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Orton-Gillingham: A Scientifically-based Reading Program

 

 

 

Who are they?

 

Dr. Stanley Torrey Orton (1879-1948) was a pioneer in the field of language processing disabilities. Dr. Orton was fascinated in his observations of healthy and bright children who were unable to read, write or spell. Thus, he hypothesized that their struggles were physiological. He referred to their condition as strephosymbolia or twisted words. Today, we refer to this condition as Dyslexia.

 

Anna Gillingham (1849-1962) was a teacher, friend and a close follower of Dr. Stanley Orton. Together, they developed specific teaching techniques that focus on the breakdown of language to single speech sounds in relationship to a letter(s) in the alphabet. Systematically and sequentially, through blending, words are rebuilt. Stanley Orton's techniques have become today's foundation of many excellent code-emphais interventions used in aiding "reading-challenged" children.

 

 

The technical details.

 

Neuroscientific research based on FMRI technology has documented synaptic activity in the brain during reading and spelling specific word types. this information has taught us how the human brain processes language.

 

Scientifically-based reading programs teach children the structure of language while reinforcing the areas of the brain that support reading and spelling. Code-emphasis phonics instruction that breaks words down to the smallest of speech sounds and then builds them up into words, words into sentences, sentences into text, actually supports the areas of the brain that process written language. Explicit, systematic and sequential instruction rich inphonic awareness, orthography, morphology, syntax and semantics is essential for struggling readers. It provides students with a solid foundation with which they can build upon.

 

 

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