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Orton-Gillingham – The Transfer of Learning

Apr 06, 2020

Orton-Gillingham – The Transfer of Learning

by Aly Burnett, Orton-Gillingham Instructor & Tutor

Transfer of Learning is the application of skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes that were learned in one situation to another learning situation (Perkins, 1992).The Orton-Gillingham approach provides cumulative and incremental lessons with multisensory instruction, while also providing individual and explicit instruction. These components are helpful to make Transfer of Learning possible.

Cumulative lessons are essential. Repetition of previously taught decoding (reading) /encoding (spelling) skills within each lesson aids in generalization of rules and strategies. Adding multisensory activities helps students see concepts visually and kinesthetically, which for many students is essential for learning material. Having lessons be incremental, building upon previously taught lessons, is also key. This helps ensure that concepts and rules “stick” in a student’s long-term memory. When strategies do stick, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in other academic settings or elsewhere in their lives.

Transfer of Learning is promising when providing individualized lessons. Tailoring each lesson specifically to what a student or small group needs contributes to their success in O-G, and their achievements in other academic areas. In addition to the benefits of individualized lessons, being explicit when teaching is vital. To be explicit means to teach clearly and without complications. Explicit and direct instruction makes concepts and rules simple to follow and retain.

Orton-Gillingham incorporates all the necessary components of instruction for students to be successful in reading, spelling, and in other academic areas. Not only will students be able to decode and encode more accurately, but they will also be able to succeed in other learning situations now and in their futures.

Perkins, D.N., Salomon, G.(1992).Transfer of Learning. Contribution to the International Encyclopedia of Education, Second Edition. Oxford, England: Pergamon Press.