Orton-Gillingham (known as OG), is a multisensory, sequential, cumulative, systematic, direct, cognitive approach to teaching literacy that benefits all students, but is especially important for those who struggle with language or dyslexia.
It is the original approach that was the result of a collaboration between neuropsychiatrist and pathologist, Dr. Samuel Orton, and psychologist, Anna Gillingham bringing together neuroscientific information and principles of remediation. The content and practices are time tested and have been validated by research over the past 70 years.
It is the basis for various reading programs; many are marketed as “OG-based”. However, one of the very strengths of O-G is the fact that it is diagnostic and prescriptive. These “programs’ all begin at a basic level (such as closed syllable words) and progress in a specific sequence dictated by the program. The Orton-Gillingham Approach, in contrast, is an approach rather than a program; instruction using this approach allows the teacher to instruct the child at the level of his or her need and make informed, diagnostic decisions about the direction that particular student’s curriculum should take. The knowledge of the teacher and the ability to assess a student during the lesson allows for an approach that uses a student’s strengths to address areas of weakness. Each lesson is based on the careful analysis of the previous one – thus being diagnostic and prescriptive.
The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Approach is designed for educators, tutors, special education, reading teachers, parents of children with learning difficulties, professionals in children’s health sectors, and individuals seeking a career in educational therapy. It is appropriate for teaching in the primary grades through college level and adults. It is practiced as an approach, not a method, program, system, or technique.