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The Orton-Gillingham approach explained

The Orton-Gillingham approach is a structured, multisensory method for teaching reading, writing, and spelling skills to individuals with language-based learning difficulties, such as dyslexia. The approach was developed by Dr. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Orton-Gillingham approach is based on the idea that individuals with language-based learning difficulties require explicit, systematic, and cumulative instruction that is tailored to their individual needs. The approach uses a multisensory approach, which means that it engages multiple senses (such as sight, sound, and touch) to help individuals learn and remember information.

The approach includes several key components, including:

  1. Phonology: the study of the sounds of language and how they are used in speech and writing.

  2. Phonemic awareness: the ability to identify and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in words.

  3. Grapheme-phoneme correspondence: the relationship between letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes) in words.

  4. Syllable instruction: the study of how words are broken down into syllables.

  5. Morphology: the study of the structure of words and how they are formed.

  6. Syntax: the study of sentence structure and grammar.

  7. Semantics: the study of the meaning of words and how they are used in context.

The Orton-Gillingham approach is often used in one-on-one or small group settings, and instruction is highly individualized to meet the unique needs of each student. The approach is structured, sequential, and cumulative, building on previously learned skills and knowledge.

Overall, the Orton-Gillingham approach is a highly effective method for teaching reading, writing, and spelling skills to individuals with language-based learning difficulties. It has been widely used and adapted over the years and continues to be an important approach in the field of special education.

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