Orton-Gillingham Approach

Orton-Gillingham (known as O-G) 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 may also be referred to as MSL – Multisensory Structured Language.  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 many reading programs which you will see being marketed as “OG-based”.  However, one of the very strengths of O-G is the fact that it is diagnostic and prescriptive.  The reading programs eliminate this as the lessons are preplanned and scripted which saves time for the teacher but does not allow for an individualized approach at the student’s level and pace.  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.