An Effective Reading Approach

Q. What is an effective approach to reading instruction for students with dyslexia?

A. The approach must be based in Orton-Gillingham principles. You’ll remember that Samuel Orton, nearly 100 years earlier, coined the term dyslexia. Along with Anna Gillingham, an extremely talented educator and psychologist, they developed the OG approach.

Q. What does the OG approach look like?

A. (I will start posting a mini-series to explain each of these in more detail.)

The approach must be (1) logically sequenced in terms of how each concept is introduced, (2) cumulative, and (3) explicit. It is also (4) diagnostic in that the instructor is constantly taking data throughout the lesson and using that information to build the next lesson. Lastly, the lesson should be taught in the (5) multi-sensory approach.

In general (except when not applicable), each lesson must include instruction on phonemic awareness, phonics, syllable instruction, morphology, syntax, and semantics, with a way for the student to practice their reading and spelling with both review and new concepts. Fluency is also an essential part of the equation.

I’ll start explaining all of this in more detail, and along the way, you’ll get to hear my TED talk (I’m half-kidding) on why I believe OG approach makes sense for ALL students, not just those with dyslexia, and why these skills should be taught long past K-2.