The Science Behind Orton-Gillingham: Why It Works
Learn more about the popular approach that is helping educators everywhere address all instructional tiers.
When it comes to effective literacy education, the search for impactful teaching methodologies is on the rise. A popular approach that is helping educators everywhere address all instructional tiers is the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach. Based on the science of reading (SoR), OG is a widely recognized methodology focused on a systematic, sequential approach that utilizes multimodal instruction for teaching reading and spelling.
Understanding Orton-Gillingham: A Methodology Rooted in Science
Developed in the early 20th century by Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham, this structured, multisensory approach has become synonymous with effective remediation for individuals with dyslexia and other reading challenges.
At its core, the Orton-Gillingham methodology recognizes that language is a complex system and tailors instruction to the unique needs of each learner. The evidence-based approach focuses on teaching students the connection between phonemes and graphemes through the use of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic pathways. Using multiple pathways to teach and review concepts helps solidify the connection between what students hear, say, see, and write.
Orton-Gillingham isn’t just a methodology; it’s a testament to the power of research-driven strategies in unlocking the door to literacy for every individual, regardless of their learning profile. As we delve into the intricacies of Orton-Gillingham, we discover a methodology that not only stands the test of time but continues to evolve, grounded in the ever-advancing landscape of scientific understanding in literacy education.
Neurological Alignment: It Starts in the Brain
The magic of OG lies in its alignment with the brain’s neurological processes. The evidence-based approach focuses on teaching students the connection between phonemes and graphemes through the use of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic pathways. Using multiple pathways to teach and review concepts helps solidify the connection between what students hear, say, see, and write.
Multisensory Learning: The Key to Success
At the core of OG is its multisensory approach. Engaging multiple learning pathways simultaneously—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic—ensures a deeper, more comprehensive understanding and retention of language concepts. Learners who hear, see, write, and speak a word or phrase create stronger neural connections, reinforcing learning and retention.
Consistent Corrective Feedback and Individualized Instruction
One of OG’s hallmarks is its adaptability. OG focuses on a prescriptive-diagnostic teaching methodology. OG-trained educators diagnose their students’ academic abilities and/or limitations, then prescribe an appropriate course of action through tailored lessons to suit each learner’s unique strengths and challenges. With an emphasis on corrective feedback, students must master each skill before they move on to the next. By identifying specific areas of difficulty and employing targeted strategies, OG fosters a supportive learning environment where students can thrive.
The Efficacy of Orton-Gillingham in Practice
Its integration of neuroscience, personalized instruction, and multisensory techniques signifies a progressive stride toward inclusive and effective literacy education. Numerous success stories stand as a testament to the transformative power of the Orton-Gillingham approach. Students who once struggled with reading, spelling, and language comprehension have deveoped confidence and proficiency through this method. By building a solid foundation in phonemic awareness, morphology, orthography, semantics, syntax, and more, learners equipped with the power of OG are sure to become more adept readers and writers.
Check out IMSE Impact Structured Literacy Professional Development and begin your journey toward unlocking the potential of every learner and revolutionizing literacy in your classroom with Orton-Gillingham.