Membership FAQs

How do I become an OG Practitioner?

The process to for becoming an accredited Orton-Gillingham Practitioner aims to provide a strong foundation of understanding of current research and historical influences, as well as deep study of the mechanics of language followed by thorough practice in the OG MSL procedures and clinical practice.

After ensuring that one is eligible to take OG training, an OG trainee would enroll in a CATT, OG – accredited course designed to teach the principles of OG/MSL. Following successful completion of this introductory course, the trainee would then complete a basic-level OG training course, followed by a supervised practicum. After successful completion of an accredited practicum, the trainee would be eligible to apply to the Academy for certification as an OG Practitioner-Interim.

The new OG Practitioner-Interim must, over the next 1 – 2 years, complete at least 100 hours of clinical lessons in a one on one situation. This would be followed by successful completion of an intermediate-level OG Practitioner course. After completion of 100 hours and an intermediate-level course, the OG Practitioner-Interim would be eligible to apply for certification as an OG Practitioner Associate. The academy would then arrange for a field observation of the OG Practitioner with a student, including review of their lessons. After a successful field observation, the CATT supervisor would nominate the OG Practitioner for Associate status.

Educational steps for becoming an OG Practitioner:

  • Principles of MSL coursework (currently offered as Principles or Foundations of MSL by certified trainers)
  • Orton-Gillingham Practitioner Basic coursework (may be offered in levels)
  • Supervised Practicum
    • Satisfactory completion of these courses and practicum satisfies coursework requirements for becoming a member of the academy at the Practitioner-Associate-Interim level.
  • OG Intermediate coursework (completed within two years of finishing a Practicum)
  • Field observation by a representative of the academy
    • Satisfactory completion of these next pieces will entitle the trainee to be recognized as an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner Associate

Can I start OG Tutoring after taking the Principles level (or Foundations of MSL) training course?

No. A trainee must successfully complete Principles-level and Basic level courses and a supervised practicum before they are ready to begin practice as an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner.

What is the equivalent to BA or B.Ed. and who decides?

If you are not sure if your education meets the requirements necessary for OG training, contact the Trainer providing the course you want to take.

The following are some guidelines to consider:

  • Applicants for OG training must demonstrate a strong command of both spoken and written English.
  • Post-secondary education demonstrates a commitment to ongoing higher education, and completion of coursework requiring writing at a university level. Strong writing skills are also required, since an OG Practitioner will be required to write reports for parents and for the professionals who also support their students (teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists).
  • Other post-secondary coursework that emphasizes pedagogy, speech and language, psychology and special education is often also accepted as good preparation for the rigors of OG training.
  • The goal is to ensure that those beginning OG Practitioner training have a reasonable opportunity for success.

How do I complete an online practicum?

Trainers provide a practicum either on-site (live observation) or remotely. A remote practicum may be completed via sharing of digital files online. For instance, a Trainer may have websites or blogs set up for their trainees to participate in. Assignments, including the requirements of lessons, will be outlined. When assignments are completed, they will be emailed or otherwise digitally sent to their Trainer or assigned Mentoring Supervisor. Lessons conducted by the trainee will need to be digitally recorded and sent to their Trainer or Mentoring Supervisor immediately after the lessons are conducted, who will then provide timely written feedback. The 2-4 month practicum will be conducted with a student from the trainee’s community.

Each Trainer will be able to provide specific information about how their practicum will be structured.

Why has the structure of training changed?

The Canadian Academy strives to stay current with best practice and research for language instruction. Therefore refinements in training requirements are always being implemented. The changes in the structure of the training courses were made to incorporate current standards as detailed in the International Dyslexia Association document: Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading.

The new structure also provides increased flexibility for Trainers and participants. Although the training courses must be completed in a order, they do not necessarily need to be completed in one single extended course as was formerly the case.

If I took a full course with a practicum under the old system, do I still need to take Principles or can I skip it?

While the Principles coursework is not required for current or grand-mothered/grandfathered OG Practitioners, it is the position of the Academy and the feedback of graduates, that OG Practitioners who trained prior to the introduction of Principles-level training will benefit from the increased knowledge, current research and procedures studied in that level of training.

I took Orton-Gillingham training 5 (or fewer) years ago but then did not work in the field and did not join the academy. Do I have to retake all the training beginning with Principles-level coursework?

Each person’s situation will be dealt with individually. An applicant in this situation may be offered an option such as completion of Principles-level coursework followed by mentoring and a practicum. However, retaking Basic Training may offer benefits such as an understanding of current research, updates of procedures, and the assurance that one meets current standards.

What is policy for an OG Practitioner who has been away from the field for 5 or more years?

Again, CATT would consider each person’s situation individually. Factors to be considered would be, for example, the applicant’s level of experience in the field prior to their departure, professional development undertaken in the interim, and their background education. An applicant in this kind of situation may be offered an option of completion of a Principles-level course, followed by mentoring and a practicum. However, the person in this situation would be advised that completion of Basic OG Practitioner Training will provide other benefits such as an understanding of current research, updates of procedures, and the assurance that the applicant then meets current standards.