What Is Orton-Gillingham?

In the 1930s, neuropsychiatrist and pathologist Dr. Samuel T. Orton and educator, psychologist Anna Gillingham developed the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction for students with “word-blindness,” which would later become known as dyslexia. Their approach combined direct, multi-sensory teaching strategies paired with systematic, sequential lessons focused on phonics.

Orton-Gillingham is a step-by-step learning process involving letters and sounds that encourages students to advance upon each smaller manageable skill learned throughout the process. It was the first approach to use explicit, direct, sequential, systematic, multi-sensory instruction to teach reading, which is effective for all students and essential for teaching students with dyslexia. Today, the Orton-Gillingham approach is used around the world to help students at all levels learn to read.


Critical Components of the Orton-Gillingham Approach


The Key Benefits of the Orton-Gillingham Approach


Where Orton-Gillingham Fits

While Orton-Gillingham has long been associated with dyslexia, teachers have been advocating for years that the Orton-Gillingham method be utilized in every classroom.

Orton-Gillingham places a strong emphasis on systematically teaching phonics so that students understand the how’s and why’s behind reading. Word recognition is best taught through a phonics-based approach, wherein students develop knowledge and skills about how the alphabet works to become expert decoders. Children can then apply the knowledge they learn to decode and encode new words.


What is IMSE’s Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham Plus?

For over 25 years, the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE) has refined its Orton-Gillingham approach to empower modern educators to teach the foundation of the English language.

IMSE believes that all children should be able to read. To achieve this end, IMSE wants to bring Orton-Gillingham to all educators to give children the best literacy instruction possible.


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