What Is Barton Reading Program? How It’s Different From Orton Gillingham?

Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by Editorial Team

A popular saying goes, “Children are like wet cement; whatever falls on them makes an impression”. It is thus very necessary to choose a reading program for kids carefully. The Barton Reading Program was created around this concept of using colour-coded tiles to help dyslexic students establish connections between sounds and letters to help them spell correctly, read fluently and write appropriately. 

In this article, you will learn in detail about the Barton Reading Program, its levels, functioning, and its importance in the modern education system.

Barton system: How can it be beneficial?

The basic purpose of the Barton system is for Dyslexic children who have difficulty with Reading and Spellings. It uses 10 Levels for students to study. A few concepts are used in different levels of this system, like Sight Words, Spelling rules, Phonemic Awareness, and Placement/Screening Tests. 

There are different levels that go up to Level 10, but the child can learn one at a time. It might be a vast and lengthy method, but as the user rises to levels, different concepts are introduced to help the student learn better and faster. This approach uses advanced reading structured courses which mainly concentrate on spellings.

This program uses the multisensory approach as a bridge for kids that connects sounds with words, which means– it involves two senses: hearing and seeing. With the inclusion of the influenced Orton-Gillingham method–while reading, children get great help in understanding the concepts and curriculum. The first 3 Level consists of Auditory senses, Visual senses, and Tactile (touch and say) senses.  

What role multisensory approach plays in barton system? 

In Barton System, there is something distinct and new at every level. Multisensory helps the learner to understand and store the information. It introduces how sound and letters make a whole word, just like the Orton-Gillingham method. Multisensory is essential when using visual, auditory, touch, and kinesthetic senses.

Dyslexic children grasp faster through this approach as this helps them to use all senses and store the information for a longer period. This is what this approach does, and it makes the student learn in an easier way showing a guided path. 

Since the System has influenced the Orton-Gillingham method, multisensory usage has been upgrading the system heavily. Tutors teaching the Barton System have to keep the foundation of the reading and spelling system in mind. Multisensory also works substantially for the students as this approach uses senses; this helps them to grasp other concepts well. 

Basic functioning of the barton reading program

1. Lesson for Teachers

Before it reaches the students, the Barton system reaches the teachers. It follows a specific learning pattern for teachers. The package consists of different DVDs, consisting of 5-6 hours of deep learning about each concept. These sessions focus on rectifying the mistakes that early learners make. Having in-depth knowledge of each Level is essential; this will lead students to understand the next level better. 

  • Teachers do not have to repeat words or sentences as these sessions have enough material to teach the students the same lesson twice. 
  • It comes with a tutor manual which gives a wide column and a narrow one. The wide column will consist of the full scripting, and the narrow one will provide the full summary of the page. 
  • Teachers should consider picking up easy content for their students and then move to the harder ones.
  • The Barton System provides colored tiles which helps the students understand the syllabus in a much simpler way. It uses colored titles or wooden tiles for reading and spelling. Users can also download the application on their tablets or phone if they prefer.
  • This approach also includes additional games and other required materials for teaching. Students can have fun while studying, which helps them learn faster and grasp the concepts better.
  • For teachers who find themselves in any kind of doubt, Barton System provides them with a backend support system that resolves their queries through emails and phone calls.

2. Levels of Barton System 

The key fundamental of the Barton system depends upon different levels through which students equip different skills. Levels go from 1 to 10, and each level consists of different information such as: 

Level 1- Phonic Awareness- Phonemic awareness aids students to hear individual sounds in words. The lack of this skill causes students to omit letters and sounds when they write or speak.  Being centric to junior students, this level enhances the ‘reading out loud’ skill in the little ones.

Level 2- Consonants and Short Vowels – This level is all about short vowel sounds, consonants, and the five most common digraphs. There are plenty of stories at this level that help students remember and grasp the vowel sounds. This level aids students to see the words as a whole piece. 

Level 3- Closed Syllables and Units – Students can practice the previous two lessons at this level. Moreover, the difference between a digraph and a blend is also introduced at this stage. This book also consists of sight words for the practice of students.

Level 4- Syllable Division & Vowel Teams – Students learn new syllables at this level. This is the stage where open syllables are introduced. Children are also taught how to divide the word into syllables so that it can be pronounced and written better and easier. 

Level 5- Prefixes and Suffixes – Level 5 works in a way to help students expand their vocabulary along with base words, prefixes, and suffixes. This level also focuses on teaching students words with ‘ed’ ending such as ‘sounded’ and ‘gained.’

Level 6- Six Reasons for Silent-E – This level states the 6 reasons for a silent E. It will also teach students the syllable type: Consonant L E. Moreover, more rules would be focused on along with spelling of words like inadequate, disintegrate, evaluate, etc. 

Level 7- Vowel-R Syllables- In this level, students will learn the different sounds of ar, er, ir, or, ur, and ear. Special emphasis would be given to students to teach the pronunciation of words. For eg- pair, parents, rare, care, rear, etc.

Level 8- Advanced Vowel Teams- This level is divided into subparts. It focuses on the letter ‘i’ before the vowel. For example- India, patience, etc. The latter part of the book throws light on vowels like ie, oi, oy, ey, au, aw, oo, ow, ou, ea, igh, augh, eigh, ei, eu. 

Level 9- Influence of Foreign Languages –  This level introduces the influence of other foreign languages on a few English words. For example- Chef. This level aims to make the basics of these words and their pronunciations clear to the students.

Level 10- Greek Words and Latin Roots- Level 10, the final level focuses on the Chameleon prefixes– the ones which change the spelling and the pronunciation depending on the first letter of the root words. For example- if the Latin root is ‘contract’, based on the letters, the spellings and pronunciations for ‘contractual’, ‘contraction’, and ‘contactor’ change.

Importance of barton program in modern education system 

Today, the education system has made substantial changes, and teachers have evolved themselves as well. As digital education is taking place, teachers feel a distance from students. Students have to do a lot of practice on their own. The Approach has made an impact on such students. 

  • With the help of DVDs, lessons are provided to the tutors and parents. This study material helps students in learning to spell and reading better. At the same time, it makes the job of tutors easy as it provides a sequential approach.
  • This approach is for all ages, children, teens, adults, basically, everyone who wishes to learn writing, reading, or spelling. Apart from being gainful for children, it can be fruitful for parents who tutor their kids as it provides explicit and direct directions which leave no room for ambiguity. 
  • With the easy method of instruction, the Barton System is tailored to play with the strengths of those with Dyslexia, despite language being their area of weakness. This program builds in sequential order allowing the students to approach language logically and confidently.
  • In the Barton System, students will never be given words to read or spell that they haven’t been given the tools for. This ensures that whenever the students read unfamiliar words, they can use the rules to pronounce it hassle-free.
  • Barton takes the guessing game out by teaching students why a word is pronounced and spelled a particular way in the form of rules. For example- Why is CAT spelled with a ‘C’ when a KITTEN is spelled with a ‘K’ — A Barton learner knows why!
  • By learning the basic rules provided in the Barton System, students can apply them to hundreds of words instead of memorizing the words themselves. Moreover, the rules’ names and the picture associated with them are pretty memorable and appeal to the student’s visual strengths. 

Barton Reading System-  Is it different from the Orton-Gillingham Approach?

The Barton reading system is based on multisensory approaches to make connections between sounds and words. This depicts how it is directly connected and inspired by the Orton-Gillingham approach. In this accord, comprehending some crucial similarities are obligatory too. Both Orton-Gillingham and Barton focus on a multi-sensory approach, support game-based pedagogies, and are designed to aid learning disabilities. 

Despite such crucial similarities, let us ponder the differences between the two::

  • Orton-Gillingham is a special approach to instruct concepts. Thus, many other programs along with Barton reading implement this. Barton reading is essentially a system or program that has a specific curriculum (levels mentioned above) for learners of all ages. 
  • Barton spends more time on Spelling, ensuring guesswork out of examples. Not all the  Orton-Gillingham approaches follow the same. 
  • Barton Reading is designed to be used by people without prior educational training- by providing them with videos and online support. Lessons here are highly scripted and structured. Orton-Gillingham approach ensures its tutors to be certified with specialized training to ensure quality lectures. 
  • Orton-Gillingham tutors often use “drill pack”, which is a deck of cards with phonemes to preach. Barton system uses letter tiles, which is equally efficient. 
  • Being an evidence based program, Barton provides the learners with lots of examples and illustrations to make the notions clear. Orton-Gillingham focuses to ensure its programs use a multi-sensory, structured and sequential approach. 

As a pursuer, you may choose any of these based on your preference. Barton may suit for self-study learners, whereas Orton-Gillingham usually enures specialized instruction from live tutors. 

Wrapping up

Being developed in California, USA, Barton System is most popular among parents who are homeschooling their children being struggling readers. Barton is created for students with Dyslexia, and others who have challenges in spelling and reading comprehension. However, before beginning with the program, the students need to be screened so as to make sure that they have the basic skill set needed to succeed. Being a 10 level program, all students begin with level 1, and they are assessed after every stage. The beauty of this program lies in the fact that students do not move ahead unless they show development and mastery at the level which they have been taught. The only downside with this model is that it is premium priced, but parents and tutors are still making their way towards this program due to its effectiveness.

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