Orton-Gillingham (OG) is a direct, multisensory, structured, and diagnostic way to teach the connections between sounds and letters. It allows struggling readers to master the reading code.

The OG approach offers clear, straightforward instruction on the sound each alphabet letter makes and how those letters are combined to represent words.

This method is not new or a fad but has been widely used and validated in classrooms, private tutoring and research for over 80 years. There are many publishers of Orton-Gillingham methods. At Aspire Academy, we use the Wilson Reading System created by Barbara Wilson. It takes the Orton-Gillingham method and teaches it using the five building blocks of reading in every lesson. It has robust vocabulary, plenty of decodable text for practice of skills, and prescribed ways to teach prefixes, suffixes, sight words, latin roots and base words. It provides training, published materials and a robust web site as resources to schools, teachers, tutoring centers.

What is Orton-Gillingham

Reading challenges in no way reflect a student’s intelligence, but instead demonstrate a subconscious struggle with the inconsistency of how sounds are written. Struggling readers typically require explicit, direct instruction to understand the English spelling system.

The first step towards improving your child’s reading and spelling is a screening to determine their decoding abilities and processing of language sounds. Instructors at Aspire then follow the Wilson OG approach to teach reading and spelling skills so children succeed.

With an OG approach, students master each reading and spelling skill before they move on to the next. By breaking words down into their individual letters and sounds, the guesswork is taken out of the process of learning to read. Each student’s performance is closely monitored every step of the way to determine areas of both concern and progress. Each time a lesson is crafted, the tutor carefully analyzes previous lessons to review concepts that the individual student finds challenging, and to determine when to introduce new concepts. This continuous review, and yet careful introduction of new concepts, ensures the student develops automaticity for past concepts, but keeps progressing forward.

Wilson Reading System

With the Orton-Gillingham approach, students are taught the English reading code in a logical progression that allows them to overcome their challenges and gain confidence as they move forward in their education—and that’s something worth celebrating!