Tutor Training

A major part of the Children’s Dyslexia Centers’ mission, in 15 northern states, is to train teachers how to work with children who have characteristics of dyslexia.  Since 1994 when the first Center was established, over a thousand teachers and other individuals interested in becoming certified Orton-Gillingham tutors have participated in our free training program.

At this time, our program offers free graduate level training for individuals who are interested in receiving initial certification as tutors in the Orton-Gillingham approach.  A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required. Tutors can request information on how to earn full graduate course credits as well as continuing education credits (with tuition paid by the participant). However the certificate training is currently free of charge with nominal material fees. A new class of scholars will begin in the Summer of 2016 (June-July). Applications, interviews and observations are required in the Spring of 2016 to be considered for the training.

The Free Training for Tutors in Orton-Gillingham Includes:

  • A 50 hour seminar over the course of a year
  • 4-5 hours of observation
  • Training in the Characteristics of Dyslexia
  • Use of Elements of the Orton-Gillingham lesson
  • Analysis of the Structure of written language
  • Completion of a 100 hour practicum in conjunction with the seminar
  • Supervised lessons by an experienced Orton-Gillingham therapist

Although the training and training materials are free at this time, there will be nominal costs associated with the training which include, but are not limited to:

  • reading materials
  • grapheme card deck
  • organizational supplies
  • criminal background check

Click to find out more information about the Orton-Gillingham Method.

Special Closed Syllables

Lesson Example: special closed syllables.

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We build confidence.

 To apply for free Orton-Gillingham training, please send the following information:

  • A MSLE Initial Course Trainee Application
  • A copy of your current resume
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable about your professional work
  • A copy of your Bachelor’s degree diploma or transcript showing the date and type of degree awarded

Send all information to:

Michele M. Johnson
Children’s Dyslexia Center – Southern Illinois
1549 Frank Scott Parkway West
Belleville, IL 62223

A form allowing a criminal background check must be signed and returned (this is usually done at the time of interview). The cost for this is $41.00.

An in-person interview is required and all paperwork must be completed in order to enroll in a class.


This is a video posted by a Scottish Rite Learning Center in Austin, Texas that will give you an idea of what our training program is like.

Note: It is not exactly the same as our training, but similar enough that you will get a feel for what our training accomplishes.