Orton-Gillingham is an instructional approach intended primarily for use with persons who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing associated with dyslexia. It is most properly understood and practiced as an approach, not a method, program, system or technique. In the hands of a well-trained and experienced instructor, it is a powerful tool of exceptional breadth, depth, and flexibility.
The essential curricular content and instructional practices that characterize the Orton-Gillingham Approach are derived from two sources: first from a body of time-tested knowledge and practice that has been validated over the past 70 years, and second from scientific evidence about how persons learn to read and write, why a significant number have difficulty in doing so, how having dyslexia makes achieving literacy skills more difficult, and which instructional practices are best suited for teaching such persons to read and write.
The approach is so named because of the foundational and seminal contributions of Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham. Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) was a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist. He was a pioneer in focusing attention on reading failure and related language processing difficulties. He brought together scientific information and principles of remediation. As early as 1925, he had identified the syndrome of dyslexia as an educational problem. Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) was a gifted educator and psychologist with a superb mastery of the language. Encouraged by Dr. Orton, she compiled and published instructional materials as early as the 1930s which provided the foundation for student instruction and teacher training in what became known as the Orton-Gillingham Approach.
The Orton-Gillingham Approach is most often associated with a one-on-one teacher-student instructional model. Its use in small group instruction is not uncommon. A successful adaptation of the approach has demonstrated its value for classroom instruction.
Excerpt from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators
The Professional Training Institute is pleased to offer Orton-Gillingham training that meets the rigorous standards of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.
We offer Associate Level (Level 1) training and the subsequent Associate Level practicum and seminars.
Our newly launched Certified Level (Level 2) training program began in fall 2011.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information.
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