Dr. Samuel Orton
Orton-Gillingham techniques have been in use since the 1930's and have been proven with
thousands of students around the world. These techniques are taught in only a very small
number of public school systems today, and then only within special education classes. An
intensive, sequential phonics-based system teaches the basics of word formation before
people learn--visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The Orton-Gillingham method teaches to a
student's strengths while seeking to improve his or her weaknesses. The International Dyslexia
Association (formerly The Orton Dyslexia Society) is an international organization that focuses
on the issues associated with dyslexia.
The Language Tune-Up Kit (LTK®) curriculum includes the eight essential instructional
elements needed to successfully teach students:
- Multisensory: Instruction involves immediate, intensive, and continuous interaction
between what the student is seeing, hearing, and feeling in the speech mechanisms and
the writing hand. All the language elements taught are reinforced by having the student
listen, speak, read and write. In LTK the student uses a mouse, microphone and
keyboard to learn newly taught phonograms and to spell and write letters, words, and
sounds from dictation.
- Alphabetic/Phonetic: Sound-symbol associations along with linguistic rules and
generalizations are introduced in a linguistically logical, understandable order. The
essence of the phonetic approach is to make letter-to-sound correlations as simple and
comprehensive as possible.
- Synthetic/Analytic: The student is taught how to blend sounds together. When using
LTK, the student hears the sounds pronounced while seeing the letters move together
to make familiar words. LTK teaches the student how to segment words into separate
speech sounds before beginning to spell. Drills which require placing the sound and
filling in the blanks allows the student apply the process to many words.
- Structured: The student learns one sound association, linguistic rule, or nonphonetic
word and practices using it with previously taught material before learning the next
language concept. In LTK, each new piece of the language taught is specifically
reviewed multiple times through drills and spelling practice. If confusions occur later in
another context, additional review is provided. LTK divides the linguistic rules into
separate lesson activities and provides practice and correction routines for each lesson
- Sequenced: Linguistic concepts are taught in a sequence which will minimize potentially
confusing elements. The LTK curriculum is organized to separate commonly confused
linguistic elements. The logic and order of LTK's curriculum was determined by Orton-
Gilligham experts who based their training in the Orton-Gillingham method. Their
combined experience exceeds over 50 years in using this method to teach students of
all ages and to train teachers.
- Cumulative: The student should be asked to use each newly introduced element while
reinforcing others that have been taught. LTK's quizzes test all of the linguistic
information previously taught. Student scores typically indicate 90 to 100 percent
mastery within the quizzes. There are multiple review lessons interspersed throughout
LTK to provide practice and reinforcement.
- Repetitive: The concepts are repeated until the student gains mastery. The program
provides 10 repetitions within each lesson activity and measures student mastery. If a
mastery level of 80 percent is achieved, the student automatically progresses to the next
lesson activity. If not achieved, additional sets of repetitions are provided and
achievement of 80 percent mastery is again determined.
- Cognitive: The student should understand the "linguistic logic" underlying word
formations and patterns and be able to demonstrate that understanding while writing
words. During the introductory and review portions of the lessons, LTK explains rules
and generalizations both verbally and with on-screen demonstrations.
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