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What is Orton-Gillingham (OG)?

Did you know that reading is not a natural thing for our brains?

We were not born to understand written language the way we were born to understand oral language!

Yes, some kids can begin reading with no problem. However, the majority of students need to explicitly learn the rules of written language.

 You have probably heard that most words in English just don’t make sense and we need to just memorize the way they are spelled. That is not entirely true! The majority of English words are phonetic, which means that they follow predictable spelling patterns.

So… Orton-Gilingham is simply an approach to reading instruction that helps students build a solid phonics foundation, through activities that are multi-sensory, structured, and sequential. Pretty much, Orton-Gillingham helps teach the connections between sounds and letters. It helps kids understand the “why”  behind the way words are read and spelled. 

For example: Why does the word roof  have two f’s at the end but the word fluff only has one f at the end?

Gone are the days when we want students to memorize a list of sight words or spelling words! This only stores them to their short-term memories and does not provide them with the tools to effectively read new unknown words. Not good! To be more effective, reading and spelling need to be broken down into smaller skills and built upon those skills once students demonstrate proficiency. For example, students need to master short vowel sounds before moving on two long vowel sounds. 

Once, students know and are familiar with consistent rules/patterns they’ll confidently be able to decode words on their own. Studies have proven that a strong Orton-Gillinham methodology improves reading skills of struggling readers.  It is important to note that Orton-Gillingham is an approach that was designed to support struggling readers or readers with Dyslexia. But all kids can benefit from this explicit instruction. 

Multisensory instruction plays a HUGE part in the Orton-Gillingham approach! But what is multisensory instruction?

Check out my next post!