Orton-Gillingham and Structured Literacy

Structured Literacy is an umbrella term adopted by the International Dyslexia Association that refers to programs, like Orton-Gillingham, that teach reading by following the Science of Reading.

What Is Structured Literacy?

Structured Literacy is a term created by the International Dyslexia Association in 2016 to help unify the names of the researched approaches to reading, including Orton-Gillingham, phonics-based reading instruction, systematic reading instruction, and synthetic phonics.

However, Structured Literacy is more than just phonics. Based on the latest research in the Science of Reading, Structured Literacy incorporates methodologies like Orton-Gillingham and all five pillars of literacy – plus language comprehension, spelling, and writing.

Orton-Gillingham for
General Education

While Orton-Gillingham has long been associated with dyslexia, it is an approach that can be implemented in the general education classroom as well. The research-based components of Orton-Gillingham create a scientific approach to reading and writing instruction

It is direct, explicit, systematic, and sequential instruction that incorporates multisensory elements. By focusing on these research-based models, educators can teach all their students the essential literacy components such as phonics, phonemic awareness, morphology, word recognition, comprehension, and more.

Orton-Gillingham and
the Science of Reading

Structured Literacy programs are evidence-based and use research from the Science of Reading. The programs incorporate multi-sensory instruction that is explicit, sequential, systematic, prescriptive, diagnostic, and cumulative.


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Structured Literacy can ensure that students are equally exposed to important foundational literacy skills in a sequential, systematic, and cumulative way.