Why Orton-Gillingham (OG) Reading Instruction?
So many parents are very curious about Orton-Gillingham instruction as it is largely tauted the "Gold Standard" in reading intervention. So, often the question is:
What is so different about OG instruction?
Well, as we mentioned in a previous post, a major benefit is that it meets the student where they are as opposed to assuming they indirectly picked up a rule/strategy without being given the explicit rule or pattern to follow. But equally as important OG is different than reading instruction they may have received previously because it teaches the "why" of our language.
By exploring the "science/engineering" and "history" of our language we are able to teach students how to systematically decode words using explicit rules following a very organized pattern.
For example the science/engineering of our language - includes the six syllable types that predict all of our vowel sounds, our Hard and Soft C/G rule (sometimes known as Gentle Cindy) teaches us how and when c says /s/ versus /k/ and when g can say /j/. Many parents are floored by all of the amazing rules of our English language they never learned as a child. We were amazed when we started learning these rules because we were never taught them as kids! We were SO amazed, in fact, that we wrote a whole series called “The Reading and Spelling Rules Nobody Taught You.” Click here to read the first blog in the series.
The history of our language helps us identify word origin which impacts spelling and pronunciation of words and explains why some words make no sense (generally anglo-saxon words because these people were largely uneducated). Using predictable sound patterns, we are able to build/engineer words in a very structured way which speaks to a different area of the brain that dyslexic students often excel in.
In explaining this to students we talk about using building blocks, Legos, that will click together, stack and build on eachother to give us the knowledge we need to read and spell unfamiliar words. These Lego pieces are entirely different than what most students will learn at school and therefore by the end of their time in an OG program they will have this huge amount of knowledge about the science, history, engineering of our langauge!!! Very empowering if we do say so ourselves!