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Multi-Sensory Alphabet

Orton–Gillingham is a teaching approach specifically designed to help struggling readers by explicitly teaching the connections between letters and sounds. Today—decades after it was introduced—many reading programs include Orton–Gillingham ideas.


This structured literacy approach introduced the idea of breaking reading and spelling down into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and then building on these skills over time.


It also pioneered the multisensory approach to teaching reading, which is a common component of effective literacy programs. This means that instructors use sight, hearing, touch, and movement to help students connect language with letters and words. Orton–Gillingham is widely used to teach students with dyslexia.


What Orton–Gillingham Focuses On


Orton–Gillingham focuses on teaching kids to read at the word level. While it can help develop reading comprehension, that’s not the primary goal.


This approach uses multiple pathways to help kids learn. For example, students might learn the letter s by seeing it, saying its name, and sounding it out while writing it with their fingers in shaving cream.


Orton–Gillingham also puts a strong emphasis on understanding the hows and whys behind reading. Students might explore why the letter s sounds one way in the word plays and another way in the word snake. Once they know consistent rules and patterns, they’ll be better able to decode words on their own.


One example of Orton-Gillingham instruction is the use of multi-sensory instruction. That's why we invented the multi-sensory alphabet at The Brilliant Dyslexic.



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