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What is Structured Literacy Reading Therapy?

Logo for West Orange Language & Literacy, LLC providing reading therapy in Winter Garden and Greater Orlando Area

Structured Literacy is a teaching approach, such as Orton-Gillingham, that uses a science-based, structured approach to teaching reading, spelling, and writing.  The goal of structured literacy is to develop a student's independent ability to read, write, and understand language.       


Therapist clearly explains and models key skills.  Students are not expected to infer skills.


Well organized sequence of instruction with easier and more useful skills taught first so that students can immediately put those skills to use reading real words. 


Each step should build on top of the previous ones.  Students learn the structure of English through practice, review, and repetition, repetition, repetition.


Teaching is based on careful and continuous assessment of the student's needs.  The content must be mastered to a level of automaticity.  


Teaching is done using all learning pathways in the brain.  (visual, auditory, kinesthetic-tactile) simultaneously in order to enhance memory and learning. 

5 Pillars of Reading

WHAT IS LITERACY?  Is it reading. . . writing. . . speaking. . . .listening?  Literacy is all of these things.  It is the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world.

In 2000, the National Reading Panel, based upon decades of research, identified five pillars of literacy and reading :




Phonemic Awareness is the ability to focus on, identify, and manipulate speech sounds in words.  



Phonics helps students match sounds we hear in words to the letters that spell them.  For example, the sound /k/ can be spelled as c, k, ck, or ch.  That's phonics!



Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and good expression.  It is the ability to read as well as one speaks and to make sense of what is being read without having to stop or pause to decode words.



Vocabulary is the growing and stored collection of words that students understand and use in their conversation and recognize in print.  It is important because it is necessary for reading comprehension and because it is the key to understanding abstract ideas and deeper content. 



Comprehension is the ability to understand, remember, and make meaning of what has been read.  Comprehension involves using background knowledge, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills to understand the meaning of text.

My Approach

Reading/dyslexia therapy clients are seen 1 : 1 so that they can move forward at their own pace.  Each session is generally 45 or 60 minutes in length.  Students should be seen twice a week, or more, because intensive structured literacy, literally changes the brain.  I use a variety of Structured Literacy approaches including Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing Program (LiPS), and others.   I believe in using a customizable approach to remediation based on the student's strengths and weaknesses.  There is not one program that will meet the needs of all students with dyslexia.  At West Orange Language & Literacy I use elements from various approaches and programs, as appropriate, to create a personalized therapy plan uniquely tailored to the needs of your child.  My goal is to move students from learning to read to reading to learn

Please call my office at 407-850-8346 if you have any questions about Structured Literacy Therapy or to book a FREE 20-minute video or phone consultation.

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