Since coming to RLAC, my child can read.
– Theresa, RLAC Parent

Accredited Orton-Gillingham Professional Development

What is Phonics First®?

Phonics First
Phonics First® is RLAC’s nationally accredited Orton-Gillingham course used to teach literacy. Our dynamic and interactive Professional Development courses and workshops give special and general education teachers the knowledge and expertise to implement evidence-based strategies that improve student achievement. Phonics First® employs the Orton-Gillingham principles of instruction to reading, is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible.
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Phonics First® IS Orton-Gillingham

Six things you should know about the relationship between
PHONICS FIRST® and ORTON-GILLINGHAM


  1. Orton-Gillingham is not one company or organization. Anyone can use the term Orton-Gillingham. An accredited course ensures quality content that meets recognized standards.
  2. Phonics First® IS an Orton-Gillingham course. Orton-Gillingham is an approach following specific teaching principles. Phonics First® is a Nationally Accredited program that strictly adheres to Orton-Gillingham Principles of Instruction for MSL (Multisensory Structured Language) programs.
  3. Phonics First's® instruction is Accredited through IDA and IMSLEC. Accredited courses are rigorously evaluated to ensure quality instructional content and delivery. Courses accredited by International Dyslexia Association (IDA), International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) or Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) MUST follow rigorous MSL teaching principles.
  4. Teachers trained in Phonics First® ARE teaching with Orton-Gillingham. Phonics First® uses carefully designed Orton-Gillingham principles of instruction for classroom, small-group and individual lessons.
  5. Phonics First's® Orton-Gillingham instruction is designed for dyslexic learners, those with other reading disabilities and is appropriate for many other students who struggle learning to read.
  6. Phonics First® trained teachers do not need to "also" take Orton-Gillingham training. They already have it! It is important to periodically refresh and extend Phonics First® training to enhance teachers' depth of knowledge and practice. Phonics First® Certification of specific teachers further extends teaching excellence to your students.

Please contact us with questions, comments and inquiries. 800-732-3211

Learn More

Listen to Phonics First® co-creator and Master Instructor Laurie Wagner, as she shares information about our internationally accredited multisensory structured language (MSL) program. Please follow this link to listen to the presentation.

Phonics First Orton-Gillingham Courses Accredited by
IDA and IMSLEC

RLAC’s Phonics First® curriculum adheres to new Common Core State Standards and meets Learning Forward’s (formerly National Staff & Professional Development Council) standards for professional development. Our Phonics First® programs are accredited through both the IDA (International Dyslexia Association) under their Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading and through IMSLEC (International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council) at the Teaching Level and Instructor of Teaching Levels.

All Teachers Use Phonics First® to:

  • Understand the science of teaching reading to a broad range of students
  • Develop expertise in teaching reading to beginning, at-risk, struggling, ELL, LD, and dyslexic students

Educators Participating in Phonics First® Professional Development:

  • Achieve the confidence necessary to differentiate reading and spelling instruction to meet the unique needs of struggling, LD and dyslexic students
  • Acquire multisensory reading and spelling strategies that actively engage students in skills-acquisition, enhance existing instruction and intensify intervention programs
  • Learn to teach Phonics First® programs with fidelity ensuring sustainable success for their students

Phonics First® Includes the Critical Literacy Components of:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • Decoding and spelling
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Phonics First® Uses Differentiated Instruction Techniques that are:

  • Prescriptive
  • Multisensory
  • Phonics-based
  • Systematic, structured and sequential

Phonics First® Participants Learn:

  • Current reading research
  • Rationale for multisensory instruction
  • Stages of reading development
  • Reading readiness
  • Phonology
  • Vowel intensives
  • Five part lesson plan
  • Three-part drill
  • Multisensory spelling for phonetic and non-phonetic words
  • Syllabication
  • Oral Reading Strategies and comprehension integration
  • Lesson Planning