The Orton-Gillingham Approach
Students with dyslexia or who are at risk for dyslexia benefit the most from instructional approaches that are systematic, cumulative, and multisensory, such as the Orton-Gillingham approach (O-G). O-G instruction:
- Emphasizes the structure of language
- Incorporates multisensory learning strategies
- Integrates listening and speaking
- Practices reading and fluency
- Applies language structure to spelling
- Develops vocabulary
- Strengthens written expression
Effective teaching of these skills to children with dyslexia requires teachers with expert knowledge and skills. They must understand how language skills are acquired, how reading ability is developed, and that each student has individual learning needs that must be addressed.
Orton Gillingham instruction includes:
- One hour tutoring sessions twice a week that focus on language, listening and speaking, reading, spelling, vocabulary, and fluency
- Sessions that are offered year-round to ensure retention of skills
- Progress reports at the end of every school year and summer session that outline what has been taught and specific areas of continued need
Best practices suggest that most students need at least one year of O-G tutoring (36 weeks), with many students continuing for two or more years.