Principles of Orton-Gillingham Instruction at DVFriends

The DVFS Adolescent Literacy Program was the first school-based program in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware accredited by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) as a center for teaching and teacher-training.
This Orton-Gillingham based program was developed by DVFriends teachers and administrators to address the specific needs of students with language-based learning differences as they progress through middle and upper school. This flexible, individualized approach to reading and writing instruction allows teachers to meet students where they are and help them progress in their skills as they continue to access grade-level content in their courses. As DVFriends has grown down to include elementary school, the instructional approach within the accredited program has been adapted to include reading instruction in the younger grades.
DVFriends Language Arts teachers are O-G trained and certified. Other content area teachers receive training in O-G principles to maintain consistency across the curriculum.
Each summer we offer professional training for teachers in our proprietary literacy program. Click on the flyer to the right for more information about teacher training at DVFriends.
The Orton-Gillingham principles are very specific and Delaware Valley Friends School addresses them in the following ways.
  • Multisensory – There are three primary pathways of learning: visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic. The learner usually has a weakness in one or more of the pathways of learning. For this reason, instruction (at DVFriends) is always provided in at least two and preferable three modalities of learning.
  • Structured – Literacy concepts, primarily reading and spelling, are introduced in a systematic and cumulative method which ensures that the students at DVFriends develop a solid foundation of literacy skills. Repetition, reteaching, and assessments are used to ensure the successful acquisition of skills.
  • Direct instruction – Literacy concepts are directly taught, modeled and practiced in a very structured lesson. The DVFriends teacher uses this structured lesson to target areas of weakness and to maximize the effectiveness of the instruction.
  • Diagnostic teaching – Dyslexic students can have a wide range of deficits and they respond differently to instruction. The teacher is trained to assess students' performance and to use the information to adjust instruction to ensure that the instruction meets the needs of the students.
Orton-Gillingham Instructional Model
  • Decoding and encoding skills – Intervening at the student's instructional level with an emphasis on age-appropriate decoding and encoding practices
  • Morphology and word knowledge inquiry – Studying morphemic units and their derivative to improve students' vocabulary, reading, and spelling.
  • Comprehension and study skills – Practicing systematic methods for building comprehension and organizing information for easy study and retrieval.
  • Writing skills – embedding the writing of sentences, paragraphs, and longer text into comprehension and study skill activities

Delaware Valley Friends School welcomes students in grades 1 - 12 with learning differences, particularly in reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), math (dyscalculia), memory (long-term and working), processing speed, ADHD and executive functioning challenges.
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Unfortunately, as a result of the current COVID-19 restrictions, we have decided NOT to offer our training this summer. We hope you will apply next year and we will have the chance to work together in the future!
Download information about our Orton-Gillingham summer Teacher Training Program & Internship