“The curriculum is…amazing. I love that it has writing and even reading activities to go along with the lesson plans. I'm really blown away by the detail of these lessons. I'm trained in Orton Gillingham and I've dabbled in Words Their Way®. Your SPELL/SPELL-Links program is better than the two of these combined with a shot of steroids. It's fabulous.”

Jen Preschern MS, CCC-SLP

Chicago, IL

COmpare SPELL-Links with OG-Based programs.

How does SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ compare with commercially available Orton-Gillingham (OG)-based programs? We’re glad you asked!

While SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing has much in common with commercial OG-based programs — explicit, systematic, cumulative, multi-sensory, structured literacy —it also has a unique program philosophy that provides many distinctive advantages for learners, which we highlight in the table below.



OG-Based Programs

SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing

Instruction Directionality and Organization

Print to Speech

Instruction is organized by letter patterns and begins with a letter and the instructor teaches one corresponding sound for that letter.

Speech to Print

Instruction is organized by sounds and letters of words and begins with a sound and the student discovers common and additional allowable spelling choices for that sound.

Instruction Model

Stage/Developmental Model

Instruction typically begins with phonological awareness, progressing to orthographic knowledge, and ending with morphological knowledge in later stages of instruction.

Connectionist/Multi-Linguistic Model

Phonological, orthographic, semantic, and morphological instruction is integrated throughout the program across all grades.

Instruction Entry Points


Entry points are typically limited with same instructional program and sequence for all.


Using the SPELL-Links™ diagnostic software (SPELL-2)specific lessons and entry points within each lesson are uniquely prescribed for each student, providing differentiated instruction and pacing through targeted intervention plans.

Teaching Philosophy

Teacher Imparts Knowledge

Students are told how our language system works.

Students Discover Knowledge

Students discover how our language system works.

Syllable Types

Man-Made Conventions for Printed Words

A great deal of attention and instructional time is allotted to marking vowel and consonant letters within a word to determine where to break a word into syllables based on its visual patterns.

Biologically-inherent Syllable Separations of Spoken Language

The focus of instruction for syllables is based on direct mapping of spoken syllables with their corresponding letters; words are broken into syllables based on inborn syllable separations of spoken language.

“Sight” Words

Taught Separately

Sight words are introduced, practiced, and assessed separately as whole words.

Integrated Instruction

Irregularly spelled words are layered within lessons to fully connect the spelling of a word with its sounds and meaning.

Nonsense Words

Stand-Alone Activity

Practice with decoding nonsense words.

Integrated with Instruction

Nonsense words are used by students to demonstrate internalized learning.


Look, Say, Write

Say, Hear, Write, Read

"Auditory Component"

Not Typically Included


Explicit phoneme discrimination and prosodic awareness instruction, critical for struggling readers and writers and ELL students, is included.

Motoric Component

Hand Movement Associated with Sounds

For example, ‘tapping’, ‘pounding’ ‘bumping’ fingers or hands to represent sounds or syllables; 'finger spelling' used to represent sounds and then letters; 'simultaneous oral spelling', or saying letter names with simultaneous writing of corresponding letters, is taught. 

Variety of Motor Associations with Sounds

Includes using fingers and hands to represent phonemes and syllables. Additionally, spoken sounds are associated with simultaneous writing of corresponding letters to foster development of neural functional connectivity and to strengthen motor memory for authentic writing.

Tactile Component

Includes Tactile Experiences

Tactile experiences may include modeling letters with clay and writing in sand or on bumpy surfaces.

Not included

The focus of instruction is on developing motor memories associated with authentic writing.

Declarative vs. Procedural Knowledge

Declarative Knowledge

Students are directly taught specific language patterns and expectancies.

Procedural Knowledge

Students discover specific language patterns and expectancies while immediately receiving explicit instruction and extensive practice in applying their newly acquired knowledge and skills to reading and writing.

Meta-Cognitive and Executive Function Components

One Core Meta-Cognitive Strategy

Instruction typically emphasizes one core strategy—break words into syllables.

14 Meta-Cognitive Strategies

Instruction emphasizes using multiple strategies for independent problem solving when spelling and reading words.


Available in a series of levels, which are generally sold separately.

Materials are available as a complete intervention program.


On average, a complete core program costs $3,000.

SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing™ complete core program costs $349.