Orton-Gillingham vs. Wilson Approaches to Dyslexia Tutoring

Orton-Gillingham vs. Wilson

Have you ever wondered what the differences are between Orton-Gillingham and Wilson approaches to dyslexia tutoring? Read on to learn more.

Orton-Gillingham and Wilson Reading System (WRS) are both well-known approaches to dyslexia tutoring. They are all based on the idea that dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects an individual’s ability to read and write, and are similar in certain respects. Both approaches are used to help individuals with dyslexia improve their reading and writing skills through a structured, systematic approach.

The Orton-Gillingham approach is the gold standard for teaching phonics and spelling to struggling readers and those with dyslexia. The widely-used Orton-Gillingham tutoring approach emphasizes the explicit, systematic instruction of phonemic awareness, phonics, and spelling rules. It is multisensory, which means instructors use sight, hearing, touch, and movement to help students connect language with letters and words. It is structured, which means breaking reading and spelling down into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and then building on these skills over time. It’s the one I use, and recommend. Qualified teachers are certified through programs accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA).  

The Wilson Reading System (WRS) approach is also a widely-used, evidence-based method for teaching reading and spelling to individuals with dyslexia. It is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach, but includes additional elements such as the use of visual and kinesthetic cues to help students with dyslexia learn to read and spell. Wilson is often used in special education classes in schools. WRS is designed for students from second grade up to adulthood, but it’s most widely used with upper elementary students, middle-schoolers and high-schoolers. Wilson also offers a certification program for teachers that is accredited by the IDA.

So when comparing Orton-Gillingham vs. Wilson, it’s fair to say both approaches share a goal in helping individuals with dyslexia improve their reading and spelling skills, but they differ in their specific approaches and techniques. Regardless of which you pick, I recommend individuals with dyslexia and their families work with a qualified educational professional to determine the best approach for their individual needs.

If you are looking for a highly experienced, certified Orton-Gillingham tutor to work with, and would prefer the convenience of online one-on-one tutoring for your child, I hope you will consider working with me, Joanna Brown, The Reading Guru. For more information about The Reading Guru, click here.

About The Reading Guru

Joanna Brown is the founder and CEO of The Reading Guru and a master Orton-Gillingham reading tutor with more than 15 years of experience providing personalized, one-on-one reading instruction. Joanna earned her M.S. in Elementary Education and Literacy from Bank Street College of Education in New York City in 2011. Joanna is certified by the Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) as a Structured Literacy Dyslexia Specialist (C-SLDS). She earned this certification through training at the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) as well as with the digital, multisensory training program, Lexercise. Joanna also has training with the Orton-Gillingham based, multi-sensory program Preventing Academic Failure (PAF). She uses an individualized, tailored personal approach with students and has consistently achieved outstanding results. For more information about The Reading Guru, click here.


Joanna Brown, The Reading Guru

Joanna Brown

Joanna Brown, M.S. Ed, C-SLDS, is a master reading teacher with 15 years of experience, and has helped hundreds of children crack the reading code. She offers one-on-one, live, online, individualized Orton-Gillingham-based reading tutoring to students of all ages and skill levels, worldwide, including those with dyslexia.

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