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The Slingerland® Approach

**This information is courtesy of the Slingerland® Institute for Literacy.

The Slingerland® Approach
is a classroom adaptation of the Orton-Gillingham method. Since 1960, thousands of teachers throughout the United States, and in Canada, Australia, and the Philippines have received Slingerland training.  This structured, sequential, simultaneous, multisensory teaching approach is designed to help dyslexic students and other struggling readers with speaking, reading, writing, and spelling.  The flexibility of the approach has also made it effective in general education classrooms as well.

All learning takes place with involvement of Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic-motor processing.  It is in the linkage of these channels that dyslexic children often have difficulty.  The Slingerland®  Approach starts with the smallest unit of sight, sound and feel--a single letter.  Expanding upon that single unit, students are taught through an approach that strengthens inter-sensory associations and enables the strong channel of learning to reinforce the weak.  It is thorough and integrated, providing a complete language learning experience.

From single letters, students are taught how to associate sounds with their visual counterparts and put these letters together to spell words.  They add suffixes and prefixes, and write phrases, sentences and paragraphs.  They are also taught the phonetic rules and generalizations of the English language.  Rather than a weekly spelling list, children work with a dictation paragraph that provides practice with punctuation, capitalization, and language mechanics, as well as spelling.  Through this carefully guided approach, they learn to put these skills to functional use while developing confidence in their own abilities for written expression.

A structured phonetic approach to teaching decoding helps the students become successful in reading individual words and learning the structure of the English language.  In preparation for reading, students learn how words go together in phrases to create meaning and learn the vocabulary that will be needed to understand a reading selection.  The teacher then carefully structures that selection to develop fluency and comprehension of the passage.


The Slingerland® Approach is a supportive instructional program that encourages academic competence, effective work habits and self-discipline.  Students gain self-confidence and enthusiasm for learning as they experience success in school.

Slingerland-trained teachers consistently provide the specialized instruction needed for children with dyslexia to unlock the rich world of written and spoken language.  This prevents students from falling through the cracks of a conventional classroom.  It is a very cost-effective way for school districts to fulfill their commitment to educate children with dyslexia.

Some school districts use the Slingerland® Approach in all their primary classrooms.  This creates an enhanced learning experience for all children, while providing specific help for the dyslexic population.  Test scores reflect the effectiveness of this multi-sensory structured language instruction.


  • A simultaneous multisensory total language approach
  • Documented success
  • Can be used in any classroom setting
  • Meets instructional needs of children in general education and those with dyslexia or those experiencing language difficulties
  • Successful
  •  Efficient
  •  Proven
  •  Cost-effective

**For more information on the Slingerland® Approach, please see the link to the Slingerland® Institute for Literacy on our Resources page.

Update:  The  Boys and Girls Club of Portland (Oregon) Metropolitan Area is so enthusiastic about the Slingerland® Approach, they have become the first Boys and Girls Club in the nation to have made the committment to provide Slingerland instruction in their Literacy Center to children who attend their after-school program, and  could benefit from this worthwhile instruction. 

*****New Slingerland Video Available at: 

Achieve Reading
264 Southpark Rd.
Highlands Ranch, CO   80126
Phone:  (720) 328-9229

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