Orton–Gillingham: What You Need to Know

Orton–Gillingham was the primary instructing strategy particularly designed to assist struggling readers by explicitly instructing the connections between letters and sounds. At this time — a long time later — many studying applications embody Orton–Gillingham concepts.

The extremely structured strategy launched the thought of breaking studying and spelling down into smaller abilities involving letters and sounds, after which constructing on these abilities over time. It additionally pioneered the “multisensory” strategy to instructing studying, which is taken into account extremely efficient for instructing college students with dyslexia. Because of this instructors use sight, listening to, contact and motion to assist college students join language with letters and phrases.

What Orton–Gillingham focuses on

Orton–Gillingham focuses on instructing youngsters to learn on the phrase stage. Whereas it will possibly assist develop studying comprehension, that’s not the first purpose.

This strategy makes use of a number of pathways to assist youngsters be taught. For instance, college students may be taught the letter sby seeing it, saying its title and sounding it out whereas writing it with their fingers in shaving cream.

Orton–Gillingham additionally places a robust emphasis on understanding the “how” and “why” behind studying. College students might discover why the letter s sounds a technique within the phrase performs, and one other method within the phrase snake. As soon as they know constant guidelines and patterns, they’re higher in a position to decode phrases on their very own.

The place to discover Orton–Gillingham

Orton–Gillingham is a well-regarded strategy to instructing youngsters with studying points. That’s why many classroom academics use Orton–Gillingham–sort methods of their studying instruction. Having college students stroll across the ground within the sample of a letter, as an example, is an exercise impressed by Orton–Gillingham.

However studying specialists use the strategy and applications influenced by it extra comprehensively with college students who’ve dyslexia and different studying points. Some faculties present Orton–Gillingham–like instruction by a pupil’s IEP or response to intervention.

There are a selection of studying applications influenced by the Orton–Gillingham strategy. These embody the Barton Studying Program and the Wilson Studying System. These applications fluctuate considerably. However all of them use a extremely structured, multisensory strategy.

How Orton–Gillingham works

Step one is assessing a pupil to decide his studying abilities and areas of power and weak spot. This may be finished by any specialist or instructor educated within the Orton–Gillingham strategy.

College students are then taught in small teams with others at comparable talent ranges. Instructors comply with a extremely structured strategy that teaches abilities in a specific order. This order is predicated on an understanding of how youngsters naturally develop language.

For instance, the group might first work on making the connection between sounds and the letters that symbolize these sounds. The subsequent step will probably be recognizing these sounds in phrases. College students should grasp every talent earlier than they transfer on to the following. If a pupil is confused, the trainer will reteach that talent from the start. The purpose is for college students to use the abilities they’ve discovered to decode phrases independently.

It’s vital to know what program your youngster’s college makes use of, and the way completely different applications work. That data might help you see if the varsity is assembly program objectives. And it gives you a greater thought of how to assist your youngster at house.

Key takeaways

  • Orton–Gillingham is a well-regarded strategy to instructing youngsters with studying points.
  • Orton–Gillingham’s step-by-step strategy is predicated on how youngsters be taught language.
  • College students should grasp one studying talent earlier than shifting on to the following.


This text initially appeared on Understood.org, a free on-line useful resource for fogeys of youngsters with studying and a spotlight points. Reprinted courtesy of Understood.org © 2018 Understood, LLC. All rights reserved.

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