Essential Elements of the Orton Gillingham Approach You Must Not Ignore

Essential Elements of the Orton Gillingham Approach You Must Not Ignore

Many people around the world keep exploring ways to improve the reading skills of their children. Those whose children are dyslexic are more concerned about this. Along with motivating the dyslexic child for reading, a common thing that parents usually prefer is the Orton Gillingham approach. Orton Gillingham’s approach is not just used for dyslexic people around the world but is also known as one of the most effective ways to improve the reading ability of a dyslexic person. 

The proper training of Orton-Gillingham is a key to improving the reading skills. Those who feel helpless because of less improvement in their child’s reading and learning ability choose such an effective approach to get the desired results. But the results of the Orton Gillingham approach highly depend on the Orton Gillingham tutors and a variety of other key elements. Some essential elements of the Orton Gillingham approach that you must never ignore to get effective results from it are mentioned below. 

Multisensory Instructions

Multisensory instructions are known as the hallmark of the Orton-Gillingham approach. Such instructions are the essential techniques that focus on the visual, auditory as well as tactile-kinesthetic learning pathways. In such learning, more than one pathway to the brain is involved. It is an essential theory that people learn best, especially when more than one sense is used. 

Multisensory learning act as an essential element because it helps dyslexic people stay engaged, and retain the information properly. It also helps them have a better memory. When using the Orton-Gillingham approach, it is essential to make sure that the plans are multisensory and dyslexic people are able to “see,” “hear” & “feel” what they are taught. The right use of multisensory instructions helps dyslexic people learn more than when they otherwise usually learn through only one pathway. 

Explicit Teaching

Explicit teaching is also one of the most essential elements of the Orton Gillingham approach that must never be ignored when training dyslexic people. It is an element of Orton Gillingham’s approach that involve showing dyslexic people what to do, as well as how to do it. When teaching such people the focus must be on teaching them exactly what they must know in a straightforward and clear manner. 

Explicit teaching also helps learners know what they are learning and what is the reason behind learning it. This kind of instructional approach is essential as it helps the learners get the confidence they need to properly read, speak and master skills. Keeping the instructions/learning explicit, helps to prevent confusion, guessing, and ambiguity. 

Sequential Planning

The use of Orton Gillingham’s approach turns out to be beneficial only when the plans are sequential. Sequential planning means making sure that the lessons are moving step by step, i.e. from simple to more complex concepts and ideas. Keeping the lessons sequential is essential to present the lessons in a logical, and well-planned sequence. 

Sequential planning act as an essential element because it helps dyslexic people learn how to identify the sounds in words and further build the connection of the sounds to the letters.

Cumulative Learning

Just like sequential planning, cumulative learning is also essential to get the desired results from the Orton Gillingham approach. Cumulative learning is an essential element that makes it essential to make sure that the plans used for teaching dyslexic people are cumulative. Cumulative learning includes mastery and constant and consistent review, the two important components required for improving the learning ability of dyslexic people. 

The use of cumulative learning help ensures that the learners will master one concept properly before they will move on to another or advanced concept. Mastery and review are used with the purpose to ensure that the brain of the dyslexic person/learner will permanently store, manage, as well as retrieve the information provided to them for later use.


Repetition is another essential element of the Orton Gillingham approach that you must not ignore to get the desired results. When using the Orton Gillingham approach for the treatment of people with dyslexia, it is essential to make sure that the plans you are using are repetitive. 

As it is well known to almost all of us that dyslexic people are bad at learning and thus take high time to process information, learn a concept, and remember it properly. This makes it essential to make sure that the lessons they will learn while using the approach will be repeated regularly. The repetition in the Orton Gillingham approach plays an effective role in promoting word recognition and improving the reading fluency as well as reading comprehension of dyslexic people. 

Diagnostic Learning 

Diagnostic learning in the Orton Gillingham approach involves close monitoring of the learners’ performance. It acts as analysis to ensure that the learners have learned everything properly. 

In such type of learning the performance of a dyslexic person is monitored closely at each step. This monitoring further helps to know about the areas of progress as well as concern. Such learning is essential to assess the areas of responsiveness and the need for intervention. 


Individualism in Orton Gillingham’s approach is essential to ensure that the learner is provided the training as per his or her individual requirement. The condition of each dyslexic person is different. Due to this they not just respond differently but also need different learning styles to improve their skills. The use of the Orton-Gillingham approach is concerned with individual needs and turns out to be beneficial for people of all ages. 

Final Thoughts

No doubt the use of the right techniques in the Orton-Gillingham approach helps to make it effective, but hiring a professional Orton-Gillingham tutor for the learning is also as important as using the right approach. Thus make sure the tutor you will hire for improving the learning of the dyslexic person is well trained, experienced, and professional. 

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