Orton-Gillingham Approach to reading instruction

Posted by Jennifer on October 11, 2010  |   No Comments »

The Orton-Gillingham Approach to reading instruction is based on the work of Dr. Samuel T. Orton and was developed into a remedial program manual by Anna Gillingham. This approach is considered the first of its kind to implement and popularize the multisensory, Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic (VAK) approach to teaching students with dyslexia to read.

Principles of Instruction

  • Diagnostic and prescriptive
  • Language-based
  • Systematic, sequential, cumulative but flexible
  • Cognitive
  • Direct and explicit instruction
  • Multisensory
  • Emotionally sound

Since the inception and refinement of the Orton-Gillingham Approach in the 1920s and 30s, many programs have been developed using these principles. These include:

  • Slingerland
  • Project Read
  • Recipe for Reading
  • Language!
  • The Writing Road to Reading
  • S.P.I.R.E.
  • Dyslexia Training Program
  • Alphabetic Phonics
  • Wilson Reading System

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Orton-Gillingham Approach


  • Comprehensive and thorough training of practitioners to control for fidelity of implementation.
  • Explicit and systematic instruction for students with severe reading disabilities.
  • Clearly delineated scope and sequence.


  • Teacher intensive daily planning for creating student specific lessons.

Training to be a Dyslexia Tutor

At the Academy of Orton-Gillingham, there are four levels of training: Subscriber, Associate, Certified, and Fellow. Learn more at http://www.ortonacademy.org/certification.php

Florida Center for Reading Research, www.fcrr.org

Leave a Reply