The Orton Gillingham method to reading instruction is a systematic, direct, explicit method used to teach students letter/sound association. It combines visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles in an effort to reach all learners. This method relies on daily repetition in order to achieve mastery of letter/sound recognition, word blending, and sentence construction for all students. The multi-sensory approach enables learners to capitalize on their strength while strengthening their weaknesses. The Orton Gillingham method to reading helps cultivate an understanding of language that beginning readers need to develop important language skills.
Research shows that teaching children to manipulate phonemes in words is highly effective with learners across all grade levels and that teaching phonemic awareness to children significantly imporves their reading. The effects of phonemic awareness instruction on reading lasts well beyond the end of training, as children continue to use the strategies and methods learned to sound out unfamiliar words.
Orton Gillingham is direct instruction of each letter and sound in isolation. Students are taught to manipulate the sound and symbols to create words and sentences independently. This explicit instruction is presented in a sequential format which provides students with the review and consistent practice that allows them to encode (spell) and decode (read) with ease. Research suggests that about 30 percent of children require direct instruction of letter/sound association, and that every child benefits from it.