Word Attack Skills — Extension

literacy intervention program for tackling longer words with confidence

After completing the Word Attack Skills component in the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program many students are able to generalise the strategies they have learnt to all text. However, in some cases, students do need further assistance to continue to make progress. The one-to-one Word Attack Skills – Extension program teaches strategies to help struggling readers tackle multi-syllable words with confidence.

Who is it for?

  • For students in Year 4 and above
  • Students who have completed the MultiLit Reading Tutor but still require assistance
  • Older students who have mastered basic early reading skills but are finding it difficult to improve their reading to a level where they can access the more academic demands of the curriculum, or who have not achieved fluency with their reading, making it laborious


The MultiLit Words Attack Skills – Extension program can be delivered one-to-one by classroom teachers, learning support teachers or trained teacher aides. The program should be delivered in conjunction with Reinforced Reading, three to four times per week for 40 minutes per session.

Key benefits

  • Explicitly teaches students more complex letter combinations, affixes and multi-syllable words.
  • Can be used as a stand-alone program even if students have not completed the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program

Program content

MultiLit Word Attack Skills – Extension follows a set hierarchical sequence of skills, using the same format as in the Word Attack component of the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program with some additional features. The longer scripted intervention demonstrates effective strategies for tackling longer, more complex words. There is a strong scripted spelling component to reinforce reading. A small vocabulary component has been included.

The Word Attack Extension Kit includes the following components:

  • Manual
  • Presentation Cards
  • Recording Booklet (Note: a separate booklet is required for each student undertaking the program. Additional booklets may be purchased separately from MultiLit)
  • Access to online downloadables such as placement test recording forms, segmentation exercises, fluency sprints and achievement certificates via the MultiLit Members’ Area.

Word Attack Skills Extension Professional Development Workshop

Although it is not compulsory to attend training, the one-day Word Attack Skills – Extension (WAS-Ex) PD Workshop is recommended for those new to MultiLit, as well as those familiar with the MultiLit Reading Tutor Program. When teaching higher level reading skills, it is useful for the practitioner to have a thorough understanding of the concepts covered and methods implemented, so we strongly encourage attendance at the workshop to ensure that the program is implemented to the greatest effect.

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

What the workshop covers

  • An overview of the MultiLit Word Attack – Extension Program and its methodology
  • Essential background knowledge and research base
  • Step-by-step guide to all the interventions and strategies used
  • Opportunities to practise the interventions through application exercises

Who should attend?

  • Primary and high school teachers
  • Special educators
  • Literacy coordinators
  • Support Teacher Learning Assistance (STLA)
  • Teacher aides


1 Day (6 Hours)


Completing Word Attack Skills Extension Professional Development Workshop will contribute 5 hours 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 (InSpEd)

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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