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What is Orton-Gillingham?

Transforming Lives through Personalized Literacy

You may have heard the term "Orton-Gillingham", or even "OG". Let me tell you, this is not just a trendy buzzword. Orton-Gillingham is considered the gold standard for teaching reading and spelling to students who have dyslexia or difficulties with reading and spelling.

In the realm of education, this one approach has stood the test of time as a beacon of hope for individuals with dyslexia and other reading challenges. The Orton-Gillingham approach, named after its creators Samuel Torrey Orton and Anna Gillingham, has revolutionized the way we teach and support struggling readers. Orton-Gillingham works for all students, but is especially effective for those who have dyslexia. Let's delve into what makes this approach so special and its transformative impact on literacy.

A Personalized Journey to Literacy

At its core, the Orton-Gillingham approach recognizes that every learner is unique. It embraces a structured, personalized, and multisensory approach to teaching reading, writing, and spelling. The methodology is carefully tailored to the individual needs and learning style of each student, ensuring that they receive the support they require to succeed. Some schools offer Orton-Gillingham based instruction, but many still use the "balanced literacy" approach and parents are forced to look elsewhere for Orton-Gillingham instruction. Online tutoring for dyslexia and online Orton-Gillingham is engaging, effective, and convenient (no need to commute to a tutor's location after a long day at school)! Look for companies that specialize in online Orton-Gillingham programs.

The Science Behind Orton-Gillingham

Orton and Gillingham based their approach on the principles of linguistics, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. Programs like The Barton Reading and Spelling System follow this approach. Orton and Gillingham understood that individuals with dyslexia have difficulties with phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and decoding skills. As a response, they developed a systematic approach that explicitly teaches the relationships between sounds and letters, enabling learners to decode words effectively.

best reading programs for dyslexia Orton-Gillingham
The science behind Orton-Gillingham

Multisensory Techniques: Engaging the Senses

One hallmark of the Orton-Gillingham approach is its emphasis on multisensory techniques. These techniques engage multiple senses – auditory, visual, and kinesthetic – to reinforce learning. This also makes it fun and engaging! By involving various sensory pathways, the approach helps learners form stronger connections between letters, sounds, and words. This approach is particularly effective for individuals who struggle with traditional teaching methods. Online tutoring for dyslexia integrates multisensory techniques that engage the senses and help develop reading and spelling.

Barton Reading multi-sensory tutoring
Multi-sensory learning techniques

Structured and Sequential Progression

The Orton-Gillingham approach follows a structured and sequential progression. That Barton Reading and Spelling System is an example of an Orton-Gillingahm based program. It starts with building a solid foundation in phonological and phonemic awareness and gradually advances to more complex language skills. The approach ensures that students master each skill before moving on, providing a sturdy scaffold for their literacy development. Online tutoring for dyslexia is an effective way to access these programs if they are not used in schools.

Building Confidence and Self-Esteem

Perhaps one of the most powerful outcomes of the Orton-Gillingham approach is its impact on learners' confidence and self-esteem. By tailoring instruction to individual needs, celebrating incremental successes, and fostering a supportive learning environment, the approach empowers students to overcome challenges and recognize their own potential. Hammond Bell Educational Services stands apart because we are more than just tutors. We build relationships with develop confidence and self-esteem through our online dyslexia tutoring lessons.

reading programs that build confidence dyslexia
Helping develop confident, strong readers

Beyond Dyslexia: Universal Benefits

While originally designed for individuals with dyslexia, the principles of the Orton-Gillingham approach have proven to be beneficial for a wide range of learners. Its focus on explicit instruction, personalized learning, and multisensory engagement has helped struggling readers, English language learners, and even those without significant challenges achieve literacy success. Programs like The Barton Reading and Spelling System are particularly helpful for students with dyslexia. Orton-Gillingham is considered the gold standard for online dyslexia tutoring.

The Heart of Education: Empowerment through Orton-Gillingham

In a world where literacy is a gateway to knowledge and opportunity, the Orton-Gillingham approach stands as a testament to the power of personalized education. By recognizing the uniqueness of every learner and providing them with the tools they need to conquer reading challenges, this approach has transformed countless lives and ignited a passion for learning that knows no bounds. See if our online dyslexia tutoring programs are the right fit for you.

Empowering minds, exceeding expectations. Unrivaled dyslexia tutoring for extraordinary growth. Contact Hammond Bell Educational Services to learn more about Orton-Gillingham dyslexia tutoring.


  • Orton, S. T., & Gillingham, A. (1935). "Teaching Reading at Home and School: A Guidebook for Parents and Teachers." Commonwealth Fund.

  • International Dyslexia Association. (2021). "The Orton-Gillingham Approach: What You Need to Know."


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