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Frequently Asked Questions

The Slingerland® Approach revolutionized literacy instruction as the first whole-classroom adaptation of the Orton-Gillingham method. Slingerland® offers a comprehensive, multisensory, structured literacy program inclusive of all five pillars promoted by the science of reading. Unlike most other Orton-Gillingham based programs, the Slingerland® Approach includes a handwriting component – for both manuscript and cursive – further reinforcing kinesthetic pathways for students.


The Slingerland® Approach can be utilized across an entire curriculum, not just reading and writing instruction. It is unique in its adaptability to whole classroom instruction as well as individual tutoring.


As an instructional program, the Slingerland® Approach includes daily lessons in oral language, handwriting, phonology (letter/sound correspondences), phonics, encoding, spelling and morphology, written language, decoding, reading comprehension, and reading fluency. It is structured and multisensory – utilizing auditory, visual and kinesthetic-motor sensory channels simultaneously. As students internalize the approach, they can apply it independently to new concepts.

The Slingerland® Approach can benefit students of any age. The approach encompasses learning concepts from pre-reading skills through complex language structures. It has been used with great success in general education classrooms, remediation programs, programs for students with language-based learning differences like dyslexia, English language learner programs, and in adult literacy programs.

The complexities of individual learning vary greatly, and this makes it difficult to predict how long a student may take to advance through literacy instruction. While some students become confident readers and writers more quickly, others may gain strategies but continue to struggle in specific areas.


Brain imaging studies have identified common areas in the brain related to reading problems. These same areas can be seen in imaging after remediation - even though students have acquired sufficient skills to become adequate readers and writers. 


No approach to learning is a cure for language-based learning differences. However, the Slingerland® Approach was created to benefit all types of learners.

There is a huge body of research on how people learn to read and how literacy skills should be taught that includes hundreds of scientists and thousands of studies. This comprehensive body of research encompasses years of scientific knowledge, spans many languages, and shares the contributions of experts from education, special education, literacy, psychology, neurology, and more. The research in its entirety has established a scientifically undisputed evidence base for how reading works often called “the science of reading.” The science of reading demystifies how we learn to read and offers evidence, backed by science, confirming there IS a right way to teach reading. In fact, a structured literacy approach is a necessary foundation for reading success. 


Scientifically informed literacy instruction is beneficial to all students and especially to those who struggle with reading. Slingerland® offers a comprehensive, multisensory, structured literacy program inclusive of all pillars promoted by the science of reading. 


Research confirms the Slingerland® Approach has been effectively teaching reading for over 60 years.

The Slingerland® Literacy Institute (headquartered in Bellevue, WA) was established in 1977 to promote literacy through the work of Beth H. Slingerland and the Slingerland® Approach. 


A Board of Directors sets policies and budgets for implementation by the Executive Director and the Front Office. 


The Faculty Senate, made up of Certified Slingerland Teachers and Instructors of Teachers, ensure all classes and materials retain fidelity to and support the Slingerland® Approach.

Every educator’s background and situation differs, and Slingerland® Literacy Institute has designed several types of classes to anticipate those needs. Only you can judge what level of class is right for you right now.


Comprehensive classes at the Introductory and Comprehensive level offer month-long trainings in a practicum setting. Educators learn by doing. Learn more here


Extended practicum classes offer year-long support for those who have taken Slingerland classes and already working with their own students, either in classrooms or tutoring settings. Learn more here.


Short classes focus on a particular element of the Slingerland® Approach. These classes are ideal for those who need training or a refresher in that selected aspect. Learn more here.


Sustaining Slingerland Skills classes are follow-up classes that delve deeper into a single area of the Slingerland® Approach. They are for those who have already taking at least the Introductory Comprehensive class, though they may also be appropriate for others based on the selected topic. Learn more here.

Public, in-person classes are posted on our website as they are announced. Public comprehensive classes are only offered in the summer. In-person short classes are offered throughout the year. Online short classes are also increasingly available. Details can be found here.


Private in-person and online classes are set up at the request of local educational organizations or class participants. Contact us via if you would like more specific information on arranging a class that fits your needs.


Multiple scholarships and grant funds have been made available to support educators and institutions who would otherwise have face financial hardship to afford training.

The Slingerland® Literacy Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our tax ID number is 91-1189697.

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