Orton-Gillingham Training: A Guide to the Best Training in 2023

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Are you a reading teacher looking to improve your literacy instruction? Perhaps you’ve heard about Orton-Gillingham and its potential benefits for struggling readers. But what exactly is Orton-Gillingham, and how can you become certified or trained in this approach? 

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the basics of Orton-Gillingham, explore the differences between certification and training, and highlight the 9 best options for Orton-Gillingham training. 

Plus, we’ll even cover a free OG training option and answer some FAQs about OG certification. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what Orton-Gillingham entails and how you can develop expertise in this approach. So let’s get started!

What is Orton-Gillingham?

Orton-Gillingham (OG) is an evidence-based approach to teaching reading and writing that has been around for over 75 years. It was developed by Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham in the 1930s to help struggling readers who had dyslexia. The OG approach is a structured, multi-sensory, and systematic method of teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills to students of all ages and abilities.

The OG approach is based on the idea that reading and writing are complex processes that require explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, and decoding skills. OG instruction is individualized, sequential, and cumulative, meaning that students learn skills in a specific order and practice them until they have mastered them. OG instruction is also multi-sensory, meaning that it engages all of the senses (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) in the learning process.

Overall, the Orton-Gillingham approach is highly effective for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, but it can also be beneficial for all students who need extra support in reading and writing.

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What’s the Difference Between OG Certification and Training?

If you’re new to Orton-Gillingham, you may be wondering what the difference is between certification and training. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to different things.

OG certification is a formal process that verifies an individual’s knowledge and skills in using the Orton-Gillingham approach in teaching reading, writing, and spelling to individuals with dyslexia or other related learning differences. It typically involves meeting certain requirements, such as completing a specific number of hours of coursework, supervised practice, and passing a certification exam. 

On the other hand, OG training refers to the various courses, workshops, and seminars that teach educators and other professionals about the Orton-Gillingham approach and how to implement it in their teaching practice. Training is highly recommended to gain a deep understanding of the Orton-Gillingham approach and its application. 

So, while certification is a measurable achievement, training can be a valuable professional development opportunity for any teacher looking to improve their instruction.

It’s important to note that certification is not required to teach using Orton-Gillingham methods. However, becoming certified can demonstrate a teacher’s commitment to quality instruction and may open up additional professional opportunities.

Reading instruction in action with Orton-Gillingham techniques in a classroom setting.

9 Best Orton-Gillingham Trainings

If you’re looking to become certified in Orton-Gillingham, you want to find the best training options available.  

All of the options in this list are IDA accredited, meaning they are approved by the International Dyslexia Association and the Center for Effective Reading Instruction. By taking any of options 1-7, you have the opportunity to become certified as a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Interventionist or Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist.

Here are 9 of the best Orton-Gillingham training programs for certification:

1. Neuhaus Education Center

Neuhaus Education Center offers comprehensive OG training for educators, as well as a variety of other professional development opportunities related to literacy instruction. Their training is available both online and in-person. Their certification options include 2 levels: Certified Academic Language Practitioner and Certified Academic Language Therapist. More info here.

2. Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA)

Formerly known as the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE), the OGA is an organization that certifies OG practitioners and educators. They offer in-person and online options for their training for educators and parents. More info here.

3. Lexercise

Lexercise is an online academy that offers comprehensive OG training for both teachers and parents. Their program includes video lessons, printable materials, and ongoing support. You can take the online training courses 1 & 2 if you’re just interested in the training. This is a great option for teachers and parents. To get certified, you then must take Course 3 which is the practicum. More info here.

4. Apple Group

The Apple Group offers a variety of training options based on Orton-Gillingham and the Science of Reading. Some courses would be great for parents and educators, and others are better suited for practitioners. The Certified Dyslexia Therapist Program is a 2 year pogram that claims to have the highest success rate of the CERI certification exam. More info here.

5. AIM Institute for Learning and Research

AIM Institute for Learning and Research is an online academy that offers Orton-Gillingham training for educators. They offer 4 courses, with an optional practicum to sit for certification exam. More info here.

6. Wilson Reading System

Wilson offers a 3 tier program which includes a required introductory course, and 2 certification levels that lead to becoming a certified Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner or Therapist. The certification levels include a practicum. More info here.

7. Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (IMSE)

Not to be confused with the IMSLEC, IMSE is one of the most well-respected Orton-Gillingham training programs, offering both in-person and online training options. Their training is highly interactive and focuses on using a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading. They have a variety of courses with lots of availability and the option get OG certified. More info here.

8. Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS)

LETRS is a popular training developed by some well known SoR experts. This training has recently become limited to school districts, so it would only work for teachers. More info here.

9. The Reading Teacher’s Top 10 Tools

Top 10 Tools offers a comprehensive online course for both educators and parents. Their programs are highly respected and they offer a $500 and $1,000 (IDA version) a year option to access the course. The accreditation course prepares you to take the KPEERI and CERI certification exams and no practicum is required. More info here.

These are just a few of the many Orton-Gillingham training programs available. When choosing a program, be sure to consider factors such as cost, time commitment, and delivery format. With the right training, you’ll be on your way to becoming a highly effective Orton-Gillingham educator.

Free Orton-Gillingham Training

While some Orton-Gillingham training programs can be costly, there are also opportunities to receive training for free. Here are a few options to consider:

1. Really Great Reading is a wonderful resource for anyone new to structured literacy and wanting some free virtual training. I recommend this one for both parents and educators as you get lots of resources you can implement right away.

2. The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) offers free webinars on Orton-Gillingham instruction, as well as other dyslexia-related topics. These webinars are open to anyone and can be accessed online.

3. The Dyslexia Training Institute offers a free 30-minute online course on Orton-Gillingham instruction. This course provides an introduction to the Orton-Gillingham approach and is a great starting point for those who are new to the method.

4. Some universities and colleges offer free Orton-Gillingham training to their students. If you are enrolled in a teaching program, be sure to check with your school to see if this is an option.

While free training options may not provide the same level of certification as paid programs, they can still be a valuable resource for learning Orton-Gillingham instruction. Additionally, they can help educators to determine if this approach is the right fit for their teaching style and their students.

phonogram cards being used in an Orton-Gillingham lesson on glued sounds
phonogram cards being used in OG lesson

FAQs About OG Training & Certifications

As a reading teacher, you might have some questions about Orton-Gillingham training and certification. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q: Is Orton-Gillingham training only for students with dyslexia?

A: No, Orton-Gillingham is a multisensory approach to teaching reading that can benefit all students, not just those with dyslexia.

Q: Do I need to be a certified teacher to receive Orton-Gillingham training?

A: No, you do not need to be a certified teacher to receive Orton-Gillingham training. However, some training programs may have prerequisites, such as a bachelor’s degree.

Q: How long does it take to complete Orton-Gillingham training?

A: The length of Orton-Gillingham training can vary depending on the program. Some programs offer intensive training over a few weeks, while others offer training over the course of several months or years.

Q: Can I receive Orton-Gillingham training online?

A: Yes, there are several Orton-Gillingham training programs that are offered online.

Q: Is Orton-Gillingham training expensive?

A: The cost of Orton-Gillingham training can vary depending on the program. Some programs offer free training, while others can cost several thousand dollars.

Q: How do I know if a training program is accredited?

A: The International Dyslexia Association offers accreditation for Orton-Gillingham training programs. You can check their website to see if a program is accredited.

By now, you should have a better understanding of what Orton-Gillingham training is, the difference between certification and training, the best options for training, and even some frequently asked questions. Keep in mind that Orton-Gillingham is just one approach to teaching reading, and it may not be the best fit for every student. However, if you’re looking to expand your teaching skills and help struggling readers, Orton-Gillingham training is definitely worth considering.

Visual of Orton-Gillingham lesson


In conclusion, Orton-Gillingham is a highly effective approach to literacy instruction that has been helping struggling readers for over 80 years. Whether you are a seasoned educator looking to deepen your knowledge and skills or a new teacher seeking to get certified, there are many great options that can help you get started on your Orton-Gillingham journey. 

From comprehensive online courses to in-person workshops and free resources, there are a range of training options available that can accommodate different budgets, schedules, and learning preferences. 

Ultimately, the key to success with Orton-Gillingham is to commit to the process, stay curious, and always be willing to learn and adapt. With dedication and perseverance, you can help transform the lives of struggling readers and make a profound difference in their journey towards literacy success.

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  1. Thank you for this article. I am a parent and looking into increasing my knowledge through training. My son is having great success with OG.

  2. I love OG. I had a great opportunity to work with a local school to get my Associate Level. This was a great article.

  3. Slingerland is the most comprehensive of all the Orton-Gillingham approaches—having components of oral language and extending into reading vocabulary, reading comprehension, and written expression. Beth Slingerland worked closely with Anna Gillingham, and they were good friends. It is well-known out West because that it where it is located. My training involved two consecutive years of month long trainings from 8AM to 3:30PM with observation of the method being taught with students and the opportunity to be observed and critiqued on lesson development and execution with students. It teaches educators to custom construct lessons based on the student—not follow premade lessons. I know people who have taken 2 of the courses on your list and the Slingerland and say hands down it is the best. This should be on your list.

    1. Thanks for sharing Wendy. I have heard of it in passing but maybe it just isn’t popular in my area because I don’t know of anyone who has taken it. But I will add it to my list.

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