Psychologist, Deceased Person
1878 – 1963
Who was Anna Gillingham?
Anna Gillingham was an educator and psychologist. Working with Dr. Samuel Orton, she trained teachers and published instructional materials regarding reading instruction, producing the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction. With Bessie Stillman, she wrote what has become the Orton–Gillingham manual: Remedial Training for Children with Specific Disability in Reading, Spelling and Penmanship. First published in 1935/6, this work is updated and republished regularly. Along with the help of Stillman, Gillingham developed a “sequential, alphabetic-phonetic multisensory program” as a tool with which students could easily create meaningful syllables. This approach eliminated the need for a child to memorize almost all words in language, limiting it to those that were non-phonetic. This teaching manual for the “alphabetic method” of Orton’s theories combined multisensory techniques with teaching the structure of written English, including sounds, meaning units and common spelling rules.
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