The Orton-Gillingham remediation method has been in use since the 1930’s and has been proven effective with thousands of students around the world. These techniques are taught in only a very small number of public school systems today, and only within special education classes. This intensive, sequential phonics-based system teaches the basics of word formation before people learn–visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The Orton-Gillingham method reaches to a student’s strength while seeking to improve his or her weaknesses.
The Language Tune-Up Kit (LTK®) curriculum includes the eight essential instructional elements needed to successfully teach students. These elements include:
- Multisensory: Instruction involves immediate, intensive, and continuous interaction between what the student is seeing, hearing, and feeling in the speech mechanisms and writing hand. All the language elements taught are reinforced by having the students listen, speak, read and write. In LTK, the student uses a mouse, microphone, and keyboard to learn phonograms and to spell and write letters, words, and sounds from dictation. There are also a letter and word tracing exercises for the newer updated versions of the program.
- Alphabetic/Phonetic: Sound-symbol associations along with linguistic rules and generalizations are introduced in a linguistically logical and understandable order. The essence of the phonetic approach is to make letter-to-sound correlations as simple and comprehensive as possible.
- Synthetic/Analytic: LTK teaches students how to blend sounds together by letting the student hear the sounds pronounced while seeing the letters combined together to make familiar words. LTK also teaches the students how to segment words into separate speech sounds before beginning to spell. Drills which require placing the sound and filling in the blanks allow the student to apply the process to many words.
- Structured: Before learning the next language concept, the student learns and practices one sound association, linguistic rule and nonphonetic word with a previously taught material. In LTK, each new piece of the language taught is specifically reviewed multiple times through drills and spelling practice. If confusions occur later in another context, additional review is provided. LTK divides the linguistic rules into separate lesson activities and provides practice and correction routines for each lesson activity.
- Sequenced: Linguistic concepts are taught in a sequence which will minimize potentially confusing elements. The LTK curriculum is organized to separate commonly confused linguistic elements. The logic and order of LTK’s curriculum were determined by experts who have specialized training in the Orton-Gillingham method. Their combined experience exceeds over 50 years in using this method to train teachers and to teach students of all ages.
- Cumulative: The student should be asked to use each newly introduced element while reinforcing the previously taught elements. LTK’s quizzes determine all the linguistic information previously taught. Student scores typically show 90 to 100 percent mastery. There are multiple review lessons interspersed throughout LTK to provide practice and reinforcement.
- Repetitive: The concepts are repeated until the student gains a mastery level of 80 percent. The program provides 10 repetitions within each lesson activity. If a mastery level of 80 percent is achieved, the student automatically progresses to the next lesson activity. If not achieved, additional sets of repetitions are provided until 80 percent mastery is achieved.
- Cognitive: The student should understand the “linguistic logic” underlying word formations and patterns and be able to demonstrate that understanding while writing words. During the introductory and review portions of the lessons, LTK explains rules and generalizations verbally with on-screen demonstrations.
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