Using peer tutoring to improve reading

Peer tutoring has been shown to be effective at raising reading achievement. Allen Thurston explains how to structure peer tutoring in reading to maximize the effect

PEER TUTORING IS A TECHNIQUE WHERE children help other children to learn. It has been used successfully in a wide range of subjects, and there is extensive evidence that it is effective. During peer tutoring in reading, roles are clearly defined, with children of different ages working together as tutor and tutee. The child at the higher reading level takes the role of the tutor, and the child with the lower reading level takes the role of tutee. The right age gap is usually about two school years, and this allows there to be an attainment differential between tutor and tutee. If the tutee gets stuck, the tutor should have the experience and ability to help.

What we know
● Peer tutoring during reading can promote accelerated reading development.
● Peer tutoring works well when students have a two-year age gap.

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May 2013