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! SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing has much in common with commercial OG-based programs: explicit, systematic, cumulative, multi-sensory…structured language program!

Here we highlight many of the distinctive advantages of SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing.


“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


OG-Based Programs

SPELL-Links to Reading & Writing

Directionality and Organization of Instruction

Print to Speech

Instruction starts with a letter and one corresponding sound is taught for that letter.

Instruction is organized by letter patterns.

Speech to Print

Instruction starts with a sound and the student discovers common and additional allowable spelling choices for that sound.

Instruction is organized by sounds and letters of words.

Model of Instruction

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 curriculum and across all grades.

Starting Point of Instruction


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


Entry point is uniquely prescribed for each student with differentiated instruction for all.

Teaching Philosophy

Teacher Imparts Knowledge

Students are told how our language system works.

Student Discovers Knowledge

Students discover how our language system works.

Syllable Types

Based on Man-made Conventions for Printed Words

Lots 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.

Based on Biologically-inherent Syllable Separations of Spoken Language

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

Introduced, practiced, and assessed separately as whole words.

Integrated Instruction

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 (Phoneme Discrimination and Prosodic Awareness)

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', that is, 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 strengthen motor memory for authentic writing.

Tactile Component

Includes Tactile Experiences

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

Not included

The focus of instruction is, instead, 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 and immediately in tandem receive explicit instruction and extensive practice with how to apply 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 the 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 generally sold separately.

Available as a complete intervention program.


On average, complete core program costs $3000.

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