Compare SPELL-Links with OG-based Programs
How does SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ compare with commercially available Orton-Gillingham (OG)-based programs? We’re glad you asked!
While SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing has much in common with commercial OG-based programs — explicit, systematic, cumulative, multi-modal, structured literacy — it also has a unique program philosophy that aligns with the most current research and provides many distinctive advantages for learners, which we highlight in the table below.
Print to Speech
Instruction is organized by letter patterns, begins with a letter, and teaches in the direction of letter to sound. The practitioner teaches one corresponding sound for a letter. Reading is introduced before spelling if spelling is included. Instructional time is spent only or mostly on reading (decoding, word recognition, comprehension).
Instruction typically begins with phonological awareness, progressing to orthographic knowledge, and ending with morphological knowledge in later stages of instruction.
Entry points are limited. From that point, instruction, sequence, and pacing are determined by the program and are the same for all students.
Practitioner Imparts Knowledge
Students are told how our language system works.
Man-Made Conventions for Printed Words
A great deal of attention and instructional time is allotted to marking vowel and consonant letters within a word and memorizing letter patterns to determine where to break a word into syllables, very often in an artificial way, based on its visual patterns.
Some combinations of phonemes are artificially taught as a single speech sound unit, for example, consonant clusters and vowel + /r/ are taught as single phoneme units.
Phonemes are pronounced separately before blending the sounds together into a word.
Sight words are introduced, practiced, and assessed separately as whole words.
Students practice decoding nonsense words and decoding words outside of meaningful context.
Look, Say, Write
Instead, visual cues are used with focus on the practitioner’s artificial facial expressions such as scrunching the nose or circling the mouth with a finger to differentiate between vowel sounds. Artificial pronunciation of unstressed syllables is used, with all syllables in a word equally stressed and pronounced without schwas by the practitioner.
Artificial Arm Movements & Hand and Finger Movements Associated with Sounds
Arm movements include air or sky writing. Hand movements include ‘tapping’, ‘pounding’, ‘bumping’ fingers or hands to represent sounds or syllables; ‘finger spelling’ is used to represent sounds and then letters.
Students are taught to say letter names with simultaneous writing of corresponding letters to spell a word.
Includes Unrelated Tactile & Sensory Experiences
Tactile experiences may include modeling letters with clay, writing in sand or shaving cream or on bumpy surfaces, and color-coded cues.
Students are directly taught specific language patterns and expectancies and are expected to memorize decontextualized information such as A Apple “a” and “p” says /p/. Rules are memorized for the pronunciation of letters and location of syllable stress based on letter patterns.
Instruction focuses on achieving fluency through speed.
Drill work included in each lesson.
One Core Meta-Cognitive Strategy
Instruction typically emphasizes one core strategy—break words into syllables.
Available in a series of levels, which are generally sold separately.
On average, a complete core program costs $3,000.
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