The Orton-Gillingham Approach to Dyslexia has a long history as one of the most effective ways for learning how to improve reading skills. As a dyslexic myself, I know firsthand that this is absolutely true. The Orton-Gillingham Approach not only addresses the specific difficulties associated with dyslexia and reading, but it also teaches students how to have a thorough understanding of the entire concept of reading and writing. In many ways, the entire purpose of the Orton-Gillingham Approach is to give dyslexics a much wider view on the entire subject of reading and writing.
The basic premise of the Orton-Gillingham Approach is that there are two components to learning a second language: phonological awareness and multisensory language skills. This approach was developed by two prominent American educators, William Sears and John Bollinger, who were working closely together on a project to help dyslexics enhance their reading and writing skills. Their research revealed that although there are distinct differences between the phonological system of English and the mathematical system of German, there are key similarities. In fact, both languages utilize a multisensory approach to language acquisition, in which the learner must use more than just pure phonological awareness to acquire words, phrases, sentences, and thoughts.
Developing language use according to the rules of grammar is only one component of the multisensory approach adopted by the Orton-Gillingham Approach. In fact, it is the second component that is the main focus of this innovative approach. What makes the Orton-Gillingham Approach particularly effective at improving language abilities of people who have learning difficulties is that it takes into account the benefit that knowledge of language acquisition can have for cognitive development and the individual’s level of independence. By teaching students how to acquire words and phrases from sound patterns rather than from purely grammatical content, this approach helps students gain increased fluency.
The multisensory approach also considers the different ways that language use can affect an individual’s verbal as well as non-verbal experiences. Fluent learners learn by imitating spoken words; those with speech disabilities acquire those words by hearing them. The goal of the orton-gillingham approach is to supplement these acquired skills with methods that improve phonemic awareness and promote spelling in new and difficult contexts.
Benefits of the Orton-Gillingham Approach can be life-long. Teaching authors, journalists, and aspiring authors can all benefit from the multisensory approach. Dyslexics who improve their literacy skills, along with other individuals with learning challenges, have greater chances of fulfilling their potential through improved communication and increased leisure time.
One of the keys to improving a person’s literacy status is developing phonemic awareness. Individuals with reading disabilities, especially those with phonological issues, tend to acquire new words without having an understanding of their meaning. Because the phonemes of spoken words are unique, they must be processed differently. Phonemic awareness can be enhanced by using images, metaphors, or stories to illustrate the concept behind words. An individual with a learning disability may, for example, grasp the idea of a car by viewing a car on the side of the road. The same concept can be more clearly understood if an image is shown, such as a roadblock on a road.
Another benefit of the Orton-Gillingham approach is that it encourages language skills to be developed at a different rate. Many individuals with developmental disorders or other learning challenges have difficulty acquiring and properly executing new language skills. The Orton-Gillingham method encourages language development at whatever pace is most appropriate for an individual. It also works well for children who are highly developed in grammar and have a balanced education. While these skills are not usually enhanced by mainstream methods, many teachers are using the Orton-Gillingham approach to supplement regular teaching.
As this method has been proven to help individuals, families, and educators, there is no doubt that it is still relevant today. If you have difficulty applying traditional teaching methods, why not consider the use of a phonemic awareness program based on the Orton-Gillingham Approach? It has been used successfully for decades, and continues to help students and professionals from all over the world. Do you need a program that will help struggling readers? Try the Orton-Gillingham approach!