All About Adolescent Literacy

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Classroom Strategies

Partner Reading

Background

Partner Reading is a cooperative learning strategy in which two students work together to read an assigned text. This strategy is often used as part of the Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS). PALS is a classwide peer tutoring program in which teachers carefully partner a student with a classmate. The Partner Reading strategy allows students to take turns reading and provide each other with feedback as a way to monitor comprehension.

Benefits

Partner Reading does not require special reading materials and consequently enables teachers to use the reading material of their choice. This offers teachers flexibility for incorporating the strategy into various content areas. Partner Reading provides direct opportunities for a teacher to circulate in the class, observe students, and offer individual remediation.

Create and use the strategy

Choose the assigned reading and introduce the text to the students. Then create pairs within the classroom by identifying which children require help on specific skills and who the most appropriate children are to help other children learn those skills. Model the procedure to ensure that students understand how to use the strategy.

  1. Each member of the teacher-assigned pair takes turns being "Coach" and "Player." These pairs are changed regularly, and over a period of time as students work. Thus, all students have the opportunity to be "coaches" and "players."
    Note: It is important for teachers to monitor and support students as they work together.
  2. The stronger reader begins this activity as the "Player" and reads orally for 5 minutes. The "Coach" follows along and corrects any mistakes when necessary.
  3. The pair switch roles and the weaker reader becomes the "Player." The "Player" rereads the same passage for the next 5 minutes and the "Coach" provides corrective feedback. One point is earned for each correct sentence read (optional).
  4. After each partner has read the selection, teachers may wish to include the following additional activities:
    • Story retelling - students work together to retell the story by cooperatively providing input and correcting mistakes
    • Summarization - students support each other in developing a summary of the passage in 10 words or less
    • Writing - students write down the summary they developed and/or responses to the following:
      • the who or what of the paragraph;
      • the most important thing about who or what; and
      • the main idea

Further reading

Video:

Research Citations

Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L., & Burish, P. (2000). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies: An Evidence-Based Practice to Promote Reading Achievement. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 15(2), 85-91.

Fuchs, L., Fuchs, D., & Kazdan, S. (1999). Effects of peer-assisted learning strategies on high school students with serious reading problems. Remedial and Special Education, 20(5), 309-318.

Saenz, L., Fuchs, L., & Fuchs, D. (2005) Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies for English Language Learners with Learning Disabilities. Exceptional Children, (71).

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. (n.d.). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies. Retrieved 2008, January 21, from http://kc.vanderbilt.edu/pals/