Orton-Gillingham Approach

The Science of Reading: The Orton-Gillingham Approach, also known as Structured Literacy

Samuel Torrey Orton

Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) was a pioneer in directing his attention and focus on reading failure and related language processing difficulties. He gathered neuroscientific information and principles of remediation. As early as the 1920s, he studied children with the kind of language processing difficulties now commonly associated with dyslexia and created an array of teaching principles for children with dyslexia.

Anna Gillingham

Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) was an educator and psychologist. Working closely alongside Dr. Orton, she trained teachers, compiled and has published several instructional materials based on the approach she and Dr.Orton developed. The Orton-Gillingham Approach has been the gold standard and most effective intervention designed for remediating language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

The Orton-Gillingham Approach (OG) is an instructional technique with Scientific roots. It has been found to be particularly effective for dyslexic individuals – those who have unexpected difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing. At The Roig Academy, Orton-Gillingham is used both in the classroom and in small group instruction. 

Orton-Gillingham is diagnostic and prescriptive. It is direct and explicit. The sequence of skills ensures the student’s success and all skills are practiced to mastery.

Orton-Gillingham is a language-based approach. Teachers at The Roig Academy are trained in the phonological (sound structure), morphological (form of words), and orthographical (writing convention) structure of the English language. With this approach, students are able to learn the structure of words and how understanding this structure helps not only with decoding but also with vocabulary and comprehension as well. While the Orton-Gillingham is multisensory in nature, the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements are used together for optimal learning.

Orton-Gillingham is structured, sequential, and cumulative. Students begin by reading and writing letters and sounds in isolation. Then these letters and sounds are blended into syllables and words. Consonants, digraphs, blends, and vowel teams are all introduced in a structured and sequential way.

OG employs metacognitive strategies. Our students learn the history of the English language and study the rules and generalizations that govern its structure. They benefit from knowing how the English language works and why certain words are phonetic while others have to be learned a different way. 

Students at The Roig Academy experience a high degree of success and confidence with each of their language lessons. 

“This school was an absolute blessing. My son’s confidence returned and his gifts and talents soared. After the excellent training that he received at The Roig, he was able to excel.”

– I.H. Parent 


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