Effective Orton Gillingham Strategies for Helping Dyslexic Learners

Effective Orton Gillingham Strategies for Helping Dyslexic Learners


Dyslexia is a specific learning disability characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition, spelling, and decoding abilities. It is neurobiological in origin and affects the areas of the brain that process language. Dyslexic individuals may experience challenges in reading, writing, and spelling despite having average or above-average intelligence.

Early intervention is essential for children with dyslexia. Identifying dyslexia early and choosing Orton Gillingham tutoring in the early years can notably alleviate hurdles, fostering the development of strong literacy skills. However, it is never too late to benefit from the OG approach. Numerous older children and adults have attained success through this approach, highlighting its effectiveness across various age groups.

The Orton Gillingham (OG) approach is a highly structured, multisensory, and sequential method designed to help dyslexic children overcome reading difficulties. The strategies taught through the Orton Gillingham approach are not just short-term fixes but lifelong tools. Dyslexic learners acquire strategies that they can apply beyond tutoring sessions, empowering them to approach reading and writing challenges with confidence.

Orton Gillingham tutoring sessions often foster strong bonds between tutors and students. This positive relationship encourages active engagement and a supportive learning environment, which are essential for the progress of dyslexic learners. Dyslexic children often face challenges in traditional classroom settings, impacting their self-esteem and confidence. Orton Gillingham’s individualized, supportive approach fosters a safe learning environment where students experience success, boosting their confidence in their abilities.

OG focuses on mastery learning, ensuring that students thoroughly grasp each concept before moving forward. This prevents learning gaps and builds a solid foundation for future skills, contributing to long-term success in reading and writing. Here is a guide to effective strategies for Orton Gillingham tutors working with dyslexic students:

Multisensory Approach

OG employs a multisensory approach, engaging multiple senses simultaneously. Orton Gillingham tutors can use tactile materials, visual aids, auditory cues, and kinesthetic activities to reinforce learning. For example, tracing letters in sand while saying the corresponding sounds creates a multisensory experience.

Structured and Sequential

The OG approach follows a structured, sequential, and cumulative curriculum. Lessons start with foundational skills and progress systematically, ensuring students build upon mastered concepts. Tutors must scaffold learning, reinforcing previously learned skills before introducing new ones.

Phonics and Phonological Awareness

OG emphasizes phonics, teaching the relationship between letters and sounds systematically. Orton Gillingham tutors use explicit instruction to teach phonemic awareness, blending, segmenting, and manipulating sounds to develop strong decoding skills.

Syllable Instruction

Break down words into syllables and teach syllable types. OG tutors focus on syllable division rules, helping students decode and encode complex words effectively.

Spelling and Dictation

Provide structured spelling instruction, teaching spelling rules and patterns explicitly. Dictation exercises, where students write words and sentences dictated by the tutor, reinforce spelling and encoding skills.

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Help students improve comprehension by using strategies like visualization, summarization, questioning, and making connections. Tutors employ OG techniques to reinforce reading comprehension skills through explicit instruction and practice.

Writing Strategies

Teach writing using structured approaches. OG tutors guide students through the writing process, focusing on sentence structure, grammar, and organization. Strategies like sentence combining and paragraph development support writing proficiency.

Visual Memory and Word Recognition

Help dyslexic learners strengthen their visual memory and word recognition through structured exercises. Flashcards, word walls, and games that reinforce sight words and frequently used words assist in recognition and recall.

Building Vocabulary

OG tutors incorporate vocabulary-building activities using context clues, word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Explicit instruction on word meanings and usage enhances language skills.

Individualized Instruction

Customize lessons to suit each student’s needs. OG tutors assess strengths and weaknesses, providing targeted instruction to address specific learning gaps and challenges.

Regular Review and Reinforcement

Reinforce learned skills through regular review and practice. OG tutoring sessions include frequent revision to solidify concepts, ensuring retention and mastery.

Positive Reinforcement and Patience

Create a supportive, encouraging environment. Dyslexic learners benefit from positive reinforcement and patience. Celebrate progress, no matter how small, to boost confidence and motivation.

Collaboration with Parents and Educators

Collaborate with parents and educators to ensure continuity in learning. Provide guidance and resources to support dyslexic students beyond tutoring sessions.

Use of Technology

Integrate technology tools and apps designed for dyslexic learners. Interactive software, audiobooks, and speech-to-text tools can supplement OG strategies.

Professional Development for Tutors

Continuous training and professional development for Orton Gillingham tutors ensures they stay updated with the latest research and instructional methods to better support dyslexic students.

Recognizing that dyslexic children possess vast potential beyond their condition is important. With proper support and intervention, they can excel remarkably. Orton Gillingham tutoring shows the effectiveness of individualized, evidence-based methods in enabling dyslexic children to unleash their complete capabilities. If you observe signs of dyslexia or challenges in your child’s reading and writing skills, Orton Gillingham tutoring can be an invaluable asset in their educational journey.

Final thoughts

Orton Gillingham tutors play an important role in implementing effective strategies to support dyslexic learners. Through a multisensory, structured, and individualized approach, these tutors help students build essential literacy skills, fostering confidence and academic success. For dyslexic students seeking support, seeking experienced Orton Gillingham tutors can significantly enhance their learning experience and skill development.

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