Team Members: Erin Burns, Ellen Dupuis, and Amanda Kennedy

Manufacturer/Producer: Dr. Samuel Torrey and Anna Gillingham
Website: http://www.orton-gillingham.com
Copyright: 1935 (The program continues to be revised)

Cost of program: Cost varies depending on the materials you buy. There are several books and workbooks that can be purchased through Orton-Gillingham at an average of $20 per book (there are several materials that cost approximately $15, but many teaching manuals range from $30-$75)

Mission Statement:
To provide parents and teaching professionals with the necessary tools to dramatically increase the literacy of our children.

Brief Description of program:
  • Originally designed for students with dyslexia, but is now used for all types of learners.
  • Used for students in the primary grades-adulthood
  • Philosophical background: research and language based and success oriented
  • Utilizes phonetics and emphasizes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles
  • Incorporates a multisensory method of teacher directed instruction

Skills Addressed:
History of the English language • Sound-symbol relationships • Letter formation • Spelling generalizations • Dictionary use • Short and long vowel sounds • Digraphs • Diphthongs • Affixes and roots • Word structure • Consonant sounds • Decoding and encoding words
  • These skills are taught through individual or small group instruction and can also be applied in an inclusive classroom. The program goes through step by step mastery of each skill in sequential order. The student begins with learning the structure of language and gradually moves towards reading. Instruction is teacher directed to provide students with immediate feedback. This form of instruction also allows the teacher to monitor progress and provides ongoing assessment to monitor the student's strengths and needs. All of literacy, including handwriting, reading, and written expression as one body of knowledge.
  • Since this program is focused on a step by step process the students will master each literacy skill before moving on to the next. This allows the teacher to have control over each student's growth on an individual basis. Students learn skills which they can apply on their own outside of the direct instruction to their reading.

Texts and Materials Used:
  • There are several different types of materials that can be ordered through Orton-Gillingham. Some of these include DVD instructional guides, alphabet cards, handwriting workbooks, code cards, blending boards, red word screens, sand trays, and many more. There are also numerous teacher manuals which show how to teach the different areas of literacy. Teachers can use these manuals and dvds to familiarize themselves with the program. Various workshops and training programs are off including a 16 hour core training and a 30 hour comprehensive training session. There are also refresher sessions to assit teachers in maintaining their knowledge, and becoming updated on the lastest revisions.
  • Code cards are flashcards that explore phonemes, digraphs, blends, consonants, and vowels. Anna's_Camera_162.JPG

Strengths of the Program:
  • Individualized for students to help them become more independent and confident learners.
  • Meets students' reading levels so they're unafraid to take risks and become more enthusiastic about reading.
  • Ongoing assessment and feedback allow the teacher to modify instruction and help build in success for the students.
  • It can be implemented into the general cirriculum of phonics and reading.

Weaknesses of the Program:
  • Not many weaknesses exist, but some students may not learn in the same sequential order that the program teaches.

Final Reflection: We would definitely use this in our classrooms as first year special education teachers because we feel that it would help us keep track of where each individual student is at in their learning. It is a very structured program which would give us confidence in carefully monitoring students' progress. The structure of the program would also greatly benefit students with diabilities because they work well when they can achieve small step by step tasks. The highly organized nature of the program allows for a routine that students could become comfortable with. Through the manuals we would be able to learn a variety of teaching strategies and lesson plan ideas. When talking with a cooperating teacher, Mrs. Bartel, she said that she liked the program because it is excellent for teaching phonemic awareness, and it really emphasizes students' skills in being able to form words. It is also easy to use in any setting and can work well in inclusive classrooms. Also, a study as shown that when used in classrooms teachers rate the effectiveness, on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being excellent, at a 4.5.


Mrs. Patricia Bartel, St. Pius V School, Providence, RI

Orton-Gillingham Staff Development, Orton, Gillingham, Orton Gillingham, Phonemic Awareness, Reciprocal Teaching, and Literacy. Web. 11 Nov. 2009. http://orton-gillingham.com/index.aspx.

Scheffel, Debora L., Jack C. Shaw, and Rose Shaw. "THE EFFICACY OF A SUPPLEMENTAL MULTISENSORY READING PROGRAM FOR FIRST-GRADE STUDENTS." Reading Improvement 45.3 (2008): 139-52. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Nov. 2009. http://http://0-web.ebscohost.com.helin.uri.edu/ehost/detail?vid=9&hid=9&sid=b1612153-8b49-4b84-8c97-66df4d523b89%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=34255804.