Orton-Gillingham at DVFS

At the core of language remediation at DVFS are the principles of Orton-Gillingham methodology.


What is Orton-Gillingham?

Orton-Gillingham was originally developed as a method of instruction that addressed the student's inability to read and spell. It breaks down the elements systematically to ensure that the student successfully masters literacy skills from the most basic to the most complex. Then applies the skills to more advanced reading and spelling. Highly trained Orton-Gillingham instructors are able to assess the needs of their students and provide instruction that is tailored prescriptively to their educational needs. Assessments are used to measure the rate of growth for each student.

Orton-Gillingham at DVFS

Within the college preparatory secondary school environment of DV, we teach basic skills when they are needed, but our challenges are two fold:

  1. At the upper grade levels, students need to be flexible thinkers who are able to apply a wide range of reading and writing skills. Therefore, morphology (language structure and origins) plays a larger role in middle and high school classes because Latin and Greek based derivatives represents 60% of all new vocabulary. Learning to read, spell and actively use these words requires the flexibility to think creatively about the skills needed. Our Orton-Gillingham instruction directly teaches these new concepts and helps the student integrate the more basic concepts with the more advanced concepts.
  2. The second challenge is to integrate Orton-Gillingham remediation methodology across content areas. The Language Arts classes support this effort by systematically teaching fluency, comprehension, vocabulary and study skills. The language and methodology for writing and study skills are consistent in LA and in the content areas. This consistency frees the intellect of the student to engage the subject matter. When a student is struggling in one of the content areas, their language arts teacher is able to target the student's need in his or her instruction.

Professional training

Professional training in Orton-Gillingham method is offered in the DVFS Language Arts program in the summer. This curriculum is specifically designed for the instruction of middle school and high school students. It includes training in basic Orton-Gillingham instruction and more advanced techniques for morphology. For more information, contact Helen Mannion, Director of Teacher Education: helen.mannion@dvfs.org.



Delaware Valley Friends School welcomes students in grades 5 - 12 with learning differences, particularly in reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), math (dyscalculia), memory (long-term and working), processing speed, ADHD and executive functioning challenges.

Delaware Valley Friends School has been recognized by the International Multisensory Structured Learning Education Council (IMSLEC) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) as a center for teaching and teacher training excellence.


Read more about our IMSLEC and IDA Accreditation and what that means for your student's education.



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Delaware Valley Friends School
19 E. Central Avenue, Paoli, Pennsylvania 19301
Phone: 610.640.4150
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