Who was Orton?

Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948), a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist, was a pioneer in focusing attention on reading failure and related language processing difficulties. He brought together neuroscientific information and principles of remediation. As early as the 1920s, he had extensively studied children with the kind of language processing difficulties now commonly associated with dyslexia and had formulated a set of teaching principles and practices for such children.

Who was Gillingham?

Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) was a gifted educator and psychologist with a superb mastery of the language. Working with Dr. Orton, she trained teachers and compiled and published instructional materials. Over the last half century the Orton-Gillingham Approach has been the seminal and most influential intervention designed expressly for remediating the language processing problems of children and adults with dyslexia.

Dr. Orton was among the first to move away from the concept of mere “remedial reading,” to treat all aspects of language as related, and to do so in a “language clinic.” OGA’s teaching is based on his understanding of neurology and neural connections in the building of memory.

Anna Gillingham, working with Bessie Stillman, developed the concept of the language triangle (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic). She organized the steps of language teaching, going from the simplest sounds in isolation, to syllables, words, phrases, and sentences. She understood the importance of building kinesthetic memory, of the role of handwriting and, for some students, of simultaneous oral spelling. She developed the system of rules and generalizations that lead to the cognitive aspect of the language, and she arranged everything in the Gillingham Manual.

What is the Orton-Gillingham Approach?

The Orton-Gillingham Approach is most often associated with a one-on-one teacher-student instructional model. Its use in small group instruction is not uncommon. A successful adaptation of the Approach has demonstrated its value for classroom instruction. Reading, spelling and writing difficulties have been the dominant focus of the Approach although it has been successfully adapted for use with students who exhibit difficulty with mathematics.

OGA Principles

What is the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA)?

The Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA) is a certifying and accrediting body dedicated to upholding the highest professional and ethical standards for the practice of the Orton-Gillingham (OG) Approach for the treatment of dyslexia. OG is an approach that prepares the practitioner to individualize instruction to meet the specific needs of each learner.

Orton-Gillingham (O-G) training by
Fundamental Learning

All training programs meet or exceed the standards set by the
Orton-Gillingham Academy as well as the International Dyslexia Association Knowledge and Practice Standards.

Courses are taught by an Accredited Training Fellow of the Orton-Gillingham Academy (formerly AOGPE).

Fundamental Learning offers the following courses that lead to all levels of Membership with the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA).
Fundamentals is the prerequisite course for ALL further training with Fundamental Learning.


introductory course* – a prerequisite for ALL O-G training with Fundamental Learning.
Good working knowledge of English is required.

NOTE:  Fundamentals is intended as an introduction to the “Science of Reading” and orthographic linguistics, and provides a basic overview of the underlying components and rationale of the Orton-Gillingham approach. Further training is required in order to teach using the Orton-Gillingham approach.


A SUBSCRIBER has completed an introductory level course that provides a basic understanding of the history of the OGA, and the science, rationale, and structure of the OGA Approach.

Fundamental Learning does not offer a Subscriber course, but Fundamentals (see above) does fulfill this requirement.

Subscriber Members are not certified by the OGA to teach or tutor students in the OGA Approach

Classroom Educator

The CLASSROOM EDUCATOR level training is specifically designed to equip teachers with tools and resources to deliver beginning literacy instruction in the classroom.  Trainees walk away with a multitude of materials and ideas to use in the classroom, small groups or with individual students.

PREREQUISITE: Fundamentals

Associate Level Training

The ASSOCIATE level training continues working with the concepts introduced in Fundamentals with a more in-depth immersion into the linguistic structure of language, exploring the relationships between phonology, morphology, and etymology, as well as the History of the English Language.  There is additional coursework in assessment,  profile development, progress monitoring, diagnostic and prescriptive teaching, in-depth student error analysis, vocabulary development, basic grammar, as well as practice in designing and delivering O-G lessons.
PREREQUISITE: Fundamentals

Certified Level Training

The CERTIFIED level training consists of an additional 100 hours of advanced coursework which includes current research, study of the brain, dyslexia and related difficulties, language structure, writing, grammar, morphology, etymology, assessment, error analysis, organization and study skills, technology, lesson planning and using O-G strategies across subject areas.

PREREQUISITE: Associate Training

Fundamental Learning offers O-G training

All training is delivered by an Accredited Training Fellow.

The membership levels in the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA) reflect a graduated range of coursework that increases in depth and breadth of literacy knowledge.
Each course follows the OGA Curriculum Standards and the OGA Principles.

Membership at each level requires participants to successfully complete designated coursework;
a supervised practicum at the Classroom Educator, Associate, Certified, and FIT levels; and an application and acceptance by the OGA.

Orton-Gillingham Academy

Every member of the Academy can trace their roots back to Orton or Gillingham depending on the lineage of their Academy training Fellow.