Sharing the Orton-Gillingham Approach

Led by seasoned Orton-Gillingham Fellow Janet Jones, Trident Academy held its annual Orton-Gillingham Associate Level Summer Institute for Educators on July 14 – 24. This 10-day, 60-hour course, which qualifies attendees for Associate Level certification with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Professionals and Educators (AOGPE), provides the opportunity for participants to learn an effective approach for teaching children with language-based learning differences. The participants are taught how to instruct students diagnostically and prescriptively in both a classroom and in one-on-one instruction. In addition to their coursework during the day, participants have homework each evening as well as a reading list.


Among the 13 attendees for this summer’s training were a mix of public and private school teachers as well as a few parents. Two faculty members from the Dorchester County School District, along with a public school teacher from Indiana, three parents, a psychologist, faculty members from Trident Academy, as well as other area private schools gathered on the school’s campus for the course. Attendees learned about things such as:

  • The characteristics of the dyslexic learner
  • The Orton-Gillingham approach
  • Informal Assessment, the student profile
  • Structure of the English Language; Phonology
  • Multi-sensory teaching
  • Diagnostic and prescriptive teaching, developing an individualized lesson plan

Janet Jones is a longtime Orton-Gillingham practitioner, having first become involved with the approach in the 1970’s. As Janet remembers it, “I started an internship in the Orton-Gillingham approach after my freshman year of college when I went back to my parent’s home in Puerto Rico. That was in 1973!” Janet returns to Trident Academy after a five-year absence, having served as a faculty member from 2005-2009. She now serves as the Director of Orton-Gillingham. Janet’s undergraduate degree is in Speech and Language Pathology from Northwestern University and her graduate degree is in Learning Disabilities from the University of Wisconsin. With Janet’s 40 years experience in Orton-Gillingham and her expertise with learning disabilities, Trident Academy’s Orton-Gillingham program is in excellent hands.

According to Nicole McLain, our Program Director who took Janet’s Orton-Gillingham training course, “This program is the foundation of our school. We teach children in a diagnostic and prescriptive manner that is tailored to each child individually. To do this in a systematic and sequential approach takes skill, knowledge and extensive training. This Orton-Gillingham course is magnificent in helping anyone – a parent, teacher, specialist or professional – about the necessity of individualization and scope and sequence that comes along with the Orton Gillingham approach.”

To learn more about the Orton-Gillingham approach or upcoming training opportunities, contact Janet Jones.

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