I discovered Structured Word Inquiry around the same time that I finished my Associate certification with the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Teachers (AOGPE) back in 2015. I instantly became obsessed and have not stopped learning since. I have taught using one or the other or both with students for the last five years. Some of my students are taught with more OG and some are more word study, depending on the needs and interests of the student.
I’ve taught workshops, spoken at several conferences, and shared my insights online. Every time I share, I get emails and direct messages from Orton Gillingham practitioners who are curious and willing to learn but have been intimidated and “turned off” by the way that OG is often put down in SWI circles. This is unfortunate. I have come to believe that a combination of the two, along a spectrum, is what works for me and I am eager to share my thoughts and experience with other OG practitioners.
I know from experience that the effort and hours (and sweat and tears) put into OG training is intense. And I also know that for many, many kids and adults OG methods work—and the research backs this up. Are there things that I have changed my thinking on? Absolutely. Did I throw out all OG methods, explanations, and language? Nope.
I also know the hours of research and taking courses it takes to feel confident with teaching using word study. I am here to help you understand how to conduct a word study and create individualized lessons that build on OG concepts and include fun and engaging simultaneous multisensory activities. Using your OG scope and Sequence as a guide to incorporating word study helps keep your teaching sequential and systematic. This doesn’t mean it isn’t okay to just explore words with your students and follow their interests as well. One of the principal philosophies of OG is to be diagnostic and prescriptive and when you thoughtfully incorporate word study in your practice, you are doing exactly that.
The next question I get is how they can learn more—usually accompanied by “Do you teach this?” They want to learn how to do this from someone respectful of their Knowledge and who will explain differences and similarities between the two methods and how to incorporate word study into their OG scope and sequence.
Look for learning opportunities soon!