The Orton-Gillingham Approach
Below is a summary of the detailed description of the Orton-Gillingham method, as provided at the
Recognizes the individual needs of learners. While dyslexic students share similarities, there are always differences between students. Students with Dyslexia often have additional problems that complicate learning such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or dysgraphia.
Uses all the learning strands: seeing, hearing, feeling (tactile), and awareness of motion (kinesthetic). For example, letters can be written in the air while the sound is said aloud. Even math can be multi-sensory!
Diagnostic and Prescriptive
It is diagnostic in the sense that the instructor continuously monitors the verbal, non-verbal, and written responses of the student in order to understand both the student’s challenges and progress. This information is used to plan the next lesson. That lesson is prescriptive in the sense that it is designed to help resolve the student’s difficulties and build upon the student’s progress noted in the previous lesson.
Lesson content includes explaining to students what is to be learned, why it is to be learned, and how it is to be learned.
It uses systematic phonics, stressing the 'alphabetic principle' in the initial stages of reading development. The principle teaches that words are made up of individual speech sounds, and the letters of written words graphically represent those speech sounds.
Formally teaches syllabic, morphemic, syntactic, semantic, and grammatical structures of language and writing. Involves the student in integrative practices that involve reading, spelling, and writing together.
Stresses language patterns that determine word order and sentence structure and the meaning of words and phrases. Also examines common patterns and literary forms employed by writers.
Systematic and Structured
Information is presented in an ordered way that indicates the relationship between the material currently being taught and material previously taught.
Sequential, Incremental, and Cumulative
Learners move from the simple, well-learned material to the more complex, only after mastering each step along the way.
Continuous Feedback and Positive Reinforcement
A close teacher-student relationship that builds self-confidence based on success and mastery.
Students understand the what why and how of the learning process. Confidence is gained as they improve their ability to apply new knowledge about the learning process itself.
Teaching is directed toward providing the success. With mastery comes increased self-confidence and motivation.