Orton-Gillingham for Intervention

Finding the right OG training program is crucial for interventionists to get the best results with their students.

Again and again, the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach is proven to be a powerful tool in teaching students with dyslexia and other language-based learning challenges. Its structured, multi-sensory approach is unmatched in its effectiveness in literacy instruction. But what about its application in an intervention setting? Reading interventionists have a unique position in the learning-to-read pipeline; their instructional knowledge and strategy must equip them to handle any learning situation. Orton-Gillingham is invaluable in reading intervention as an essential asset for educators seeking to make a difference.

The success of OG lies in the tailored approach provided to each individual’s unique learning needs. This personalized methodology becomes even more vital for reading interventionists– ensuring all students receive comprehensive and targeted support, whether they are beginners struggling with the basics or more advanced readers struggling with comprehension. 

What Does Orton-Gillingham Look Like in Intervention?

The OG approach focuses on building foundational skills, addressing gaps, and fostering reading fluency. The multi-sensory nature of OG engages students’ different learning modalities, following a structured sequence teaching phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. A key distinction of OG in intervention is its ability to identify and target specific areas of struggle while also considering the learner’s strengths.

One-on-one intervention, especially using approaches like Orton-Gillingham, is highly personalized and focused on addressing the specific needs of the individual learner. It begins with an initial assessment to understand the learner’s current reading and spelling abilities, as well as their strengths and challenges. Based on the assessment results, the educator develops an individualized lesson plan that targets the learner’s areas of difficulty. These lessons are sequenced logically, starting with foundational skills and progressing to more complex concepts.

OG utilizes multisensory techniques to engage multiple senses and enhance learning, including activities like tapping out syllables or using manipulative materials. Through these activities, the educator will work on building the reader’s skills of:

  • Phonological awareness
  • Phonics
  • Reading practice
  • Spelling and writing
  • Sight words and vocabulary

Regular review sessions should reinforce previously learned concepts and ensure retention, along with ongoing assessments to track the learner’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to the instruction. As the learner becomes more proficient in foundational skills, the tutor gradually introduces more complex reading materials and challenges.

Orton-Gillingham Activities for Intervention

Morpheme BINGO

Engage students with familiar games while sneakily incorporating learning components. Create a BINGO card grid and place syllables, sounds, or morphemes in the grid spaces. The teacher will dictate a concept, and if the students have it on their board, they will cover the concepts with a token until someone has BINGO. This activity not only reinforces morphemic awareness but builds comprehension. 

Arm Tapping

Help students master irregular words through multisensory review. Create a stack of cards containing the words your students are learning. Reveal the words one by one by holding the cards with your non-dominant hand in front of you. Have students tap left to right using their dominant hand. Right-handed students start with their right hand on their left shoulder, and left-handed students start with their left hand on their right wrist. State each letter of the word while your students tap down their arms, and once they tap out each letter, state the whole word while creating a sweeping motion down the arm. Think of this sweeping motion as underlining the word. 

Sound Repetition to Word Building

For struggling readers who have a difficult time with phonological awareness, hands-on activities can make all the difference; plus, engaging visual, auditory, and tactile (fine motor) pathways never hurt. Take a plastic tray, cookie sheet, tabletop, or other medium and cover them with shaving cream or sand. Call out a known sound and have your students repeat the sound. Then, they should use their fingers to write the letter that makes that sound while verbalizing the letter name and sound (/d/ d says /d/). By utilizing their fingers to write the letter, they are accessing thousands of nerve endings that transfer patterns to the brain while solidifying the connection between sounds and letters.

While OG is an intervention tool with countless success stories, effective implementation requires well-trained educators. Finding the right OG training program is crucial for interventionists to get the best results with their students. The Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE) stands as a leader in OG training, offering expert-led comprehensive courses that equip educators to unlock the transformative power of OG and create an inclusive, empowering, and effective learning environment for struggling readers at any level.

Orton-Gillingham’s personalized, multi-sensory approach bridges gaps and empowers struggling readers to unlock their full potential. By embracing Orton-Gillingham and accessing top-notch training through IMSE, reading interventionalists can make a lasting difference in the lives of their students.