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Reading text with sufficient speed and accuracy to support comprehension is what the National Reading Panel refers to as reading fluency.  Does the Orton-Gillingham approach include instruction in reading fluency? YES! It does! On today’s post I am going to explain to you step by step how the Orton-Gillingham approach will help your child with building reading fluency.

Reading Words Fluently with Orton-Gillingham

In Orton-Gillingham, students are first taught to read words accurately in isolation. These words are tied to a systematic phonics pattern that a student is learning. It also will include patterns that a student has already learned. It will never include reading a word that involves a concept that the student has never been taught yet. 

Reading words accurately is a crucial first step in building reading fluency. As students learn more words, they become more fluent in reading.

Reading Sentences Fluently in Orton-Gillingham

After the student can read isolated words with a high level of fluency, the words are then incorporated into sentences. The sentences will never include any patterns or concepts that the student hasn’t learned yet. The sentences will also include sight words (red words) that the student has learned.

During sentence reading, students develop the ability to use typical speech patterns and appropriate intonation while reading aloud.  

Reading sentences with sight words and learned words is the second crucial step in building reading fluency with Orton-Gillingham.

Reading Decodable Text Fluently in Orton-Gillingham

Finally, the student is introduced to a decodable text. Decodable stories and text passages are a big part of the reading fluency instruction with Orton-Gillingham. This decodable text contains words and sentences that the student has been explicitly taught already. Nothing new will be introduced and the student will never read anything on the page that they have not already learned. The decodable text will also include sight words (red words) that the student has learned.  

Reading decodable text helps students with building reading fluency and gaining confidence as they progress step by step in their word-level reading. When students are taught to read with an Orton-Gillingham approach, and are taught each concept explicitly, they will eventually not need decodable text anymore.  

Once the students have mastered the code, they can read anything fluently!

I Have a Resource For You!

Orton-Gillingham is a teaching method that is structured, systematic, cumulative and highly repetitive by nature. Students are taught to read words, sentences and text with fluency and accuracy.  

Thank you for reading my post today.  You might also enjoy reading my previous posts:

Show Me an Orton-Gillingham Lesson

Reading Fluency – How to Teach It


Please don’t leave without checking out the PRIDE Reading Program.  The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham curriculum that is used by teachers, tutors, and homeschooling parents worldwide with great success.

PRIDE Reading Program


Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at or visit the website at

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