here.)
  • Sight Words Manual, Sound Prompt Cards and Recording Booklet
  • Reinforced Reading training video (in Members’ Area)
  • Reinforced Reading instruction booklet
  • Online resources available via the MultiLit Members’ Area, such as recording forms, fluency sprints, segmentation exercises and certificates.

Word Attack Skills

Word attack skills help students to decode text by associating sounds with letters or groups of letters. The Word Attack Skills component of the RTP addresses accuracy, fluency and spelling. A specific sequence is presented in hierarchical order of difficulty, where essential pre-skills knowledge is taken into consideration. The teaching intervention is explicit, systematic and takes a ‘synthetic’ approach in line with contemporary best practice.

Sight Words

Knowledge of the most frequently occurring words in text allows poor readers to access a great deal of the text they encounter without having to resort to decoding skills that they might not yet have mastered. In the Sight Words component of the RTP, 200 words are presented, with sections of the lesson to cover learning new words, achieving automaticity, and ensuring words are stored in the student’s longer-term memory.

Reinforced Reading

One of the single most important things we can do to help low-progress readers is to hear them read every day, for as little as 15-20 minutes, using a set of tutoring strategies known as Reinforced Reading. We call it Reinforced Reading for three reasons:

  1. The reader and the reading is supported or reinforced by a trained tutor;
  2. The low-progress reader is positively reinforced for good reading by means of highly specific and contingent tutor praise; and
  3. The learning of sight words and word attack skills is reinforced by the supported reading of real words in real text in context.

Reinforced Reading is predicated on the set of tutoring strategies for use with low-progress readers known as Pause, Prompt and Praise (PPP), a technique used and researched extensively since the early 1980s, and has been revised in the light of current research and the findings of the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy. Our research has repeatedly shown that most low-progress readers can make major gains when this essentially very simple procedure is employed properly on a regular basis.

Reading Tutor Program Professional Development Workshop

Although the manuals, DVDs and guides included in the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program are very comprehensive and explain how to implement the program in a one-to-one setting, training is highly recommended to give the user the extra confidence to get started.

The MultiLit Reading Tutor Program PD is now available either as a one-day face-to-face PD workshop, or via eLearning modules.

Please note: As the content of the RTP PD Workshop is heavily focused on implementation of the RTP program, we highly recommend you purchase a RTP Kit in order to get the most from this training.

RTP PD workshop

What the workshop covers

  • An overview of MultiLit and our philosophy
  • An explanation of each of the program’s strands
  • Hands-on practical exercises in how to deliver all aspects of the program with particular emphasis on Word Attack Skills, Sight Words and book selection for Reinforced Reading

Who should attend?

  • School-based primary and high-school teachers (special needs and mainstream teachers)
  • School-based teacher aides
  • School counsellors


1 Day (6 Hours)

As an alternative to the live, face-to-face workshops, we offer RTP training via online self-paced eLearning modules. This format is ideal for busy teaching staff and other paraprofessionals who prefer the flexibility of learning at their own pace, in small bites, during school relief time or in the convenience of their own home. The workshop is available on a range of platforms: PC, Mac, or mobile device.

The course comprises eight 30-minute modules, with access to all content for four weeks. This access will enable you to revisit the content and consolidate your learning. Each module includes video demonstrations and practical activities to provide opportunities to apply and consolidate your knowledge of the key features of the Reading Tutor Program. You will also receive immediate feedback on your responses to help you as you work your way through the training.

The eight self-paced modules are as follows:

  1. Course introduction
  2. Unpack the Kit
  3. Word Attack Skills Introduction
  4. Word Attack Skills Accuracy
  5. Word Attack Skills Fluency
  6. Sight Words Introduction
  7. Sight Words Daily Session
  8. Reinforced Reading

Participants will receive a certificate upon completion.


Completing Reading Tutor Program eLearning Modules Professional Development Workshop will contribute 5 hours and 30 minutes of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of Delivery and Assessment of NSW Curriculum/EYLF addressing standard descriptor 2.5.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.


Teacher Quality Institute (TQI), ACT

This program has been accredited by TQI in 2024. Attendance provides 5 PD hours for ACT teachers.

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Institute of Special Educators

This program is endorsed by the Institute of Special Educators (InSpEd).

Please note: The use of MultiLit publications and attendance at professional development workshops is for personal education use in schools with State/Territory accreditation (‘Accredited Schools’). Other commercial use, hiring or lending, or other use as part of any commercial, not-for-profit, or fee-paying program of instruction or tuition not carried out within an Accredited School is strictly prohibited.

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